Every year at Road Atlanta, there is a 90-minute that goes into the night so that teams can adjust for late race conditions. On Thursday night, Tequila Patron ESM’s Brendon Harltey turned in the fastest lap of the weekend to top the nighttime practice session.
Hartley’s lap of 72.017 seconds (126.970 mph) was three-tenths of a second faster than Action Express Racing’s Filipe Albuquerque. Visit Florida Racing’s Renger van der Zande was fastest of the Global LMP2 cars in third, nearly a half-second off of Hartley.
In Prototype Challenge, Patricio O’Ward was once against fastest for Performance Tech Motorsports. O’Ward’s best lap of 77.403 seconds (118.135 mph) was four-tenths of a second faster than Buddy Rice in BAR1 Motorsports’ No. 20.
GT Le Mans saw BMW Team RLL’s Alexander Sims top the chart with a lap of 77.818 seconds (117.505 mph), just a little more than three-tenths of a second slower than O’Ward. Sims was an eighth of a second faster than teammate Nicky Catsburg in the no-longer troublesome No. 24.
In GT Daytona, 3GT Racing’s Jack Hawksworth was quickest with a lap of 80.031 seconds (114.256 mph), fastest of the weekend for GTD. Hawksworth’s lap was two-tenths of a second faster than Connor de Phillippi in the Montaplast by Land-Motorsport Audi.
Porsche factory driver Michael Christensen was third fastest in the Alegra Motorsports Porsche, followed by Sage Karam in the No. 14 3GT Racing Lexus. Turner Motorsport’s Jens Klingmann was fifth fastest.
The nighttime was quite clean with no interruptions over the 90 minute time period. SunEnergy1 Racing’s Tristan Vautier did spin his Linkin Park-themed Mercedes at the chicane 34 minutes in, but continued without issue.
WeatherTech SportsCar Championship team have one more pre-qualifying practice session on Friday morning at 11:40. That session will last for one hour.
About the author
Phil Allaway has three primary roles at Frontstretch. He's the manager of the site's FREE e-mail newsletter that publishes Monday-Friday and occasionally on weekends. He keeps TV broadcasters honest with weekly editions of Couch Potato Tuesday and serves as the site's Sports Car racing editor.
Outside of Frontstretch, Phil is the press officer for Lebanon Valley Speedway in West Lebanon, N.Y. He covers all the action on the high-banked dirt track from regular DIRTcar Modified racing to occasional visits from touring series such as the Super DIRTcar Series.
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