Long Beach IMSA: Nasr beats the Acuras in first practice

Action Express Racing Cadillac driver Felipe Nasr set the pace in opening practice for this weekend's Long Beach IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship round, narrowly edging both Team Penske-run Acuras.

Long Beach IMSA: Nasr beats the Acuras in first practice

Nasr, who is skipping this weekend's Rome Formula E round to race at Long Beach, set his best lap of 1m12.794s with just seven minutes to run in the two-hour session, establishing a new unofficial IMSA track record around the 1.968-mile street course in the process.

The Brazilian driver had been at the head of the times when the first of two stoppages was caused by Misha Goikhberg's JDC-Miller Cadillac DPi.V-R hitting the wall at Turn 4, after 50 minutes of running.

Almost as soon as the session had resumed, the sister JDC-Miller Caddy of Simon Trummer went off at Turn 1, bringing the red flags out again, and action resumed with just under 50 minutes remaining.

Dane Cameron moved the #6 Acura ARX-05 to the top of the times shortly afterwards, becoming the first driver to dip into the 1m12s, before Nasr's teammate in the Sebring 12 Hours-winning #31 Cadillac, Pipo Derani, and then the #7 Acura of Ricky Taylor enjoyed spells out front.

Joao Barbosa briefly put the #5 AXR Cadillac ahead with just over 20 minutes to go, before Taylor and Cameron's teammate Juan Pablo Montoya temporarily made it an Acura 1-2 with a pair of fast laps.

After Nasr's last-ditch flyer, Taylor was left 0.141s off the pace in second in the car he shares with Helio Castroneves, with Montoya and Cameron a further 0.034s behind.

Barbosa had to be content with fourth, ahead of Colin Braun in the CORE autosport Nissan DPi and Jonathan Bomarito in the best of the Mazda RT-24Ps.

Seventh-fastest was the Rolex 24 winning-Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac shared by Renger van der Zande and Jordan Taylor, who is recovering from an emergency appendectomy.

Taylor completed just an installation lap at the start of the session but took the wheel for the final 15 minutes or so, working down to a best time of 1m12.973s - 0.579s off the pace of Nasr.

Kamui Kobayashi, who raced alongside van der Zande and Taylor - as well as Fernando Alonso - in Daytona, is in Long Beach on standby in case Taylor is unable to race.

#911 Porsche GT Team, Porsche 911 RSR: Nick Tandy, Patrick Pilet

#911 Porsche GT Team, Porsche 911 RSR: Nick Tandy, Patrick Pilet

Photo by: Porsche

Porsche leads GTLM

Porsche led the way in the GT Le Mans division, with Nick Tandy leaving it late to post a best time of 1m17.758s in the #911 911 RSR - deposing Earl Bamber's sister car by 0.244s.

Oliver Gavin put the best of the Corvette C7.Rs in third, a further three tenths back, closely followed by Jesse Krohn in the leading BMW M8 GTE and the second Corvette of Antonio Garcia.

The two Chip Ganassi Racing-run Ford GTs were sixth and seventh-fastest, ahead of the second BMW, which brought up the rear of the 19-car field.

Practice times:

Pos. No. Drivers Class Chassis Time Gap
1 31 Brazil Pipo Derani 
Brazil Felipe Nasr 
DPi Cadillac DPi 1'12.394  
2 7 Brazil Helio Castroneves 
United States Ricky Taylor 
DPi Acura DPi 1'12.535 0.141
3 6 Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya 
United States Dane Cameron 
DPi Acura DPi 1'12.569 0.175
4 5 Portugal Filipe Albuquerque 
Portugal Joao Barbosa 
DPi Cadillac DPi 1'12.583 0.189
5 54 United States Jon Bennett 
United States Colin Braun 
DPi Nissan DPi 1'12.755 0.361
6 55 United Kingdom Harry Tincknell 
United States Jonathan Bomarito 
DPi Mazda DPi 1'12.861 0.467
7 10 United States Jordan Taylor 
Netherlands Renger van der Zande 
DPi Cadillac DPi 1'12.973 0.579
8 77 United Kingdom Oliver Jarvis 
United States Tristan Nunez 
DPi Mazda DPi 1'13.101 0.707
9 85 Canada Mikhail Goikhberg 
France Tristan Vautier 
DPi Cadillac DPi 1'13.338 0.944
10 84 Switzerland Simon Trummer 
South Africa Stephen Simpson 
DPi Cadillac DPi 1'13.339 0.945
11 50 United States Kyle Kaiser 
United States Will Owen 
DPi Cadillac DPi 1'13.399 1.005
12 911 United Kingdom Nick Tandy 
France Patrick Pilet 
GTLM Porsche 911 RSR 1'17.549 5.155
13 912 New Zealand Earl Bamber 
Belgium Laurens Vanthoor 
GTLM Porsche 911 RSR 1'17.793 5.399
14 4 United Kingdom Oliver Gavin 
United States Tommy Milner 
GTLM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R 1'18.091 5.697
15 24 United States John Edwards 
Finland Jesse Krohn 
GTLM BMW M8 GTE 1'18.124 5.730
16 3 Denmark Jan Magnussen 
Spain Antonio Garcia 
GTLM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R 1'18.324 5.930
17 67 Australia Ryan Briscoe 
United Kingdom Richard Westbrook 
GTLM Ford GT 1'18.433 6.039
18 66 France Sébastien Bourdais 
Germany Dirk Muller 
GTLM Ford GT 1'18.555 6.161
19 25 United States Connor de Phillippi 
United Kingdom Tom Blomqvist 
GTLM BMW M8 GTE 1'18.685 6.291
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Series IMSA
Event Long Beach
Author Jamie Klein
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