Race Weekend Central

Matt Campbell Sweeps WeatherTech Laguna Seca Practices

Porsche Penske Motorsport’s Matt Campbell swept both IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice sessions at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Campbell’s lap at 115.722 mph Saturday (May 13) is the fastest lap of the weekend.

Practice No. 1

The first practice session on Friday saw Chip Ganassi Racing have a serious setback. Sebastien Bourdais went off-course at turn 6, went through the gravel trap and hit the barriers. That brought out a 15-minute red flag. Bourdais was ok, but the No. 01 Cadillac was done for the day.

The Acuras were fastest early in the session, but Porsche Penske Motorsport’s Matt Campbell came to life in the final 10 minutes. He took over the top spot on the timesheet with six minutes to go, then continued to improve.

On his final lap at speed, Campbell set a lap at 105.039 mph. That ended up being the fastest lap of the day.

Campbell’s lap was .316 seconds faster than Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian’s Colin Braun in the fastest Acura. Mathieu Jaminet was third in the second Penske Porsche, then Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport’s Ricky Taylor. Action Express Racing’s Pipo Derani was fifth.

JDC-Miller MotorSports spent the session feeling things out with their new Porsche 963. It was only in the second half of the session that they ran anything resembling competitive times. They ultimately ended up at the back of the GTP class, 17th overall.

In LMP2, Tower Motorsport’s Louis Deletraz was fastest with a lap at 103.429 mph, ninth overall. Deletraz’s lap was .542 seconds faster than Crowdstrike Racing with APR’s Ben Hanley. Era Motorsport’s Ryan Dalziel was third, followed by High Class Racing’s Ed Jones. Rick Ware Racing’s Eric Lux was fifth.

The session was a little bit difficult for TDS Racing as both cars ran into trouble. First, Francois Heriau had contact with The Heart of Racing’s Ross Gunn, resulting in Gunn spinning out. IMSA officials determined that Heriau was responsible, forcing the No. 35 driver to serve a drive-through penalty.

Later on, teammate Mikkel Jensen had mechanical issues on the No. 11. That resulted in a brief red flag late in the session.

In GTD, VasserSullivan’s Frankie Montecalvo was fastest of all GT drivers with a lap at 95.014 mph, 18th overall. His lap was .086 seconds faster than AO Racing’s Sebastian Priaulx in the return of “Rexy” after their crash in qualifying at Long Beach.

Winward Racing’s Russell Ward was third in his Mercedes, then the Acura of Gradient Racing’s Katherine Legge, who was quickest in class for much of the session. Turner Motorsport’s Bill Auberlen was fifth.

In GTD Pro, VasserSullivan’s Ben Barnicoat was fastest with a lap at 94.764 mph, fourth of the GT drivers. His lap was .371 seconds faster than Gunn. WeatherTech Racing’s Jules Gounon was third, then Pfaff Motorsports’ Klaus Bachler.

Things are close in the GT ranks. The top 16 drivers were within one second of Montecalvo’s best lap. Also, there was a rare three-way tie between Bachler, Inception Racing’s Frederic Schandorff and Wright Motorsports’ Trent Hindman.


Practice No. 2

Practice Saturday was no different for Porsche. Campbell was once again fastest overall. He went to the top of the chart 33 minutes into the session and held on to the end.

Campbell’s lap was .149 seconds faster than Derani. Braun was third fastest, then Jaminet and Ricky Taylor.

Jones was fastest in LMP2 with a lap at 103.607 mph, ninth overall. Jones’ lap was a half-second faster than Dalziel. Juan Pablo Montoya was third, then Deletraz and TDS Racing’s Giedo van der Garde.

In GTD, Forte Racing powered by USRaceTronics’ Loris Spinelli was fastest of all GT drivers in his Lamborghini with a lap at 95.773 mph, good for 18th overall. Spinelli was .195 seconds faster than Montecalvo. Kelly-Moss Road & Race’s Julien Andlauer was third in his Porsche, then Turner Motorsport’s Robby Foley. Kay van Berlo was fifth in the second Kelly-Moss Porsche.

GTD Pro saw The Heart of Racing’s Alex Riberas top the class with a lap at 95.590 mph, 19th overall and .161 seconds slower than Spinelli. Riberas was .164 seconds faster than Bachler, then WeatherTech Racing’s Daniel Juncadella and VasserSullivan’s Jack Hawksworth.

The session had two red flags. Early on, Inception Racing’s Brendan Iribe got stuck in the gravel in turn 6. Later on, Jaminet’s Porsche dropped some debris to cause a second stoppage 70 minutes in.


Qualifying is scheduled for 3:55 p.m. ET Saturday. The session will be streamed live on both IMSA.com and Peacock.

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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