Ricky Taylor has set the fastest time in opening practice for the IMSA SportsCar Weekend at Road America in a session that was halted twice.
Taylor surpassed team-mate Dane Cameron in the closing minutes of the session, setting a 01:50:654 to go 0.275s quicker than his Acura Team Penske stablemate. Team Penske returned to the track for the first time since the team announced that their DPi partnership at Acura will not be extended after 2020.
Renger van der Zande was third fastest in the #10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-VR, 0.285s off the fastest time but three-hundredths clear of the #31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-VR of Felipe Nasr.
The two Mazdas were fifth and sixth, with the #55 of Jonathan Bomarito ahead of the #77 of Oliver Jarvis. The two JDC-Miller Cadillacs brought up the rear.
Two red flags
The session at Road America was halted twice. The first stoppage was caused by the #25 BMW M8 GTE of Connor de Phillippi, who came to a halt on track at turn 5.
The session was resumed soon thereafter, but five minutes later, a second red flag followed, this time caused by the #38 Performance Tech Motorsports ORECA 07-Gibson, which had an off at turn 5 in the hands of Cameron Cassels.
The #38 ORECA would end up slowest in the LMP2 category. Simon Trummer set the quickest time upon his return to the cockpit of the #52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA, ahead of the #81 Dragonspeed ORECA 07-Gibson of Henrik Hedman. Kyle Tilley was third in the #18 Era Motorsport car.
Porsche sweeps GTLM
Porsche looked to rebound after a disappointing outing in the Cadillac Grand Prix of Sebring and got its weekend underway in the best way possible with a one-two in GTLM.
Fred Makowiecki led the way in the #911 Porsche 911 RSR-19 with a 02:01:492, nine-hundredths quicker than team-mate Laurens Vanthoor in the #912 Porsche.
BMW has received a BoP break for Road America, but Jesse Krohn’s best effort in the #24 BMW M8 GTE was still a second off Makowiecki’s time, but quick enough to go third fastest.
Tommy Milner was fourth in the #4 Corvette C8.R, with the #3 Corvette fifth fastest in the hands of Antonio Garcia.
Connor de Phillippi was only able to complete seven laps in the #25 BMW M8 GTE and was several seconds off the pace.
Bill Auberlen was quickest in GTD on board the #96 Turner Motorsports BMW M6 GT3, posting a 02:06:822 to go eight-tenths quicker than the #16 Wright Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 R of Patrick Long.
Lawson Aschenbach was third-fastest in the #74 Mercedes-AMG GT3, with the top five completed by the Compass Racing McLaren of Paul Holton and Townsend Bell’s AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3.