Mazda tops practice at its ‘own’ track

The Mazda Prototypes ran 1-2 in both of Friday’s practice sessions for Sunday’s Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

Mazda tops practice at its ‘own’ track
#68 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GTE: Alessandro Pier Guidi, Daniel Serra
#70 Mazda Motorsports Mazda Prototype: Joel Miller, Tom Long
#66 Ford Performance Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT: Joey Hand, Dirk Müller
#23 Team Seattle/Alex Job Racing Porsche GT3 R: Mario Farnbacher, Alex Riberas
#54 CORE autosport ORECA FLM09: Jon Bennett, Colin Braun

Hometown driver Jonathan Bomarito, who had predicted the Lola-originated chassis of the Mazda Prototype would be suited to the smooth surface of the 2.238-mile track on the Monterey peninsula, ran the quickest lap of the day in the afternoon session, running 1min18.139sec (103.109 mph) in the #55 Mazda Prototype co-driven by Tristan Nunez.

Earlier in the day, Joel Miller ran a lap of 1:18.564 (102.551 mph) in the #70 Mazda Prototype shared by Tom Long. Both laps unofficially bettered Johannes van Overbeek’s two-year-old track record of 1:18.651.

“It’s kind of storybook at the moment, and that’s a little frightening,” Bomarito said. “So far, so good, but it’s still early in the weekend.

“We’ve got another practice and qualifying tomorrow, and then the race on Sunday. Track conditions are going to keep changing, and it’s expected to get warmer. We’re just going to keep our heads down and stay focused.”

Scuderia Corsa led both GT Le Mans sessions. Alessandra Pier Guidi ran the fastest lap of the day, 1min22.975sec lap in the morning in the #68 Ferrari 488 GTE, while co-driver Daniel Serra led the afternoon hour. Scuderia Corsa’s closest pursuers were the Chip Ganassi Racing-run Fords of Joey Hand and Richard Westbrook.

Colin Braun paced PC with a lap of 1:19.673 (101.123 mph) in the CORE autosport Oreca, followed by Renger van der Zande of Starworks Motorsport. 

Alex Job Racing dominated GT Daytona with Mario Farnbacher fastest on a 1min25.390sec lap in the #23 Team Seattle Porsche 911 GT3 R, followed by teammate Leh Keen, 1:25.543 (94.184 mph) in the # 22 WeatherTech car. Next was Jorg Bergmeister in the defending race-winner Park Place Motorsports Porsche.

 

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