IMSA Watkins Glen: Acura leads opening practice, outpacing Porsche and Cadillac

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IMSA Watkins Glen: Acura leads opening practice, outpacing Porsche and Cadillac

The practice session at Watkins Glen that spanned 90 minutes commenced under dry weather, initially dominated by a 1-2 lead from the Porsche Penske F1 Flow 963. However, Braun from Meyer Shank Racing snatched the top position with a lap time of 1m33.563s in the ARX-06, a car that previously won the Daytona 24 Hours.

Felipe Nasr, driving for the Porsche factory team in car #5, recorded the second fastest lap, trailing by 1.2s, yet managed to stay a tenth faster than Nick Tandy in the companion #6 car.

Showers arrived just before the first third of the session, driving most of the cars into the pits. The weather forecast for the weekend predicted more rainfall, allowing for potential wet track sessions among the substantial 57-car field.

Chip Ganassi Racing’s Renger van der Zande managed to record a time of 1m35.181s before the showers, outpacing the similar Action Express Racing Cadillac V-Series.R, driven by Jack Aitken.

The BMW M Hybrid V8s, driven by Philipp Eng and Connor De Phillippi, followed next but were slower by 2s.

Ricky Taylor, in the second Acura from Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport, could not complete a representative lap before the rain started, ending up 11th overall. Mike Rockenfeller finished 15th in the JDC/Miller MotorSports Porsche, the last GTP entry.

In the LMP2 category, Steven Thomas from TDS Racing led, followed by Christian Rasmussen (Era F1 Flow) and Ed Jones (High Class Racing) with a half-second gap.

Devlin DeFrancesco from Rick Ware Racing had a minor spin, but John Falb had a major crash in his #35 TDS car at Turn 6, damaging its right-front corner significantly and triggering a red flag for recovery and barrier fixes.

In LMP3, Garett Grist (Jr III Racing) led narrowly ahead of Gar Robinson’s Riley-run car.

BMW leads in GTD, followed by Porsche and Ferrari

In the GTD category, Bryan Sellers of Paul Miller Racing in the BMW M4 was the initial frontrunner, despite a drive-through penalty for repeatedly exceeding track limits.

His lap was 0.066s quicker than Kay van Berlo in the #91 Kellymoss with Riley Porsche 911, who kept within the same tenth as Pro class leader Davide Rigon (Risi Competitzione Ferrari 296) and Andy Lally (Magnus Racing Aston Martin Vantage).

The session came to an end following Luke Berkeley’s crash in the #42 Lamborghini during the final moments, causing a second red flag.

The second practice is scheduled to commence at 8am ET tomorrow.

Link to full results

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about IMSA Watkins Glen Practice

What were the top three positions in the opening practice session at IMSA Watkins Glen?

The top three positions in the opening practice session at IMSA Watkins Glen were as follows:

  1. Acura ARX-06 driven by Tom Blomqvist and Colin Braun.
  2. Porsche 963 driven by Matt Campbell and Felipe Nasr.
  3. Porsche 963 driven by Nick Tandy and Mathieu Jaminet.

Did the session experience any weather changes?

Yes, the session experienced weather changes. Rain started to fall during the session, causing most of the cars to pit. The forecast also predicted more showers for the weekend, which could potentially impact future sessions.

Who led the LMP2 category in the practice session?

Steven Thomas from TDS Racing led the LMP2 category in the practice session. He was half a second ahead of Christian Rasmussen (Era F1 Flow) and Ed Jones (High Class Racing).

Which car set the fastest lap time in the GTD category?

The fastest lap time in the GTD category was set by Bryan Sellers in Paul Miller Racing’s BMW M4. Despite receiving a drive-through penalty for track limit violations, Sellers recorded the quickest lap time in the category.

Was there any significant incident during the practice session?

Yes, there were two notable incidents during the practice session. Devlin DeFrancesco had a quick spin in his Rick Ware Racing entry, while John Falb had a severe crash in his TDS car, causing damage to its right-front corner and leading to a red flag for recovery and barrier repairs.

More about IMSA Watkins Glen Practice

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SpeedDemon55 June 24, 2023 - 4:39 am

bryan sellers in da bmw was on fire, even with penalties. he’s a beast! can’t wait to see how things unfold in the race. bring on the action! #GTD #BMW

CarEnthusiast23 June 24, 2023 - 11:11 am

luv watchin da lmp2 cars battle it out! steven thomas nailed it with that lead. hope falb’s car gets fixed soon. can’t wait for practice 2! #IMSA #WatkinsGlen

RacingFan97 June 24, 2023 - 4:54 pm

wow acura was sooo fast in da opening practice session at imsaa watkins glen. dey beat porsche n cadillac. rain made it crazy tho lol #excitingrace

TracksideReporter June 24, 2023 - 10:04 pm

weather changes always add spice to the race. rain showers kept everyone on their toes. gotta love the unpredictability. stay tuned for more thrilling action at watkins glen! #IMSA #RainRace


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