Petit Le Mans: AXR Cadillac leads opening practice

Reigning IMSA Prototype champion Felipe Nasr set a strong pace in the first practice session for this weekend’s 2019 WeatherTech Sports Car Championship finale at Road Atlanta, while Ford led the way in GT Le Mans, and the Turner Motorsport BMW topped GTD.

Petit Le Mans: AXR Cadillac leads opening practice

Nasr’s Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R lapped the 2.54-mile course in just 69.093sec to eclipse the two Acura Team Penske ARX-05s of Ricky Taylor and Dane Cameron by 0.642 and 0.880sec respectively.

Colin Braun, on CORE autosport’s final run in Prototypes clocked fourth fastest in the Nissan DPi, and Matthieu Vaxiviere sent the Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac around fast enough to beat the two Mazda RT24-Ps.

Richard Westbrook led GT Le Mans in the  #67 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT ahead of the squad’s final race running the sexy four-year-old machines, but being less than two tenths slower wasn’t enough to bag second for teammate Dirk Muller. Risi Competizione roared back to the series – for the first time since January’s Rolex 24 at Daytona – in fine form, and James Calado bagged second spot for the Texas-based squad.

Nick Tandy (Porsche), John Edwards (BMW) and Antonio Garcia (Corvette) were all within three-tenths of top spot.

The session was red-flagged twice for GT Daytona cars – once when Jack Hawksworth picked up a puncture just after passing pitlane entrance, and elected to stop his AIM Vasser-Sullivan Lexus RC F on track rather than complete a whole lap with a flailing tire carcass. The second red came late on when Marco Seefried struck a tire wall in the Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracan.

Both those two cars ended up in the top three times – PMR’s best being set by Bryan Sellers – but it was Bill Auberlen who clinched top spot in the Turner Motorsports  BMW M6.

Christopher Mies’ Land Motorsport Audi R8 was fourth ahead of Jeroen Bleekemolen’s best effort in the Riley Motorsports Mercedes AMG GT3 and Toni Vilander in the Scuderia Corsa Ferrari.

Second practice begins at 2.50pm local (Eastern) time.

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Session results:

Cla Num Driver Class Chassis Time Gap
1 31 Brazil Felipe Nasr
United States Eric Curran
Brazil Pipo Derani
DPi Cadillac DPi 1'09.093
2 7 United States Ricky Taylor
Brazil Helio Castroneves
United States Graham Rahal
DPi Acura DPi 1'09.735 0.642
3 6 United States Dane Cameron
Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya
France Simon Pagenaud
DPi Acura DPi 1'09.973 0.880
4 54 United States Jon Bennett
United States Colin Braun
France Romain Dumas
DPi Nissan DPi 1'10.022 0.929
5 10 Netherlands Renger van der Zande
United States Jordan Taylor
France Matthieu Vaxiviere
DPi Cadillac DPi 1'10.147 1.054
6 77 United Kingdom Oliver Jarvis
United States Tristan Nunez
Germany Timo Bernhard
DPi Mazda DPi 1'10.169 1.076
7 55 United States Jonathan Bomarito
United Kingdom Harry Tincknell
France Olivier Pla
DPi Mazda DPi 1'10.356 1.263
8 85 Canada Mikhail Goikhberg
France Tristan Vautier
Colombia Juan Piedrahita
DPi Cadillac DPi 1'10.774 1.681
9 84 Switzerland Simon Trummer
South Africa Stephen Simpson
United States Chris Miller
DPi Cadillac DPi 1'10.928 1.835
10 50 United States Will Owen
Austria Rene Binder
United States Spencer Pigot
DPi Cadillac DPi 1'11.200 2.107
11 52 United States Matt McMurry
France Gabriel Aubry
Canada Dalton Kellett
LMP2 ORECA LMP2 1'11.233 2.140
12 38 Canada Cameron Cassels
United States Kyle Masson
Andrew Evans
LMP2 ORECA LMP2 1'11.381 2.288
13 67 Australia Ryan Briscoe
United Kingdom Richard Westbrook
New Zealand Scott Dixon
GTLM Ford GT 1'16.810 7.717
14 62 United Kingdom James Calado
Italy Alessandro Pier Guidi
Brazil Daniel Serra
GTLM Ferrari 488 GTE 1'16.902 7.809
15 66 United States Joey Hand
Germany Dirk Muller
France Sébastien Bourdais
GTLM Ford GT 1'16.982 7.889
16 911 France Patrick Pilet
United Kingdom Nick Tandy
France Frédéric Makowiecki
GTLM Porsche 911 RSR 1'16.992 7.899
17 24 Finland Jesse Krohn
United States John Edwards
Austria Philipp Eng
GTLM BMW M8 GTE 1'17.031 7.938
18 3 Denmark Jan Magnussen
Spain Antonio Garcia
Germany Mike Rockenfeller
GTLM Corvette C7.R 1'17.080 7.987
19 25 United Kingdom Tom Blomqvist
United States Connor de Phillippi
United States Colton Herta
GTLM BMW M8 GTE 1'17.205 8.112
20 4 United Kingdom Oliver Gavin
United States Tommy Milner
Switzerland Marcel Fassler
GTLM Corvette C7.R 1'17.361 8.268
21 912 New Zealand Earl Bamber
Belgium Laurens Vanthoor
France Mathieu Jaminet
GTLM Porsche 911 RSR 1'17.516 8.423
22 96 United States Bill Auberlen
United States Robby Foley
United States Dillon Machavern
GTD BMW M6 GT3 1'19.306 10.213
23 14 United States Richard Heistand
United Kingdom Jack Hawksworth
United States Parker Chase
GTD Lexus RC F GT3 1'19.596 10.503
24 48 United States Bryan Sellers
United States Corey Lewis
Germany Marco Seefried
GTD Lamborghini Huracan GT3 1'19.670 10.577
25 29 Germany Christopher Mies
Switzerland Richard Feller
Canada Daniel Morad
GTD Audi R8 LMS GT3 1'19.727 10.634
26 33 United States Ben Keating
Netherlands Jeroen Bleekemolen
Brazil Felipe Fraga
GTD Mercedes-AMG GT3 1'19.764 10.671
27 63 United States Cooper MacNeil
Finland Toni Vilander
Jeff Westphal
GTD Ferrari 488 GT3 1'19.776 10.683
28 44 United States John Potter
United States Andy Lally
United States Spencer Pumpelly
GTD Lamborghini Huracan GT3 1'20.023 10.930
29 86 Germany Mario Farnbacher
United States Trent Hindman
United States Justin Marks
GTD Acura NSX GT3 1'20.070 10.977
30 47 United States Brandon Gdovic
United States Don Yount
Japan Shinya Michimi
GTD Lamborghini Huracan GT3 1'20.198 11.105
31 12 United States Frankie Montecalvo
United States Townsend Bell
United States Aaron Telitz
GTD Lexus RC F GT3 1'20.487 11.394
32 9 Canada Scott Hargrove
Canada Zacharie Robichon
Germany Lars Kern
GTD Porsche 911 GT3 R 1'20.696 11.603
33 57 United Kingdom Katherine Legge
Brazil Ana Beatriz
Denmark Christina Nielsen
GTD Acura NSX GT3 1'21.412 12.319
34 5 Portugal Joao Barbosa
United Kingdom Mike Conway
Portugal Filipe Albuquerque
DPi Cadillac DPi 1'22.468 13.375
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