Mazda led Acura and Cadillac atop the running order at the conclusion of the weekend-opening IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship session at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca due to a quick final flying lap by Oliver Jarvis.
The No. 77 Mazda RT24-P lapped the 2.238-mile permanent road course 29 times during the noontime Friday session and was fastest right at the end when Jarvis executed a 1:16.442.
That lap from the British pilot was 0.261 seconds off last year’s pole position time — also the prototype lap record — but was rapid enough to keep Juan Pablo Montoya and the No. 6 Acura ARX-05 at bay by 0.153 seconds.
After Montoya and the quickest of Team Penske’s two Acura DPi machines, four of the five Cadillac DPi-V.Rs in the field slotted into positions three through six. Filipe Albuquerque, Renger van Der Zande, Pipo Derani and Tristan Vautier, representing three different teams, were all within half a second of Jarvis’ session-topping time in their Cadillac DPis.
Helio Castroneves and the No. 7 Acura DPi placed seventh as the first car-driver combination to lap more than half a second slower than Jarvis on their respective best tours of Laguna Seca. Colin Braun, Simon Trummer and Harry Tincknell filled the final DPi positions.
Tincknell was the second fastest of Mazda’s four drivers but only came within 1.32 seconds of Jarvis. The No. 55 Mazda DPi completed seven fewer laps than its sister car.
Two-tenths of a second split the two LMP2 cars on hand as Matt McMurry put PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports’ ORECA 07 ahead of the similar prototype of Performance Tech Motorsports.
Like in DPi, three manufacturers landed atop the GT Le Mans running order with Richard Westbrook, Tommy Milner and Jesse Krohn filling the top three in Ford, Corvette and BMW cars.
Krohn in third was 0.401 seconds off Chip Ganassi Racing’s Westbrook when the session concluded. Jan Magnussen and Tom Blomqvist contributed the other two Corvette Racing and BMW Team RLL entries to the top five, 0.761 and 0.776 seconds from the category’s top lap.
GT Daytona was paced by Paul Miller Racing driver Bryan Sellers on a 1:25.674 lap that put the team’s Lamborghini Huracan GT3 a mere 0.023 seconds clear of Toni Vilander’s best effort in Scuderia Corsa’s Ferrari 488 GT3.
One Mercedes-AMG and BMW each plus a second Lamborghini placed in the top five, fielded by Riley Motorsports, Turner Motorsport and Magnus Racing. Less than seven-tenths of a second divided the fastest five cars in the all-GT3 class.
Trent Hindman and Mario Farnbacher own a 37-point lead in GTD entering Sunday’s two-hour, 40-minute penultimate round of the 2019 season but weren’t immediately competitive as Farnbacher’s best lap in the No. 86 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 was nearly one and a half seconds off Sellers’.
Pfaff Motorsports, winners at Lime Rock Park and Road America, were last in Practice 1. Scott Hargrove only muscled the No. 9 Porsche 911 GT3 R within 1.864 seconds of the leading GTD time.
Practice 2 will run from 3:15–4:15 PDT and conclude Friday’s WeatherTech Championship activity in Monterey.