Race Weekend Central

Robby Foley Fastest in VIR Michelin Pilot Challenge Practice, Devin Jones Hospitalized After Crash

Saturday morning saw Turner Motorsport’s Robby Foley clock in with the fastest practice lap of the weekend with a lap at 104.225 mph.  However, that session was marred by a crash for BimmerWorld Racing’s Devin Jones that has sent the young racer to a local hospital.

Practice No. 1

During the sole practice session Friday at VIR, BGB Motorsports’ Jan Heylen was fastest with a lap at 103.489 mph in his Porsche Cayman GT4 MR.

Heylen’s lap was just one-hundredth of a second faster than the BMW of Turner Motorsport’s Bill AuberlenIndy Dontje, back with Winward Racing after missing Road America due to ADAC GT Masters responsibilities, was third quickest in his Mercedes.  Rebel Rock Racing’s Robin Liddell was fourth fastest in his Chevrolet, while Riley Motorsports’ Dylan Murry was fifth.

Archangel Motorsports’ Trent Hindman was sixth fastest in his Porsche, while there was a tie to the thousandth of a second for seventh between the Ford Mustang GT4 of Multimatic Motorsports’ Sebastian Priaulx and Foley in the second Turner BMW.  Priaulx gets seventh because he turned the lap in first.  Motorsports In Action’s Corey Lewis was ninth in his McLaren, while the Aston Martin of KohR Motorsports’ Kyle Marcelli was 10th.

In TCR, Fast MD Racing’s James Vance was quickest in his Audi RS3 LMS Club Sport with a lap at 99.558 mph, good for 20th overall.  Vance’s lap was four-tenths of a second faster than LA Honda World Racing’s Shelby Blackstock.   JDC-Miller MotorSports’ Michael Johnson was third fastest, followed by Bryan Herta Autosport’s Michael Lewis in the best of the Hyundais.  KMW Motorsports with TMR Engineering’s Tim Lewis Jr. was fifth quickest in his Alfa Romeo


Practice No. 2

Teams were at it bright and early Saturday morning at VIR for the final 60 minutes of practice prior to qualifying.  It ended up being more like 31 minutes of on-track time, though.

Foley turned in his quick time on his final lap of the session.  He ended up nine-hundredths of a second faster than Marcelli.  Murillo Racing’s Eric Foss was third quickest in his Mercedes, while Liddell was fourth.  Hindman rounded out the top five.

Heylen was sixth in his Porsche, followed by Murry and Russell Ward in the No. 4 Winward Racing Mercedes.  CarBahn Motorsports with Peregrine Racing’s Audi for Jeff Westphal was ninth quickest, while Team Hardpoint’s Spencer Pumpelly was 10th.

The session was red-flagged with 28 minutes remaining after Jones crashed his Optima Batteries and VeriStor-sponsored BMW M4 GT4 in Turn 1.  After about a 15 minute break, IMSA officials decided to throw the checkered flag early.  IMSA released this update on Jones’ condition.

Generally, video is not made available of Michelin Pilot Challenge practice sessions, even to those in the Media Center.  However, teams do have access to a bank of cameras that they can view on their pit boxes.  Turner Motorsport saw this view on one of the available cameras and put it on their Instagram page.


No shot of Jones’ BMW, but it seems that Jones had a mechanical failure and flew off-course at Turn 1.  He went through the tire curtain, hit the barrier, went through the catchfence and out of the park.  On the other side of the wall is an access road and some sparsely populated trees.  The BimmerWorld Racing No. 82 has been withdrawn from the weekend.

In TCR, Vance was once again quickest in his Audi with a lap at 100.701 mph, good for 20th overall.  Vance’s lap was three-tenths of a second faster than Lewis in the Alfa Romeo, which made good use of the backstretch to make time.  Blackstock was third quickest, followed by Bryan Herta Autosport’s Gabby ChavesMark Wilkins was fifth fastest.


Qualifying for the Virginia Is For Racing Lovers Grand Prix is scheduled for 8:35 a.m. Sunday morning at VIR.  We’ll have a qualifying recap for you here at Frontstretch afterwards.  The race itself is scheduled to go green at 2:55 p.m. Sunday and will be streamed live on NBC Sports’ TrackPass service.

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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