Porsche Sweeps Friday at VIR

Porsche enters qualifying day as the marque to beat at Virginia International Raceway.

Backing up the Porsche GT Team’s Practice 1 effort that saw the pair of Porsche 911 RSRs place first and second on the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship timesheet, Patrick Pilet delivered the fastest lap in Friday’s second session at Virginia International Raceway.

Pilet turned a 1:41.234 on the 23rd of 30 laps for the No. 911 Porsche to secure the top spot. While 0.090 seconds quicker than second-fastest Antonio Garcia of the No. 3 Corvette C7.R, the lap time was shy of Tommy Milner’s standing GT Le Mans track record by a scant 0.029 seconds.

Garcia split the two Porsches, relegating the No. 912 car to the the third position at the hands of Earl Bamber. Bamber’s co-driver Laurens Vanthoor put the car on top of Practice 1 earlier in the day. Richard Westbrook and Jesse Krohn added Ford and BMW machinery to the top five — a group separated by 0.440 seconds.

Joey Hand, Milner and Tom Blomqvist completed the eight-car class. All were quicker than 1:42 except Blomqvist who was more than a second off Pilet’s best lap.

Proving the strength of the Lexus RC F GT3 in the GT Daytona class, Jack Hawksworth topped the division with a lap 0.122 seconds quicker than the class record. Notably, the mark to beat was set last year by Kyle Marcelli in the same No. 14 Lexus driven by Hawksworth.

Behind the leading Lexus, Robby Foley, Bryan Sellers, Toni Vilander, Matt Plumb and Ben Keating ensured six different manufacturers were in the top six by adding representation from BMW, Lamborghini, Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes-AMG.

Notably absent again from the top half of the GTD order was Meyer Shank Racing whose championship-leading Acura NSX GT3 driven by Trent Hindman and Mario Farnbacher was mired in 11th, ahead of only its sister car and Magnus Racing’s Lamborghini Huracan GT3.

The VIR weekend continues Saturday with Practice 3 at 8:35 a.m. EDT. Qualifying for both classes follows at 12:25 p.m. to set the grid for Sunday’s two-hour, 40-minute race.

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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