Lime Rock IMSA: Ford leads GTLM, Lexus heads GTD in first practice

The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s NorthEast Grand Prix weekend opened with a Ford GT vs Porsche 911 battle brewing in GT Le Mans, as Lexus headed the GT Daytona field.

Lime Rock IMSA: Ford leads GTLM, Lexus heads GTD in first practice

The #66 Ford GT driven by Dirk Muller turned a 50.924sec lap of the super-fast seven-turn 1.5-mile Lime Rock Park to go a mere 0.097sec faster than Nick Tandy’s best in the #911 Porsche 911 RSR.

Both the Porsches suffered minor off course excursions at Big Bend in the course of the session, but Earl Bamber’s fastest time in the #912 was still good enough for fourth, around quarter second off top spot but less than a tenth slower than the second Ford of Ryan Briscoe.

Jesse Krohn and Connor De Phillippi set the best times in the BMW M8s, 0.36 and 0.56 respectively off Muller’s Ford, while the two Corvettes were almost 0.8sec slower.

In GTD, Kyle Marcelli put the 3GT Racing Lexus RC F on top, just a couple of hundredths ahead of Alvaro Parente’s #86 Acura NSX, which Meyer Shank Racing has confirmed will run for the remainder of the season, as Parente’s co-driver Katherine Legge is a prime title contender.

Andy Lally slotted Magnus Racing’s Audi R8 into third place, ahead of the Turner Motorsports BMW M6, this weekend driven by Bill Auberlen and Robby Foley.

Paul Miller Racing’s Lamborghini Huracan had a small fire on pitlane due to unburnt fuel catching light in the exhausts, but not before Bryan Sellers had set fifth fastest time, while Lawson Aschenbach wheeled the second MSR Acura to sixth.

Lime Rock, IMSA first practice 

Pos.#DriverClassChassisTimeGap
1 66 united_states  Joey Hand 
germany  Dirk Müller 
GTLM Ford GT 50.924  
2 911 united_kingdom  Nick Tandy 
france  Patrick Pilet 
GTLM Porsche 911 RSR 51.021 0.097
3 67 australia  Ryan Briscoe 
united_kingdom  Richard Westbrook 
GTLM Ford GT 51.080 0.156
4 912 new_zealand  Earl Bamber 
belgium  Laurens Vanthoor 
GTLM Porsche 911 RSR 51.166 0.242
5 24 united_states  John Edwards 
finland  Jesse Krohn 
GTLM BMW M8 GTE 51.286 0.362
6 25 united_states  Connor de Phillippi 
united_kingdom  Alexander Sims 
GTLM BMW M8 GTE 51.490 0.566
7 3 denmark  Jan Magnussen 
spain  Antonio Garcia 
GTLM Corvette C7.R 51.708 0.784
8 4 united_kingdom  Oliver Gavin 
united_states  Tommy Milner 
GTLM Corvette C7.R 51.723 0.799
9 14 canada  Kyle Marcelli 
austria  Dominik Baumann 
GTD Lexus RC F GT3 52.303 1.379
10 86 portugal  Alvaro Parente 
united_kingdom  Katherine Legge 
GTD Acura NSX GT3 52.308 1.384
11 44 united_states  Andy Lally 
united_states  John Potter 
GTD Audi R8 LMS GT3 52.338 1.414
12 96 united_states  Bill Auberlen 
united_states  Robby Foley 
GTD BMW M6 GT3 52.506 1.582
13 48 united_states  Bryan Sellers 
united_states  Madison Snow 
GTD Lamborghini Huracan GT3 52.509 1.585
14 93 united_states  Justin Marks 
united_states  Lawson Aschenbach
GTD Acura NSX GT3 52.511 1.587
15 63 united_states  Cooper MacNeil 
united_states  Gunnar Jeannette 
GTD Ferrari 488 GT3 52.567 1.643
16 58 united_states  Patrick Long 
denmark  Christina Nielsen 
GTD Porsche 911 GT3 R 52.569 1.645
17 33 netherlands  Jeroen Bleekemolen
united_states  Ben Keating 
GTD Mercedes-AMG GT3 52.592 1.668
18 15 united_kingdom  Jack Hawksworth 
germany  Mario Farnbacher 
GTD Lexus RC F GT3 52.633 1.709
shares
comments
Jan Magnussen: Right in the mix of a fierce title battle

Previous article

Jan Magnussen: Right in the mix of a fierce title battle

Next article

Lime Rock IMSA: Corvette and Audi lead second practice

Lime Rock IMSA: Corvette and Audi lead second practice
Load comments
Why a Mazda IMSA Prototype title would bring bitter joy Prime

Why a Mazda IMSA Prototype title would bring bitter joy

Can Mazda win this year’s IMSA Prototype championship? Undoubtedly. But it will be the culmination of an achingly hard struggle, after which the brand has decided to quit. David Malsher-Lopez tells the story of a bizarre blend of heartache and positivity.

IMSA
Apr 6, 2021
The GTE dilemma that IMSA has created for the WEC Prime

The GTE dilemma that IMSA has created for the WEC

The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s decision to scrap its GT Le Mans class for 2022 raises the question of whether the FIA World Endurance Championship should phase out GTE cars. But it's a much harder decision than it appears on the surface.

WEC
Feb 3, 2021
Nine things to watch at the 2021 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona Prime

Nine things to watch at the 2021 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona

After a 100-minute sprint race to whet the appetite, the 2021 IMSA SportsCar Championship gets underway properly this weekend. With plenty of significant changes during the winter, here are the key points you need to keep an eye on

IMSA
Jan 29, 2021
Why Magnussen is relishing a fresh start in sportscars Prime

Why Magnussen is relishing a fresh start in sportscars

Having gone over seven years without a race win through spells with McLaren, Renault and Haas, Kevin Magnussen's departure from Formula 1 for IMSA with big-hitters Chip Ganassi Racing could give him what he craves most - a chance of success

IMSA
Jan 29, 2021
Oliver Gavin's Corvette Racing highlights Prime

Oliver Gavin's Corvette Racing highlights

Oliver Gavin has stepped down from the full-time Corvette Racing line-up after a stellar career with the team spanning nearly 20 years. He looks back on a stint that encompassed, among other successes, five Le Mans 24 Hours victories.

Le Mans
Jan 28, 2021
How Tandy joined an exclusive club of endurance legends Prime

How Tandy joined an exclusive club of endurance legends

Victory at last year's Spa 24 Hours meant Nick Tandy had completed the unofficial sextuple crown of the world's six biggest endurance races, becoming the first Briton to do so. Ahead of his fresh start with Corvette Racing, he explains how he did it…

Le Mans
Jan 24, 2021
The 12 greatest Sebring 12 Hours ranked Prime

The 12 greatest Sebring 12 Hours ranked

The 2020 edition of the Florida sportscar classic is finally taking place this weekend, eight months after its traditional date in March. That meant there was plenty of time for Motorsport.com to pour over its previous 67 races and select the best.

IMSA
Nov 11, 2020
Tony Kanaan’s top 10 races – in his own words Prime

Tony Kanaan’s top 10 races – in his own words

The 2004 IndyCar champion and 2013 Indy 500 winner Tony Kanaan probably hasn’t yet driven his final IndyCar race, but we still asked him for the 10 most significant races of his career. He explained his choices to David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Sep 7, 2020