Friday morning, JDC/Miller MotorSports’ Stephen Simpson was fastest overall in opening IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice at Watkins Glen International. Simpson’s ORECA 07-Gibson toured the 3.4-mile long course in 95.491 seconds (128.180 mph). The lap was just four-hundredths of a second quicker than Tequila Patron ESM’s Ryan Dalziel.
Action Express Racing’s Joao Barbosa was third fastest in the best of the Cadillacs, 1.3 seconds off the pace. Mazda Motorsports’ Jonathan Bomarito was fourth quickest, followed by PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports’ Olivier Pla.
Prototype Challenge was once again dominated by Performance Tech Motorsports. Patricio O’Ward led the small class with a lap of 99.741 seconds (122.718 mph), 1.8 seconds faster than BAR1 Motorsports’ Don Yount.
GT Le Mans was once again quite close between the gathered manufacturers. Chip Ganassi Racing’s Dirk Müller was fastest with a lap of 103.078 seconds (118.745 mph). Müller’s lap was nearly a half-second quicker than BMW Team RLL’s Bill Auberlen in second. Corvette Racing’s Tommy Milner was third, followed by John Edwards in the No. 24 BMW. Jan Magnussen in the No. 3 Corvette rounded out the top five in the class.
Finally, Michael Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian’s Andy Lally was fastest in GT Daytona in his Acura. Lally’s lap of 105.809 seconds (115.680 mph) was one-third of a second faster than Change Racing’s Jeroen Mul in the No. 16 Lamborghini. Jens Klingmann was third fastest for Turner Motorsport, followed by Stevenson Motorsports’ Lawson Aschenbach. 3GT Racing’s Jack Hawksworth was fifth fastest. Each of the top five cars in class came from different manufacturers (Acura, Audi, BMW, Lamborghini and Lexus).
About the author
Phil Allaway has three primary roles at Frontstretch. He's the manager of the site's FREE e-mail newsletter that publishes Monday-Friday and occasionally on weekends. He keeps TV broadcasters honest with weekly editions of Couch Potato Tuesday and serves as the site's Sports Car racing editor.
Outside of Frontstretch, Phil is the press officer for Lebanon Valley Speedway in West Lebanon, N.Y. He covers all the action on the high-banked dirt track from regular DIRTcar Modified racing to occasional visits from touring series such as the Super DIRTcar Series.
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