Sebring 12 Hours: Nasr tops first practice in AXR Cadillac

Ex-Formula 1 driver Felipe Nasr led the 38-car IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship field in opening practice for the Sebring 12 Hours, while Earl Bamber put Porsche on top in GT Le Mans.

Sebring 12 Hours: Nasr tops first practice in AXR Cadillac

In the 75-minute session there were two red flags for spins at Turn 5 – one by the PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports Oreca and the second by the #85 JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac.

Eventually Nasr’s time, set on the #31 AXR Cadillac DPi-V.R’s eighth of 17 laps, held up by 0.355sec over Dane Cameron’s best in the #6 Acura Team Penske ARX-05, which was less than one tenth quicker than Renger van der Zande was third in the Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac.

Nasr's fulltime partner for 2019 is Pipo Derani a two-time winner of Sebring, and that has added some impetus to the lineup which in the Michelin Endurance Cup rounds such as this includes Eric Curran, with whom Derani won the Prototype title in 2018.

Said Nasr: “Now that [Derani] is in the car with us, we need to make sure he wins this race as well, which will be my first time winning Sebring,” Nasr said.
“I really want to do it. I felt like we had an amazing car at Daytona and we started on the right foot here again. I’m really hoping we can get on that top step pretty soon.”


Romain Dumas slotted the CORE autosport Nissan into fourth ahead of Tristan Vautier’s JDC Caddy.

Gabriel Aubry’s top lap put PR1/Mathaiasen ahead of Performance Tech Motorsports in LMP2.

In GTLM, the Porsche 911 RSRs of Bamber and Patrick Pilet sandwiched the two Ford GTs of Richard Westbrook and Joey Hand, while Bamber wound up a full second quicker than the best of the Corvettes, and 1.8sec quicker than the second.

The Acura NSX of Meyer Shank Racing led GT Daytona, Mario Farnbacher 0.45sec faster than Pat Long in the Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.

Aaron Telitz (AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus), Rolf Ineichen (Grasser Lamborghini), Toni Vilander (Scuderia Corsa Ferrari) and Jeroen Bleekemolen (Riley Motorsports Mercedes) ensured six different manufacturers filling the top six slots.

Practice times:

