Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Acura 1-2 in Final Mid-Ohio Practice


Acura’s domination of its home IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race has been extended to the third hourlong practice session of the weekend, which saw Dane Cameron and Helio Castroneves place Team Penske’s two Prototype entries atop the timesheet once again.

On the 17th of 32 total laps turned during the Saturday morning outing for the No. 6 Acura ARX-05, Cameron turned a 1:12.675, marking the fastest lap of the weekend leading into qualifying.

Castroneves was 0.088 seconds back in the No. 7 Acura DPi and, remarkably, was the only other driver who lapped within a second of Cameron’s pace.

Jonathan Bomarito laps Mid-Ohio in Mazda DPi
The fastest lap by a Mazda DPi on Friday was improved upon by 1.526 seconds by Jonathan Bomarito in Practice 3. | Photo: Jake Galstad / IMSA

At 1:13.767, Jonathan Bomarito reached the third slot on the results sheet in Mazda Team Joest’s No. 55 Mazda RT24-P, but was still 1.004 seconds back from the slower Acura.

Colin Braun and Oliver Jarvis were fourth and fifth in CORE autosport’s No. 54 ORECA 07 and the second Mazda DPi, placing an LMP2 car in fourth and both Mazdas in the top five.

Entering qualifying, Performance Tech Motorsports’ ORECA was 2.721 seconds off the pace as it brought up the rear of the Prototype division.

Bamber Well Ahead in No. 912 Porsche

While Penske’s pair of Acuras have taken turns topping Prototype, the same car set the fastest lap in each of the three one-hour practice sessions in GT Le Mans.

After opening the weekend atop the class with the fastest GTLM lap in Practice 1, Earl Bamber returned to the position having turned a 1:18.590 on his best revolution of the 2.258-mile road course in the No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR.

Remarkably, the second-fastest driver in the class, Antonio Garcia in Corvette Racing’s No. 3 car, was nearly four-tenths off Bamber’s leading time.

BMW Team RLL was represented in third with its No. 24 BMW M8 GTE as Jesse Krohn lapped within 0.521 seconds of Bamber. Nick Tandy and Ryan Briscoe comprised the remainder of the top five in the No. 911 Porsche and No. 67 Ford GT, respectively.

Ryan Briscoe lapping Mid-Ohio in Ganassi Ford GT at Mid-Ohio
Ryan Briscoe’s fastest lap of Mid-Ohio in the No. 67 Ford GT during Practice 3 came on the car’s 34th and final lap of the session. | Photo: Jake Galstad / IMSA

The second Corvette C7.R was eighth and last in the class in Practice 3, with Tommy Milner’s best lap being 0.976 seconds slower than Bamber in the class-leading Porsche.

Paul Miller Lamborghini Surfaces in GTD

One Lamborghini Huracan GT3 and two Lexus RC F GT3s found the top of the GT Daytona running order to begin Saturday’s action at Mid-Ohio.

Madison Snow was the fastest driver at 1:20.400 in Paul Miller Racing’s No. 48 Lamborghini, with Kyle Marcelli and Jack Hawksworth rounding out the top three in the Nos. 14 and 15 3GT Racing entries, 0.017 and 0.137 seconds behind Snow, respectively.

Both Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3s were fourth and fifth, with Alvaro Parente and Lawson Aschenbach setting the cars’ fastest laps.

The 12th and last-placed GTD car, Wright Motorsports’ No. 16 Porsche 911 GT3 R, was 1.175 seconds slower than the Lamborghini that paced the class.

Fifteen-minute qualifying sessions for each WeatherTech Championship class are all that remains for the series on Saturday at Mid-Ohio. GTD will take the track first beginning at 12:05 p.m. EDT.

Aaron Durant
Aaron Durant
Aaron Durant leads The Apex as its editor-in-chief. When not bringing his racing journalism vision to life at The Apex, Durant enjoys snowboarding, playing the drums, reading and trudging through an endless queue of podcasts.


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