Saturday, July 20, 2019

Nasr Opens Sebring Weekend on Top


Action Express Racing began the second IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship event of 2019 as the fastest team as its No. 31 Cadillac DPi-V.R set the mark to beat — and, unofficially, a new track record — in the first practice at Sebring International Raceway.

Sharing the car with his full-season co-pilot Pipo Derani plus endurance driver Eric Curran, Felipe Nasr turned in a 1:46.996 lap to gap Dane Cameron by 0.355 seconds in the DPi class’ first official session at the bumpy Floridian road course.

Cameron, driving the No. 6 Acura ARX-05 for Team Penske, was 0.038 seconds quicker than Renger van der Zande on their respective fastest laps of the session, which lasted for one hour and 15 minutes.

Colin Braun and Tristan Vautier added CORE autosport’s Nissan Onroak DPi and the No. 85 JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac DPi to the top five, which was split by just over one second.

Both Mazda Team Joest entries were mired to the bottom of the DPi running order, 1.540 and 1.861 seconds off Nasr’s chart-topping pace. Only Juncos Racing’s Cadillac was slower at 3.006 seconds back.

PR1 Mathiasen Ahead in LMP2

The two-car LMP2 class was divided by 1.591 seconds as preparations began for Saturday’s 12-hour race, with the advantage going the way of PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports’ ORECA 07.

Gabriel Aubry led the way in the class with a lap 3.881 seconds within the quickest DPi machine. Kyle Masson and the No. 38 ORECA from Performance Tech Motorsports were second.

Fords Set Sights on Porsche

Both Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GTs landed in the top three in GT Le Mans, but Laurens Vanthoor led the way in the No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR by a margin of 0.330 seconds.

After Vanthoor and Ganassi’s Richard Westbrook and Joey Hand, Patrick Pilet was fourth while Tommy Milner completed the top five in the quickest of the two Corvette Racing entries.

Though not far off the pace of the Corvette C7.Rs that placed fifth and sixth, both BMW M8 GTEs filled the final two positions in the eight-car category.

Shank Leads Tight GTD Session

Mario Farnbacher was nearly half a second quicker than the remainder of the GT Daytona field in an otherwise highly competitive first outing of the weekend for the class.

Driving Meyer Shank Racing’s No. 86 Acura NSX GT3, Farnbacher gapped Patrick Long in the Porsche 911 GT3 R of Park Place Motorsports. No manufacturer appeared twice in the top six positions as the quickest Acura, Porsche, Lexus, Lamborghini, Ferrari and Mercedes-AMG cars surfaced atop the 17-car class.

Interrupted by two red-flag periods, Practice 1 will be followed by a one-hour session from 2:40–3:40 p.m. EDT Thursday. A night practice is scheduled for 7:45 p.m.

Aaron Durant
Aaron Durant
Aaron brings a developing design and editorial vision to The Apex every day and co-hosts The Braking Point podcast every week. As editor-in-chief and an avid reader, Aaron enjoys aligning his relentless care for quality with an interest in counterintuitive approaches.


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Acura DPi in 2019 Long Beach GP IMSA qualifying

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