Pos. No. Drivers Class Chassis Time Gap
1 31 Brazil Pipo Derani
United States Eric Curran
Brazil Felipe Nasr
DPi Cadillac DPi 1'46.996  
2 6 Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya
France Simon Pagenaud
United States Dane Cameron
DPi Acura DPi 1'47.351 0.355
3 10 United States Jordan Taylor
Netherlands Renger van der Zande
France Matthieu Vaxiviere
DPi Cadillac DPi 1'47.389 0.393
4 54 France Romain Dumas
United States Jon Bennett
United States Colin Braun
DPi Nissan DPi 1'47.806 0.810
5 85 Colombia Juan Piedrahita
Canada Mikhail Goikhberg
France Tristan Vautier
DPi Cadillac DPi 1'48.027 1.031
6 7 United States Alexander Rossi
Brazil Helio Castroneves
United States Ricky Taylor
DPi Acura DPi 1'48.186 1.190
7 5 New Zealand Brendon Hartley
Portugal Filipe Albuquerque
Portugal Joao Barbosa
DPi Cadillac DPi 1'48.270 1.274
8 84 Switzerland Simon Trummer
United States Chris Miller
South Africa Stephen Simpson
DPi Cadillac DPi 1'48.359 1.363
9 55 United Kingdom Harry Tincknell
France Olivier Pla
United States Jonathan Bomarito
DPi Mazda DPi 1'48.536 1.540
10 77 United Kingdom Oliver Jarvis
Germany Timo Bernhard
United States Tristan Nunez
DPi Mazda DPi 1'48.857 1.861
11 50 Austria Rene Binder
Will Owen
Agustin Canapino
DPi Cadillac DPi 1'50.002 3.006
12 52 United States Matt McMurry
Denmark Anders Fjordbach
France Gabriel Aubry
LMP2 ORECA LMP2 1'50.877 3.881
13 38 United States Kyle Masson
Canada Cameron Cassels
Andrew Evans
LMP2 ORECA LMP2 1'52.468 5.472
14 912 New Zealand Earl Bamber
Belgium Laurens Vanthoor
France Mathieu Jaminet
GTLM Porsche 911 RSR 1'56.983 9.987
15 67 Australia Ryan Briscoe
New Zealand Scott Dixon
United Kingdom Richard Westbrook
GTLM Ford GT 1'57.313 10.317
16 66 France Sébastien Bourdais
United States Joey Hand
Germany Dirk Muller
GTLM Ford GT 1'57.480 10.484
17 911 United Kingdom Nick Tandy
France Patrick Pilet
France Frédéric Makowiecki
GTLM Porsche 911 RSR 1'57.594 10.598
18 4 Switzerland Marcel Fassler
United Kingdom Oliver Gavin
United States Tommy Milner
GTLM Corvette C7.R 1'57.991 10.995
19 3 Denmark Jan Magnussen
Spain Antonio Garcia
Germany Mike Rockenfeller
GTLM Corvette C7.R 1'58.818 11.822
20 25 United States Connor de Phillippi
United Kingdom Tom Blomqvist
United States Colton Herta
GTLM BMW M8 GTE 1'58.838 11.842
21 24 United States John Edwards
Finland Jesse Krohn
Austria Philipp Eng
GTLM BMW M8 GTE 1'59.142 12.146
22 86 United States Justin Marks
Germany Mario Farnbacher
United States Trent Hindman
GTD Acura NSX GT3 2'00.793 13.797
23 73 United States Patrick Long
United States Patrick Lindsey
United States Nicholas Boulle
GTD Porsche 911 GT3 R 2'01.240 14.244
24 12 United States Townsend Bell
United States Frankie Montecalvo
United States Aaron Telitz
GTD Lexus RC F GT3 2'01.448 14.452
25 11 Switzerland Rolf Ineichen
Italy Mirko Bortolotti
Netherlands Rik Breukers
GTD Lamborghini Huracan GT3 2'01.521 14.525
26 63 Finland Toni Vilander
United States Cooper MacNeil
Jeff Westphal
GTD Ferrari 488 GT3 2'01.593 14.597
27 33 Netherlands Jeroen Bleekemolen
United States Ben Keating
Felipe Fraga
GTD Mercedes-AMG GT3 2'01.653 14.657
28 14 United Kingdom Jack Hawksworth
Switzerland Philipp Frommenwiler
Richard Heistand
GTD Lexus RC F GT3 2'01.700 14.704
29 57 United Kingdom Katherine Legge
Denmark Christina Nielsen
Brazil Ana Beatriz
GTD Acura NSX GT3 2'01.775 14.779
30 96 United States Bill Auberlen
United States Robby Foley
United States Dillon Machavern
GTD BMW M6 GT3 2'01.809 14.813
31 48 United States Corey Lewis
United States Bryan Sellers
United States Ryan Hardwick
GTD Lamborghini Huracan GT3 2'01.941 14.945
32 29 Canada Daniel Morad
Germany Christopher Mies
Switzerland Richard Feller
GTD Audi R8 LMS GT3 2'02.002 15.006
33 71 Germany Fabian Schiller
Germany Maximilian Buhk
JC Perez
GTD Mercedes-AMG GT3 2'02.194 15.198
34 9 Canada Scott Hargrove
Lars Kern
Canada Zacharie Robichon
GTD Porsche 911 GT3 R 2'02.267 15.271
35 8 United Kingdom Ryan Dalziel
United States Parker Chase
Argentina Ezequiel Perez Companc
GTD Audi R8 LMS GT3 2'02.667 15.671
36 47 United States Brandon Gdovic
United States Lawson Aschenbach
United States Don Yount
GTD Lamborghini Huracan GT3 2'02.899 15.903
37 19 United States Andrew Davis
United States Will Hardeman
Spain Alex Riberas
GTD Audi R8 LMS GT3 2'03.244 16.248
38 44 United States Andy Lally
United States Spencer Pumpelly
United States John Potter
GTD Lamborghini Huracan GT3    
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