Saturday, July 20, 2019

Castroneves Displaces Braun in Third CTMP Practice

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One day after Colin Braun led both IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice sessions at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Team Penske’s Helio Castroneves replaced Nissan with Acura atop the pre-qualifying practice timesheet.

Castroneves’ fastest lap established a new high-water mark at the 2.459-mile circuit for prototype cars. The 1:05.632 came roughly halfway through the No. 7 Acura ARX-05’s 33 total laps and bested Braun’s quickest Friday effort by 0.243 seconds.

Rather than being left out, Braun also dipped under his previous best with a 1:05.784, coming within 0.152 seconds of Castroneves. The time placed the CORE autosport Ligier Nissan DPi second in both Practice 3 and the weekend’s overall combined times.

Mazda DPi drivers Jonathan Bomarito and Harry Tincknell at CTMP
Jonathan Bomarito and Harry Tincknell began qualifying day at CTMP as the third-fastest DPi duo. | Photo: Michael L. Levitt / IMSA

Mazda Team Joest improved on its Friday result with the third-fastest DPi lap Saturday morning. With the final time in the 65-second range, Jonathan Bomarito ended the hourlong session 0.315 seconds slower than Castroneves on their respective quickest laps.

Felipe Nasr added Cadillac representation to the top five with the fourth-fastest lap time while Tristan Nunez added the No. 77 Mazda RT24-P to the top five. Juan Pablo Montoya, who topped the timesheet early in the session, ended it in sixth ahead of Renger van der Zande, Filipe Albuquerque, Tristan Vautier and Simon Trummer, all driving Cadillac DPi-V.Rs.

Performance Tech Regains LMP2 Advantage

There are only two possibilities for which LMP2 car will be fastest at the end of a session due to its status as a two-car class. At CTMP, the result has flip-flopped each outing with Performance Tech Motorsports and PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports each topping a Friday practice.

The advantage went to Performance Tech in Practice 3 thanks to a 1:09.472 by Kyle Masson, besting the identical PR1 Mathiasen ORECA 07 by 0.374 seconds.

Both of the global-spec cars were slower than their fastest Friday times by a considerable margin a short few hours before qualifying with Masson 0.766 seconds slower than Matt McMurry’s fastest Practice 2 lap.

Ford Surfaces in GTLM

Porsche and Corvette each went 1-2 in the two Friday practices, setting the stage for Ford to do the same in Practice 3. The American marque only got halfway there, however, with Ryan Briscoe leading the way in the No. 67 Ford GT.

Briscoe’s 1:13.739 held the eight-car GT Le Mans class at bay, though not by much. Jesse Krohn delivered the second-fastest lap in his BMW Team RLL-prepared machine with a time 0.089 seconds off the pace set by Briscoe.

Patrick Pilet and Jan Magnussen added Porsche and Corvette to the top four, ensuring that all four GTLM manufacturers were in the top group, which was separated by 0.323 seconds. Laurens Vanthoor, Joey Hand, Marcel Fassler and Tom Blomqvist ranked fifth through eighth at the end of Practice 3.

Turner Back on Top

Turner Motorsport repeated its Practice 2 result with the fastest GT Daytona lap in Practice 3, albeit with a different driver behind the wheel of its No. 96 BMW M6 GT3.

While Bill Auberlen was Friday’s fastest driver, Robby Foley laid down a blistering 1:16.229 in Saturday morning’s session to lead the way in GTD by 0.408 seconds over his closest competitor, making the gap between the top cars larger than in GTLM.

Foley’s nearest challenger was Ben Keating and the No. 33 Mercedes-AMG of Riley Motorsports, a pairing that placed second ahead of Jack Hawksworth, Andy Lally and Lawson Aschenbach.

The session’s only red flag was due to a single-car incident for the No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 when Ryan Hardwick experienced a heavy crash at Turn 2. While the car was damaged enough to require a ride on a flatbed, Hardwick was able to walk away from the incident.

The series will be back in action Saturday for qualifying, beginning with GTD at 11:35 a.m. EDT.

Ben Hinc
Ben Hinchttp://www.benhinc.com
Ben's executive editor title is purposefully broad to encompass the bottomless list of roles he fills for The Apex, which includes webmaster, graphic designer, quality consultant and writer. Ben's technical background and progressive media distribution approach set The Apex apart technologically and philosophically.

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Acura DPi in 2019 Long Beach GP IMSA qualifying

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