Watkins Glen IMSA: Pla puts Meyer Shank Acura on top in FP1

Meyer Shank Racing Acura driver Olivier Pla set the fastest time in opening practice for the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen, almost six tenths clear of the opposition.

Watkins Glen IMSA: Pla puts Meyer Shank Acura on top in FP1

Pla lapped the 3.4-mile course in 1min31.056sec, fastest in all three sectors at the wheel of the #60 Acura ARX-05. He was 0.591sec faster than the best effort of Action Express Racing’s extra driver in the #31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R, Mike Conway.

The Chip Ganassi Racing team, which won the previous IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race in Detroit, saw Renger van der Zande finish the session – 60mins for the Pros, 90mins for Ams – a further three-tenths down.

IndyCar ace and former Watkins Glen winner Alexander Rossi produced the best time for Wayne Taylor Racing in fourth ahead of Loic Duval in the Cadillac of JDC Miller MotorSports.

Mazda, who scored its first win at this venue two years ago, was a disappointing sixth, and Harry Tincknell had to trickle his car slowly to the pits after his final run with a turbo issue.

The #48 Ally Racing AXR Cadillac DPi-V.R of Simon Pagenaud, Kamui Kobayashi and Jimmie Johnson – back for its third of four outings this season – had an early clash with the #18 LMP2 Era Motorsport Oreca, which sent the slower car off at Turn 1, causing a red flag. But Race Control saw no fault in what Pagenaud had done and didn’t penalize him.

Tristan Nunez set the fastest time in LMP2, the WIN Autosport entry lapping less than a tenth faster than John Farano, who was half a second up on Scott Huffaker in the PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports car.

The Era car was able to rejoin the track after its off, and Tilley was fourth, ahead of Wayne Boyd in the United Autosports machine.

In LMP3 Oliver Askew led for Andretti Autosport ahead of Jon Bennett’s CORE autosport entry, and the Riley Motorsports cars of Felipe Fraga and Dylan Murry.

In GT Le Mans, Nick Tandy’s top effort in the #4 Corvette C8.R – 1min42.517sec – was 0.15sec better than teammate Antonio Garcia’s best effort in the #3 machine.

Jesse Krohn and Philipp Eng were next up in the Rahal Letterman Lanigan-run BMW M8 GTEs ahead of the WeatherTech Racing Porsche 911 RSR-19.

The Porsche’s best time is not fully representative, however, as it missed a lot of track time with a suspension issue, driver Cooper MacNeil reporting to IMSA Radio that the right rear damper had broken.

That was not the only Porsche in trouble as Pfaff Motorsports revealed that the gearbox of its GT Daytona-class 911 GT3 R had seized after just four laps by Laurens Vanthoor. When the car returned to track, it had time to add just nine more laps.

Jack Hawksworth led the GTD field in the Vasser Sullivan #14 Lexus RC F, ahead of Wright Motorsports’ Porsche, steered by Patrick Long.

The NTe Sport Audi R8 LMS which hasn’t run since the Rolex 24 in January, was a very impressive third fastest in the hands of Jaden Conwright, followed by Zach Veach in VSR’s second Lexus, Bryan Sellers in the Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracan and Richard Heistand in the Carbahn Peregrine Audi.

Tomorrow’s session will start at 8am local (Eastern) time with qualifying starting at 11.50am.

Practice times:

