Laguna Seca IMSA: Mazda leads but Cadillacs are closer

Oliver Jarvis’ Mazda RT24-P led opening practice for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship round at Laguna Seca, but recent Balance of Performance changes appear to have boosted the Cadillac DPi-V.Rs closer to the ultimate pace.

Laguna Seca IMSA: Mazda leads but Cadillacs are closer

Jarvis lapped the scenic 2.258-mile course in Monterey, CA, in 1min16.442sec, beating the Acura Team Penske ARX-05 of Juan Pablo Montoya by 0.153sec.

However, a similar gap behind the Acura was Filipe Albuquerque in the #5 Action Express Racing Cadillac, followed by the similar cars of Renger van der Zande (Wayne Taylor Racing), Pipo Derani (AXR), Tristan Vautier (JDC-Miller Motorsports) – all within half a second of the top time.

IMSA’s recent BoP changes have come after five races in which the Cadillacs haven’t looked a true match for the Mazdas and Acuras.

Helio Castroneves’ best effort in the second Acura left him around 0.4sec off teammate Montoya, but ahead of Colin Braun’s CORE autosport-run Nissan DPi, Simon Trummer (JDC-Miller Cadillac) and Jonathan Bomarito, who dropped a wheel off the track in the second Mazda and needed some minor repairs.

Richard Westbrook put the Ford GT on top in GT Le Mans, heading Tommy Milner’s Corvette C7.R by 0.3sec, with Jesse Krohn’s BMW M8 GTE a further tenth in arrears.

Jan Magnussen was fourth in the second Corvette ahead of Tom Blomqvist’s best in the second M8.

The big story was the two Porsche 911 RSRs, the GTLM class’s dominant cars this year, were over 1.5sec behind Westbrook’s best effort.

GT Daytona was led by Bryan Sellers in the Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3, but by mere hundredths ahead of Toni Vilander in the Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3.

Jeroen Bleekemolen wheeled the Riley Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3 to third spot ahead of Bill Auberlen’s Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 and Andy Lally in the Magnus Racing Lamborghini.

Second practice begins at 3.15pm local (Pacific) time.

Session results:

Cla Num Driver Class Chassis Time Gap
1 77 United Kingdom Oliver Jarvis
United States Tristan Nunez
DPi Mazda DPi 1'16.442
2 6 United States Dane Cameron
Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya
DPi Acura DPi 1'16.595 0.153
3 5 Portugal Joao Barbosa
Portugal Filipe Albuquerque
DPi Cadillac DPi 1'16.746 0.304
4 10 Netherlands Renger van der Zande
United States Jordan Taylor
DPi Cadillac DPi 1'16.807 0.365
5 31 Brazil Felipe Nasr
Brazil Pipo Derani
DPi Cadillac DPi 1'16.890 0.448
6 85 Canada Mikhail Goikhberg
France Tristan Vautier
DPi Cadillac DPi 1'16.908 0.466
7 7 United States Ricky Taylor
Brazil Helio Castroneves
DPi Acura DPi 1'17.000 0.558
8 54 United States Jon Bennett
United States Colin Braun
DPi Nissan DPi 1'17.222 0.780
9 84 Switzerland Simon Trummer
South Africa Stephen Simpson
DPi Cadillac DPi 1'17.534 1.092
10 55 United States Jonathan Bomarito
United Kingdom Harry Tincknell
DPi Mazda DPi 1'17.762 1.320
11 52 United States Matt McMurry
Canada Dalton Kellett
LMP2 ORECA LMP2 1'19.073 2.631
12 38 Canada Cameron Cassels
United States Kyle Masson
LMP2 ORECA LMP2 1'19.266 2.824
13 67 Australia Ryan Briscoe
United Kingdom Richard Westbrook
GTLM Ford GT 1'22.548 6.106
14 4 United Kingdom Oliver Gavin
United States Tommy Milner
GTLM Corvette C7.R 1'22.842 6.400
15 24 Finland Jesse Krohn
United States John Edwards
GTLM BMW M8 GTE 1'22.949 6.507
16 3 Denmark Jan Magnussen
Spain Antonio Garcia
GTLM Corvette C7.R 1'23.309 6.867
17 25 United States Connor de Phillippi
United Kingdom Tom Blomqvist
GTLM BMW M8 GTE 1'23.324 6.882
18 66 United States Joey Hand
Germany Dirk Muller
GTLM Ford GT 1'23.773 7.331
19 911 France Patrick Pilet
United Kingdom Nick Tandy
GTLM Porsche 911 RSR 1'24.361 7.919
20 912 New Zealand Earl Bamber
Belgium Laurens Vanthoor
GTLM Porsche 911 RSR 1'24.583 8.141
21 48 United States Bryan Sellers
United States Corey Lewis
GTD Lamborghini Huracan GT3 1'25.248 8.806
22 63 United States Cooper MacNeil
Finland Toni Vilander
GTD Ferrari 488 GT3 1'25.271 8.829
23 33 United States Ben Keating
Netherlands Jeroen Bleekemolen
GTD Mercedes-AMG GT3 1'25.721 9.279
24 96 United States Bill Auberlen
United States Robby Foley
GTD BMW M6 GT3 1'25.738 9.296
25 44 United States John Potter
United States Andy Lally
GTD Lamborghini Huracan GT3 1'25.894 9.452
26 76 United States Paul Holton
United States Matt Plumb
GTD McLaren 720S GT3 1'26.178 9.736
27 73 United States Patrick Lindsey
United States Patrick Long
GTD Porsche 911 GT3 R 1'26.205 9.763
28 14 United States Richard Heistand
United Kingdom Jack Hawksworth
GTD Lexus RC F GT3 1'26.308 9.866
29 12 United States Frankie Montecalvo
United States Townsend Bell
GTD Lexus RC F GT3 1'26.622 10.180
30 86 Germany Mario Farnbacher
United States Trent Hindman
GTD Acura NSX GT3 1'26.697 10.255
31 57 United Kingdom Katherine Legge
Denmark Christina Nielsen
GTD Acura NSX GT3 1'26.833 10.391
32 9 Canada Scott Hargrove
Canada Zacharie Robichon
GTD Porsche 911 GT3 R 1'27.112 10.670
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