Race Weekend Central

Tommy Milner Tops Opening VIR WeatherTech Practice

Corvette Racing’s Tommy Milner was fastest overall in opening practice for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at VIRginia International Raceway on Friday.  Milner’s lap of 102.341 seconds (115.027 mph) was a tenth of a second faster than Ford Chip Ganassi Racing’s Richard Westbrook.

Milner was quite satisfied with his early pace.

“It’s certainly a good start to the weekend. Being quick early on is a good thing,” Milner said after the session.  “The car feels really good. Our time spent in our simulator in the weeks leading up here were helpful – for me driving and the team setup-wise.  The championship race is really tight so we’re throwing everything we can at it.  We were 1-2 in qualifying here last year, so the Corvettes are already good. There were some lessons we learned from last season and have been able to improve on those.  This is a good start.”

Risi Competizione, making their return to the WeatherTech paddock this weekend, was third fastest with Giancarlo Fisichella at the wheel.  Fisichella was one-sixth of a second slower than Milner.  Dirk Müller was fourth fastest in the second Ford GT, while Jan Magnussen was fifth in the second Corvette.  The top five GTLM teams were separated by less than three-tenths of a second on the 3.27-mile road course.

In GT Daytona, Change Racing’s Jeroen Mul was fastest with a lap of 104.700 seconds (112.436 mph) in his Lamborghini Huracan GT3.  Mul’s lap was two-tenths of a second faster than Andrew Davis in Stevenson Motorsports’ Audi.  Scuderia Corsa’s Christina Nielsen was third quickest, followed by Park Place Motorsports’ Jörg Bergmeister and Riley Motorsports’ Jeroen Bleekemolen.

For Park Place Motorsports, the session was a successful one early on, but turned negative late.  Patrick Lindsey was unable to turn in a lap at speed during the session.  On his first flying lap, Lindsey cut a tire and had to limp back.

Lindsey was able to drag the No. 73 Porsche back to the pits, but spent roughly six minutes doing so.  The car did not return to the track for the rest of the session.

Results for IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Michelin GT Challenge at VIR Practice No. 1

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship teams have one more practice Friday at 4:10 p.m.  It is scheduled to be one hour 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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