Michael Levitt / Motorsport Images
Wayne Taylor Racing’s No. 10 Acura led the first IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice session at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca with Ricky Taylor setting the quick time of 1m14.400s, nearly half a second quicker than last year’s pole position time. The No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing with Curb Agajanian Acura followed in second, with the gap bigger than expected at 0.681s.
Tristan Vautier was the quickest of the Cadillac drivers with a 1m15.331s lap in the No. 5 JDC-Miller MotorSports car, followed by Pipo Derani int he No. 31 Action Express Racing Cadillac at 1m15.524s.
The late afternoon session in cool and breezy conditions presented a track surface that drivers described as quite slick despite the quick times set by Taylor and Filipe Albuquerque in the No. 10.
“The track was extremely low grip — a lot more than I have felt in the past. It was like driving on ice for the first two or three laps out there,” said Tristan Nunez after exiting the No. 31 AXR Cadillac.
The slickness led to a few incidents of unintended track exits, including Tom Blomqvist sliding the No. 60 MSR car off the outside of the Corkscrew after locking up in Turn 7 early in the session. The most serious incident was Renger van der Zande throwing the No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac off at the exit of Turn 5, taking out some track signage and hitting the wall, bringing out a red flag while the safety crew cleaned up the debris.
The CGR Cadillac team nearly had another incident when Kyle Washington in the No. 24 GMG Porsche juked right, after apparently being surprised by the No. 03 Corvette to his inside in Turn 8, and clipped the No. 01. The Porsche spun off but the Cadillac didn’t appear to suffer any damage.
Lexus topped the GTD PRO times with Jack Hawksworth setting the quick time of 1m23.961s in the No. 14 VasserSullivan car late in the session. Daniel Juncadella had been quickest for most of the session in the No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG but ended up with a 0.210s deficit. The third-quick GTD PRO car, the No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3R, lagged behind three GTD cars with a 1m24.443 set by Mathieu Jaminet.
Robby Foley and the No. 96 Turner Motorsports BMW M4 GT3 was the quickest of those three interloping GTD cars with a 1m24.235s. He took the top time from Jan Heylen who had a 1m24.301s in the No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche. Frankie Montecalvo made it three cars within a tenth of a second (1m24.330s) in the No. 12 VasserSullivan Lexus RC F GT3.
The four leading LMP2 cars set times nearly within 0.5s each other. Louis Deletraz in the No. 8 Tower Motorsports ORECA-Gibson had the quick time of 1m16.316s with Juan Pablo Montoya second in the No. 81 DragonSpeed USA entry, 0.482s off Deletraz. Ryan Dalziel was only 0.026s off Montoya in the No. 18 Era Motorsport car and only 0.041s quicker than Jonathan Bomarito in the No. 11 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports entry.
Next Up: The second of two practice sessions before qualifying, a 1h45m split session, begins at 11:55 a.m. Eastern/8:55 Pacific.