CORE autosport’s Romain Dumas, fresh off of setting the all-time record in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb last weekend, was fastest overall in IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice Friday (June 29) at Watkins Glen. Dumas’ best lap, turned in during the final minutes of Practice No. 2, was at an average speed of 130.936 mph.
Practice No. 1
In the morning session, it was Acura Team Penske that led the way. Dane Cameron topped the chart with a lap at 130.822 mph in his Acura ARX-05. Cameron was nine-tenths of a second faster than Wayne Taylor Racing’s Jordan Taylor in the best of the Cadillacs. Dumas was third quickest despite teammate Colin Braun spinning the car earlier in the session to draw a red flag. Tequila Patron ESM’s Ryan Dalziel was fourth quickest, while Spirit of Daytona Racing’s Tristan Vautier was fifth.
In GT Le Mans, Ford Chip Ganassi Racing IMSA’s Richard Westbrook was quickest with a lap at 118.589 mph. That lap was two-tenths of a second faster than teammate Dirk Müller in the No. 66 Ford. Porsche GT Team’s Nick Tandy was third fastest, followed by the Chevrolet Corvette C7.R of Antonio Garcia. Oliver Gavin in the No. 4 Corvette was fifth.
GT Daytona saw 3GT Racing’s Jack Hawksworth continued to show why he is one of the fastest drivers in the GT Daytona class. Hawksworth topped the session with a lap of 116.082 mph. That lap was one-sixth of a second faster than Scuderia Corsa’s Jeff Segal. Squadra Corse Garage Italia’s Daniel Serra was third in his Ferrari, followed by Kyle Marcelli in the second 3GT Racing Lexus. Turner Motorsport’s Markus Palttala was fifth.
Practice No. 2
In the afternoon session, Dumas was quickest for most of the session before being overtaken. With 10 minutes remaining in the session, Dumas turned the fastest lap of the entire day (noted above) to lead the session.
Dumas’ time was two-sevenths of a second faster than Renger van der Zande in the Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R. Acura Team Penske’s Juan Pablo Montoya was third, followed by the Ligier JS P217-Gibson of United Autosports’ Bruno Senna. Ricky Taylor was fifth in the No. 7 Acura for Acura Team Penske.
GT Le Mans saw Westbrook once again led the way in the No. 67 Ford. This time, he went even quicker, turning in a lap at 118.966 mph. That lap was two-tenths of a second faster than Müller and three-tenths faster than Laurens Vanthoor in the No. 912 Porsche. Tandy was fourth quickest, while Corvette Racing’s Jan Magnussen was fifth.
GT Daytona saw Montaplast by Land-Motorsport’s Sheldon van der Linde fastest in his No. 29 Audi with a lap at 116.360 mph, the fastest GTD lap of the day for the 19-year old. The session was not necessarily all smiles for the young South African. Late in the session, van der Linde ran out of fuel on-course and was forced to pull off. That is unlikely to hurt van der Linde’s Audi, but still quite annoying.
Van der Linde’s lap was a quarter of a second faster than Marcelli in the No. 14 Lexus. Serra and Segal put their Ferraris third and fourth in class, while Meyer Shank Racing’s Lawson Aschenbach was fifth fastest in his Acura.
WeatherTech SportsCar Championship teams have one more regular practice session on the schedule. It is set to begin bright and early at 8 a.m. Saturday morning.