Cla Num Driver Class Chassis Time Gap
1 60 United States Dane Cameron
France Olivier Pla
DPi Acura DPi 1'31.056  
2 31 Brazil Felipe Nasr
United Kingdom Mike Conway
Brazil Pipo Derani
DPi Cadillac DPi 1'31.647 0.591
3 01 Netherlands Renger van der Zande
Denmark Kevin Magnussen
DPi Cadillac DPi 1'31.949 0.893
4 10 United States Ricky Taylor
Portugal Filipe Albuquerque
United States Alexander Rossi
DPi Acura DPi 1'31.987 0.931
5 5 France Tristan Vautier
France Loic Duval
France Sébastien Bourdais
DPi Cadillac DPi 1'32.266 1.210
6 55 United Kingdom Oliver Jarvis
United Kingdom Harry Tincknell
United States Jonathan Bomarito
DPi Mazda DPi 1'32.483 1.427
7 48 United States Jimmie Johnson
Japan Kamui Kobayashi
France Simon Pagenaud
DPi Cadillac DPi 1'32.515 1.459
8 11 United States Thomas Steven
United States Tristan Nunez
United States Thomas Merrill
LMP2 ORECA LMP2 07 1'33.836 2.780
9 8 Canada John Farano
France Gabriel Aubry
United States James French
LMP2 ORECA LMP2 07 1'33.881 2.825
10 52 United States Ben Keating
Denmark Mikkel Jensen
United States Scott Huffaker
LMP2 ORECA LMP2 07 1'34.397 3.341
11 18 United States Dwight Merriman
United Kingdom Kyle Tilley
United Kingdom Ryan Dalziel
LMP2 ORECA LMP2 07 1'34.492 3.436
12 22 James McGuire
United Kingdom Wayne Boyd
United Kingdom Guy Smith
LMP2 ORECA LMP2 07 1'35.286 4.230
13 36 United States Jarett Andretti
United States Oliver Askew
United States Marco Andretti
LMP3 Ligier JS P320 1'40.812 9.756
14 54 United States Jon Bennett
United States George Kurtz
United States Colin Braun
LMP3 Ligier JS P320 1'40.895 9.839
15 74 United States Gar Robinson
Brazil Felipe Fraga
Australia Scott Andrews
LMP3 Ligier JS P320 1'41.517 10.461
16 91 United States Jim Cox
United States Dylan Murry
Netherlands Jeroen Bleekemolen
LMP3 Ligier JS P320 1'41.912 10.856
17 4 United States Tommy Milner
United Kingdom Nick Tandy
GTLM Corvette C8.R 1'42.517 11.461
18 3 Spain Antonio Garcia
United States Jordan Taylor
GTLM Corvette C8.R 1'42.674 11.618
19 24 United States John Edwards
Finland Jesse Krohn
Brazil Augusto Farfus
GTLM BMW M8 GTE 1'42.852 11.796
20 25 United States Connor de Phillippi
Austria Philipp Eng
Canada Bruno Spengler
GTLM BMW M8 GTE 1'43.062 12.006
21 38 Sweden Rasmus Lindh
Guatemala Mateo Llarena
Dan Goldburg
LMP3 Ligier JS P320 1'43.792 12.736
22 2 Niklas Kruetten
Edouard Cauhaupe
United States Austin McCusker
LMP3 Ligier JS P320 1'44.060 13.004
23 79 United States Cooper MacNeil
France Mathieu Jaminet
Australia Matt Campbell
GTLM Porsche 911 RSR - 19 1'44.215 13.159
24 14 United States Aaron Telitz
United Kingdom Jack Hawksworth
United States Kyle Kirkwood
GTD Lexus RC F GT3 1'46.673 15.617
25 16 United States Patrick Long
Belgium Jan Heylen
United States Trent Hindman
GTD Porsche 911 GT3 R 1'46.861 15.805
26 42 United States Don Yount
United States Jaden Conwright
Finland Markus Palttala
GTD Audi R8 LMS GT3 1'47.085 16.029
27 12 United States Frankie Montecalvo
United States Zach Veach
United States Robert Megennis
GTD Lexus RC F GT3 1'47.112 16.056
28 1 United States Bryan Sellers
United States Madison Snow
United States Corey Lewis
GTD Lamborghini Huracan GT3 1'47.183 16.127
29 39 United States Richard Heistand
United States Jeff Westphal
Tyler McQuarrie
GTD Audi R8 LMS GT3 1'47.239 16.183
30 88 United States Rob Ferriol
United Kingdom Katherine Legge
United States Andrew Davis
GTD Porsche 911 GT3 R 1'47.300 16.244
31 44 United States John Potter
United States Andy Lally
United States Spencer Pumpelly
GTD Acura NSX GT3 1'47.366 16.310
32 28 Canada Daniel Morad
United States Michael de Quesada
United States Billy Johnson
GTD Mercedes-AMG GT3 1'47.483 16.427
33 9 Canada Zacharie Robichon
Belgium Laurens Vanthoor
Germany Lars Kern
GTD Porsche 911 GT3 R 1'47.494 16.438
34 19 Canada Mikhail Goikhberg
France Franck Perera
Germany Tim Zimmermann
GTD Lamborghini Huracan GT3 1'47.685 16.629
35 75 Australia Kenny Habul
Canada Mikael Grenier
Germany Maro Engel
GTD Mercedes-AMG GT3 1'48.198 17.142
36 23 Canada Roman De Angelis
United Kingdom Ross Gunn
United Kingdom Ian James
GTD Aston Martin Vantage GT3 1'49.678 18.622
37 84 Theodor Olsen
Dominic Cicero
United Kingdom Ben Devlin
LMP3 Ligier JS P320 1'50.144 19.088
38 96 United States Bill Auberlen
United States Robby Foley
Australia Aidan Read
GTD BMW M6 GT3 2'25.175 54.119
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