Team Penske representatives Dane Cameron and Helio Castroneves executed the fastest two laps of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s final pre-qualifying practice at Sebring International Raceway.
Fresh off the NTT IndyCar Series season opener in St. Petersburg, Simon Pagenaud and Alexander Rossi ended the one-hour, 25-minute session in the cockpit of the Nos. 6 and 7 Acura ARX-05s but didn’t lap quicker than their aforementioned co-drivers earlier on.
Cameron’s 1:46.643 became the new fastest lap of the weekend by 0.191 seconds as well as a new unofficial track record just half an hour before qualifying.
On the 10th of 27 laps for the No. 7 Acura DPi, Castroneves came within 0.033 seconds of Cameron’s chart-topping pace to land second over Filipe Albuquerque’s best effort in Action Express Racing’s No. 5 Cadillac DPi-V.R — the car’s best practice position of the event to this point.
Tristan Nunez and Jonathan Bomarito were fourth and fifth in the Nos. 77 and 55 Mazda Team Joest entries, respectively ahead of the bottom half of the DPi class filled almost entirely by the remaining Cadillac DPis.
Aubry Keeps PR1 Ahead
PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports remained the fastest LMP2 team of the weekend as Thursday turned to Friday at Sebring with Gabriel Aubry returning the No. 52 ORECA 07 to the top of the two-car category.
Kyle Masson, driving the similar ORECA-Gibson combination from Performance Tech Motorsports, was 2.569 seconds slower.
Pilet Overcomes Fords
The Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT pair ended yet another Sebring session placed second and third in GT Le Mans, this time outpaced by Patrick Pilet in the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR.
At 1:56.635, Pilet’s lap is the new GTLM mark to beat and put him 0.228 seconds clear of Richard Westbrook in the No. 67 Ford. Dirk Mueller was third in the No. 66.
The top six in the eight-car GTLM class lapped within a half-second while Laurens Vanthoor and Connor De Phillippi were 0.534 and 0.645 seconds back in the No. 912 Porsche and No. 25 BMW M8 GTE.
Legge Paces GTD
The all-female GT Daytona entry from Meyer Shank Racing was fastest of them all in Practice 4 on the strength of Katherine Legge’s 2:00.012 lap in the No. 57 Acura NSX GT3.
Also a new class best on the weekend, that lap is followed on the timesheet by the best revolutions from Mirko Bortolotti in the Grasser Racing Team’s Lamborghini Huracan GT3 and Trent Hindman in the second MSR Acura.
Bryan Sellers and Zacharie Robichon, driving for Paul Miller Racing and Pfaff Motorsports, completed the top five.
All four WeatherTech Championship classes will qualify from 9:55–11 a.m. EDT Friday. A brief warm-up outing is scheduled for Saturday morning before the 12-hour race goes green at 10:40 a.m.