Wet conditions at Watkins Glen International ensured Saturday morning’s practice times were well short of the unofficial record pace set Friday by Dane Cameron but Oliver Jarvis managed to come closest for Mazda Team Joest.
While both Mazda RT24-P cars led the DPi running order at various points throughout the 60-minute session, Jarvis’ 1:43.279 — 13 seconds off the fastest lap of the weekend — represented the best effort from a prototype competitor.
Juncos Racing’s Will Owen made a late-session surge on a drying track in the team’s No. 50 Cadillac DPi-V.R to place second in Practice 3 but was 3.5 seconds shy of the morning’s quickest lap by Jarvis in the No. 77 Mazda DPi.
Renger van Der Zande added a second Cadillac DPi to the top end of the timesheet with a best lap 0.171 seconds slower than Owen’s, landing third on the timesheet in the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing car and relegating the second Mazda to fourth on the strength of Olivier Pla’s quickest tour of the wet Watkins Glen circuit.
The JDC-Miller Motorsports’ Cadillacs were pushed to their fastest laps by Simon Trummer and Misha Goikhberg and placed fifth and sixth ahead of Cameron, Filipe Albuquerque and Ricky Taylor. The No. 31 Action Express Racing machine shared by Pipo Derani, Felipe Nasr and Eric Curran turned only four laps and placed 22nd overall, well outside the range of the other DPi competitors.
Vanthoor Claims Top GTLM Lap
With no LMP2 cars electing to participate in Practice 3 and the aforementioned Action Express Cadillac not turning a representative time, the fastest GT Le Mans driver slotted into 10th on the overall timesheet.
While it appeared that Richard Westbrook might continue his perfect weekend at Watkins Glen, late flyers from three other drivers moved Westbrook’s No. 67 Ford GT to fourth in class. Laurens Vanthoor was the class’ top performer in the No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR with a 1:54.280 time.
Denying a Porsche 1-2 sweep in the pre-qualifying session, John Edwards slotted the No. 24 BMW M8 GTE into second, relegating the Porsche of Patrick Pilet to third.
Behind Westbrook, Oliver Gavin and Antonio Garcia were fifth- and sixth-fastest in the pair of Corvette C7.Rs while Conor De Phillippi and Joey Hand brought up the rear of the class in BMW and Ford machinery, respectively.
Hawksworth Tops GTD for AVS
Magnus Racing’s streak at the top of GT Daytona practice times ended with the Lamborghini placing 10th in class to begin qualifying day at The Glen.
Jack Hawksworth, currently third in the GTD points standings, claimed the fastest lap in the Lexus RC F GT3 he shares with Richard Heistand and Philipp Frommenwiler. Parker Chase delivered the class’ second-quickest lap for Starworks Motorsport with a time 0.274 seconds short of Hawksworth’s best in the team’s Audi R8 LMS GT3.
Aaron Telitz added a second AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus to the top three but was 1.3 seconds slower than Hawksworth. Times were far from competitive in the class with 8.661 seconds separating the 14 GTD cars that chose to participate, demonstrating the impact of varying strategies and competencies in the wet. Still, though the track dried during the hourlong outing, no red-flag periods interrupted the 32 cars that turned laps.
Qualifying is next for the IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship in Upstate New York. Each class will have 15 minutes to earn its position on the starting grid beginning at 11:35 a.m. EDT Saturday.