Race Weekend Central

Gabriele Piana Quickest in Wet Road America CTSC Practice No. 1

The skies opened up at Road America just in time for the first IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge practice session of the weekend at Road America.  Some teams were apprehensive about venturing onto the 4.048-mile course in the wet.  The slippery surface did not bother Mühlner Motorsports America.  They put their new drivers for the weekend (Moritz Kranz and Gabriele Piana) out on track very quickly.  Once Piana got into the No. 21 Porsche, he was very quickly, turning in laps a couple of seconds faster than anyone.  On his last lap of the session, Piana turned in a lap of 155.841 seconds (93.511 mph), good enough to top the session.

Piana’s lap was more than one full second faster than TeamTGM’s Guy Cosmo in another Porsche.  Jesse Lazare was third quickest in the No. 69 Motorsport in Action McLaren.  Dylan Murcott was fourth fastest in the Rennsport One Porsche, followed by Alan Brynjolfsson in the VOLT Racing Ford Mustang.  With the wet conditions, the top five were separated by just over four seconds.

At Lime Rock, Brynjolfsson blushed about how raw his Mustang is prior to the Lime Rock Park 120.  This wet session likely drove home that rawness.

In Street Tuner, times dropped substantially throughout the session like in Grand Sport.  Once the one- hour session was complete, it was Spencer Pumpelly who turned in the fastest time.  Pumpelly’s lap of 165.530 seconds (88.037 mph) at the very end of the session was one-sixth of a second faster than Murillo Racing’s Jeff Mosing.  Mosing’s teammate, Christopher Stone in the No. 34 Mazda MX-5 was third quickest, but a full 3.5 seconds slower than Mosing’s No. 56.  Another teammate of Mosing, Justin Piscitell was fourth quickest in the No. 65 Porsche.  Rennsport One’s Connor Bloum was fifth quickest, but nearly six full seconds off of Pumpelly.

Only 26 of the 32 teams entered posted times during the session.  In Grand Sport, those teams were TRG’s No. 3 Aston Martin, Bodymotion Racing’s No. 12 Porsche and C360R’s No. 76 McLaren.  All three did venture on track for out laps, but did not complete a lap on the clock.

In Street Tuner, those teams without times were Freedom Autosport’s No. 25 Mazda, CRG-I Do Borrow’s No. 44 Nissan and MINI JCW Team’s No. 73 MINI.  The CRG-I Do Borrow Nissan legitimately did not leave the paddock during the session.  That is a strategy that the team used last year at Daytona.  They chose to skip the wet Wednesday and Thursday practice sessions, along with the wet qualifying session.  The team only went on-track during the morning warmup the day of the race, then finished seventh later that day.  The other two teams did venture on-track, but did not set official times.

Results of IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Road America 120 Practice No. 1

IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge teams have one more practice session on Friday at 4:05 p.m. EDT.  It will be 45 minutes in length.


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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