Castroneves Begins Road America Race Day With Quickest Warm-Up Lap

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Though qualifying speeds were absent during Sunday’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship morning warm-up at Road America, what did return was Team Penske’s dominance with its Acura ARX-05 cars.

Both Helio Castroneves and co-driver Ricky Taylor spent time in the No. 7 Acura DPi they share but it was Castroneves’ 1:50.947 that topped the session. As was the case in qualifying Saturday afternoon, the legendary Penske team swept the top two positions with Juan Pablo Montoya turning a 1:51.151 to slot 0.204 seconds behind Castroneves.

Mazda Team Joest was the second-best team like in qualifying as the Mazda RT24-P duo lined up below the Acuras in the order, again demonstrating the strength of these four Japanese prototypes in the face of American competition from Cadillac.

CORE autosport skipped warm-up with its Ligier Nissan DPi, allowing the five Cadillac DPi-V.Rs to fill positions five through nine, led by Misha Goikhberg in the quicker of the two JDC-Miller Motorsports cars.

French Tops LMP2

Despite lucking into the LMP2 pole after his only competition was penalized for causing a red flag, James French returned to the track Sunday morning and easily turned the fastest lap in the two-car class.

French completed nine revolutions of the 4-mile circuit, topping out at 1:55.863 in the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports ORECA 07. Matt McMurry was 1.260 seconds slower.

Blomqvist Responds With Fastest GTLM Lap

BMW Team RLL’s Tom Blomqvist may have lost his first WeatherTech Championship pole but answered back with the fastest GT Le Mans lap in morning warm-up.

Blomqvist’s 2:01.794 was a massive 0.622 seconds quicker than the second-quickest time, set by Richard Westbrook in the Ford GT he shares with Ryan Briscoe. John Edwards was third in the No. 24 BMW M8 GTE.

The Corvette Racing duo of Tommy Milner and Antonio Garcia completed the class’ top five ahead of Earl Bamber, Joey Hand and Nick Tandy.

Bleekemolen Backs Up Riley Pole

After Riley Motorsports co-driver Ben Keating put the No. 33 Mercedes-AMG GT3 on the GTD pole yesterday, Jeroen Bleekemolen ensured the car stayed on top of the category with the fastest warm-up lap.

Bleekemolenn’s 2:06.329 was 0.225 seconds quicker than Matt Campbell could go in Pfaff Motorsports’ Porsche 911 GT3 R, or indeed any other competitor in the all-GT3 division.

Paul Holton and Bill Auberlen placed third and fourth in McLaren and BMW cars, adding variety to the top four, while Lawson Aschenbach ended the session fifth in the Lone Star Racing’s Mercedes-AMG.

Set to begin at 1:35 p.m. CDT, the race is all that remains of the WeatherTech Championship’s 2019 weekend in Elkhart Lake. Live coverage of the race will be available via NBCSports.com.

Aaron Durant
Aaron Duranthttp://aarondurant.com
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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