Cadillac DPi-V.Rs dominated the early running in first practice for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s penultimate round of the 2022 season for the Prototype class.
Earl Bamber in the #02 Chip Ganassi Racing entry was the first driver into the 1min50s, clocking a 1min50.835sec ahead of Pipo Derani in the Action Express Racing car, and then Sebastien Bourdais in the #01 Ganassi machine.
With 50 of the 90min session remaining, Tom Blomqvist interrupted this Cadillac 1-2-3 by slotting the Meyer Shank Racing Acura ARX-05 into third, 0.22sec off top time before pitting.
An alarming off for High Class Racing’s Dennis Andersen saw the LMP2 Oreca flying off the track at Turn 11, requiring at least a new nose. That off brought out a red flag, but the flying of the green with 27mins remaining saw all DPi cars heading back out.
Seven minutes later, Ricky Taylor was into his stride – and found a relatively clear lap – to send the Wayne Taylor Racing Acura into second, 0.177sec behind Bamber’s benchmark and then moved convincingly to the top with a 1min50.539sec – almost three-tenths faster than the nearest opposition.
His time wouldn’t be eclipsed, so Bamber/Alex Lynn and Derani/Olivier Pla stayed second and third, ahead of the Meyer Shank Acura, the #01 Cadillac of Bourdais/Renger van der Zande. Tristan Vautier set the JDC Miller MotorSports Cadillac’s fastest time but was almost 1.5sec slower than Taylor.
In GTD Pro, the #14 Vasser Sullivan Racing Lexus RC F held fastest time with Ben Barnicoat at the wheel, a 2min06.971sec, but in teammate Jack Hawksworth’s hands the car ground to a halt on track at Turn 12 and needed rescuing with 40mins remaining.
Closest at that stage was Matt Campbell in the Pfaff Porsche 911 GT3 R, 0.15sec behind, just ahead of the leader in GTD’s pro-am class, local hero Aaron Telitz in the second Lexus that he shares with Frankie Montecalvo.
With 17mins to go, Robby Foley then outpaced all the GTD Pro and GTD runners in Turner Motorsports’ BMW M4 with a 2min06.920sec, with fastest times in Sector 2 – which is 73sec longer at GTD pace – and Sector 3.
Montecalvo wasn’t going to take that laying down, and sure enough he took the top spot by over a quarter of a second from Foley.
But he stayed at the top for barely a minute before Jaden Conwright’s NTE/SSR Lamborghini Huracan moved to P1, and then the similar Lambo of Carbahn Peregrine Racing driven by Robert Megennis shaded Conwright by a mere 0.071sec.
Connor De Phillippi in the works BMW M4 eventually shaded Foley’s best effort by 0.28sec to go fastest of the GTD Pro runners, while Antonio Garcia in the Corvette C8.R moved into third in class, behind Barnicoat’s earlier top time, and ahead of the Pfaff Porsche.
In LMP2, Ryan Dalziel was fastest for Era Motorsport ahead of Tristan Nunez, who has returned to PR1 Mathiasen Motorsport to replace Jonathan Bomarito in the #11 car.
Juan Pablo Montoya was third fastest for DragonSpeed ahead of Louis Deletraz in the Tower Motorsports car and the second PR1 Mathiasen entry of Josh Pierson.
Malthe Jakobsen’s Sean Creech Motorsport car topped LMP3 despite a couple of incidents, three tenths quicker than Riley Motorsports’ Felipe Fraga and Scott Andrews in the JDC Miller Motorsports machine.
Second practice begins at 3.15pm local (Central) time.
Full practice times to follow…