Campbell puts Porsche on top in FP1

Colin Braun and Ricky Taylor in the two Acura ARX-06s were the first of the GTP cars to lay down quick laps, Braun initially setting 1m17.019s in the Meyer Shank Racing entry around the classic 2.238-mile track on the beautiful Monterey peninsula. Connor DePhillippi in the #25 BMW M Hybrid V8 and Alexander Sims in Action Express Racing’s Cadillac V-Series.R briefly were second and third before Taylor’s Wayne Taylor Racing Acura jumped back to second.

Then just 15 minutes into the session, after he had set the fastest Sector 1 time, Sebastien Bourdais hit the apex curbs at uphill left-handed Turn 6 and plowed off the track and sideways into the tire wall on exit. Out came the red flag and there was a 15-minute delay as the car was retrieved.

When the action resumed, Braun’s benchmark held firm despite Mathieu Jaminet’s best effort, only 0.096s slower in the #6 Porsche 963. Tom Blomqvist looked set to improve on his co-driver Braun’s time when the second red flew for Mikkel Jensen to limp his stop-start TDS Racing LMP2 back to the pits at a painfully slow rate of pace after a strange slowdown in Turn 3.

With seven minutes to go, suddenly Matt Campbell threw the #7 Porsche Penske Motorsports entry to the top of the times with the first sub-1m17s lap – 0.063s faster than Braun’s time – and then stretched that advantage to over 0.212s with a 1m16.807s.

In the dying minutes, Campbell lopped a further tenth off his time, ending the session with a 1m16.703. Behind Blomqivst was the second PPM 963 of Nick Tandy and Jaminet, ahead of WTR Acura, the AXR Cadillac, and then the two BMWs, around 0.7s off top spot.

The new JDC Miller MotorSports Porsche 963 turned just 17 laps, the majority of them in the closing quarter hour.

Louis Deletraz topped LMP2 for Tower Motorsports, his sector 2 time quicker than anything achieved by the GTP cars. That ensured he was over half a second clear of Ben Hanley in the Crowdstrike Racing by APR, and six-tenths faster than Ryan Dalziel of Era Motorsport.


GTD Pro and GTD

Katherine Legge’s Gradient Racing Acura NSX held top spot of all the GTD entries for most of the session, but in the final 10 minutes she was toppled by Frankie Montecalvo’s #12 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F, Seb Priaulx in the AO Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R and Russell Ward in the Winward Racing Mercedes AMG GT3.

Although the GTD Pro Lexus couldn’t quite match its sister car’s pace, Ben Barnicoat did at least ensure it topped the Pro category, well clear of Alex Riberas’ Heart of Racing Aston Martin, Daniel Juncadella in the WeatherTech Racing Mercedes and Patrick Pilet’s Pfaff Motorsports Porsche.

Second practice begins at 8.55am local (Pacific) time on Saturday.



Source link