Column By: MARTY CZEKALA / RPW – WATKINS GLEN, NY – Opening practice for the IMSA Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen took place Friday and the #60 Meyer Shank Acura was the quickest.
By a half second, Olivier Pla was the fastest in the DPi class with a 1:31.056. Mike Conway in the #31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac was second with a 1:31.647. Renger van der Zande in the #01 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac clocked 3rd with a 1:31.949.
In LMP2, the #11 of Tristan Nunez went quicktime with a 1:33.836 for WIN Autosport , by 4 hundredths over the #8 of John Farano scoring a 1:13.881. Scott Huffaker took 3rd for the #52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports with a 1:34.397.
The new LMP3 class gave Oliver Askew the shortest time around The Glen for the #36 Andretti Autosport with a 1:40.812. Jon Bennett clocked 2nd for #54 Core Autosport with a 1:40.895, while Felipe Fraga went 3rd for #74 Riley Motorsports with a 1:41.517.
In GTLM, it was a Corvette 1-2 as Nick Tandy in the #4 posted the fastest time of the GT classes with a 1:42.517, a tenth and a half faster than the #3 of Antonio Garcia. Jesse Krohn went 3rd for the #24 Rahal Letterman Lanigan BMW with a 1:42.852.
GTD saw the #14 AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus up top with Jack Hawksworth recording a 1:46.673. Patrick Long for Wright Motorsports in their #16 Porsche by around two tenths. Jaden Conwright was 3rd in the #42 NTE Sport Audi with a 1:47.085.
Two notable occurrences in practice, Kyle Tilley in the #18 LMP2 car went off course at turn 1 following contact with Simon Pagenaud’s #48 DPi Cadillac. The #79 WeatherTech Porsche with Matt Campbell behind the wheel went slow 17 minutes into the session with a right rear damper issue and puncture.
The 60-minute practice scheduled was extended an additional half hour for bronze-rated drivers due to threatening weather tomorrow.
Turner Motorsports #96 BMW GT3 car didn’t take many laps. Per their Twitter, they’re in transmission replacement mode. They were the slowest of the GTD category.
Two cars were no shows for the weekend, the #7 Forty7Motorsports and the #33 Sean Creech Motorsport. Both being in LMP3, has led to a seven-car field in the class.
Final practice for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship goes green at 8am tomorrow. Qualifying is set for 11:45am.