Sebring 12h: JDC-Miller Oreca tops first practice

Stephen Simpson nailed fastest time in this morning’s opening practice for the 2017 Sebring 12 Hours, lapping the 3.74-mile course just 0.041sec than the fastest of the Cadillacs.

Sebring 12h: JDC-Miller Oreca tops first practice
#70 Mazda Motorsports Mazda Prototype: Joel Miller, Tom Long, Marino Franchitti
#67 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT: Ryan Briscoe, Richard Westbrook, Scott Dixon
#31 Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi: Eric Curran, Dane Cameron, Mike Conway
#912 Porsche Team North America Porsche 911 RSR: Kevin Estre, Laurens Vanthoor, Richard Lietz
#5 Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi: Joao Barbosa, Christian Fittipaldi, Filipe Albuquerque
#31 Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi: Eric Curran, Dane Cameron, Mike Conway
#62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE: Toni Vilander, James Calado, Juan Pablo Montoya
#3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R: Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen, Mike Rockenfeller

Joel Miller in the Mazda DPi-RT24P set fastest time on his fifth lap before ducking into the pits with his brakes on fire, before teammate Jonathan Bomarito went to P1 with a 1min50.417sec lap to make a Mazda 1-2.

This situation lasted only briefly before Jose Gutierrez in the #52 Ligier of PR1/Mathiasen Motorsport split the Mazdas with a time just 0.003sec slower than Bomarito’s best, then improved upon it.

However, Christian Fittipaldi then clocked a 1min50.027 lap on his 10th tour of the track in the #5 Action Express Cadillac DPi-V.R, but Stephen Simpson took P1 nudged the bar still higher in the JDC-Miller Motorsports ORECA, clipping 0.041sec from Fittipaldi’s best. Right after, a red flag flew for Robert Alon stranded out on circuit in one of the 3GT Racing Lexus RC Fs from the GT Daytona category.

A late surge from Mike Conway put the #31 Action Express Cadillac in third, just 0.092sec off the sister Cadillac, bumping Gutierrez down to fourth, and Bomarito and Miller down to fifth and sixth in the Mazdas.

Alex Lynn was seventh, 1.5sec off the top spot, in his first official practice session with the Rolex 24-winning Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac, with Renger Van der Zande eighth in the Visit Florida Racing Multimatic Riley XXX and Neel Jani ninth in Rebellion Racing’s Oreca.

In GT Le Mans, the three Ford GTs of Ryan Briscoe, Joey Hand and Billy Johnson ran 1-2-3 in the first half of the one-hour session, but although Scott Dixon and Stefan Mucke would improve the times of the #67 and #68 cars respectively, they couldn’t prevent Frederic Makowiecki narrowly edging top spot in the Porsche 911 RSR with a 1min57.109sec lap. Dixon held onto second, 0.15sec faster than Hand’s #66 Ford, with fourth going to the second Porsche, piloted by Laurens Vanthoor. Mucke wound up fifth for Ford, while Toni Vilander’s best in the Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 was sixth but a full second away from top spot. Next up were the two Corvette C7.Rs of Antonio Garcia and Tommy Milner.

In GT Daytona, Bryan Sellers produced his customarily excellent job to put the Change Racing Lamborghini Huracan top… albeit by less than 0.01sec! Second fastest was Lawson Aschenbach in the Stevenson Motorsports Audi R8 LMS, ahead of the similar car of Land-Motorsport, driven by Connor De Phillippi.

Despite its earlier stoppage the handsome #15 Lexus, piloted by ex-IndyCar driver Jack Hawksworth, was fourth fastest, with Jens Klingmann fifth in the Turner Motorsports #96 BMW M6, and Jeroen Bleekemolen sixth in Riley Motorsports’ Mercedes AMG GT3.

Prototype Challenge was led by rising Mazda Road To Indy ace, Pato O’Ward, wheeling the Performance Tech Motorsports machine to a 1min55.172sec lap, 2.6sec quicker than Chapman Ducote in the BAR1 Motorsports entry.

shares
comments
Cadillac "can finally get the job done" for WTR at Sebring

Previous article

Cadillac "can finally get the job done" for WTR at Sebring

Next article

Sebring 12h: Cadillac 1-2-3 in second practice

Sebring 12h: Cadillac 1-2-3 in 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