The final 15 minutes of the second practice session for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, where track time was limited to the all-pro classes — DPi and GTD PRO — were eventful, with several teams going on qualifying simulation runs and the times dropping for almost everyone. Ricky Taylor had the fast lap for the entire session in the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura but dropped his time even more at the end to a 1m14.193s, two-tenths quicker than his time in Friday’s practice session.
The rest of the DPi field was much closer to WTR than Friday as well. Sebastien Bourdais split the WTR and Meyer-Shank Acuras with a 1m14.310s lap in the No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac, 0.04s quicker than Oliver Jarvis in the No. 60.
Daniel Juncadella, in his first visit to Laguna Seca, ended up at the top of the GTD PRO field in the No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG; his 1m23.281 quicker than last year’s GTD qualifying time. Pfaff Motorsports found a bunch of time late in the session with Mathieu Jaminet turning a lap 0.112s off Juncadella’s time in the No. 9 Porsche to end the session second-quickest. Jack Hawksworth filled out the top three in the No. 14 VasserSullivan Lexus RC F with a 1m23.497s lap. The spread of the GTD PRO field, from Juncadella in first to Jordan Taylor in the No. 3 Corvette in sixth, was just over a second.
The top of the LMP2 field remains tight, with the top three turning laps within a quarter-second of each other. Jonathan Bomarito was at the top of the list with 1m16.617s in the No. 11 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA followed by Henrik Hedman in the No. 81 DragonSpeed car and John Farano in the No. 8 Tower Motorsports ORECA.
Jan Heylen was quickest in GTD and the fastest GTD car overall until the final 15 minutes of the session when the GTD PRO teams had the track to themselves. Heylen had a 1m23.901s lap in the No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3R. Frankie Montecalvo went second-quick with a 1m24.214s lap in the No. 12 VasserSullivan Lexus RC F GT3 followed by Russell Ward in the Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG at 1m24.387s.
The early part of the session for many teams was an opportunity to scrub tire sets for Sunday’s race. With tire degradation usually an issue at Laguna Seca, teams have found that putting a heat cycle on the Michelins alleviates the change in tires over the course of a stint.
Turn 5 has been a trouble spot for many drivers this weekend with cars spinning at the apex or dropping a wheel on exit and then spinning or going off. John Farano in the No. 8 Tower Motorsports ORECA had the latter issue with about 30 minutes left in the session. Oliver Jarvis in the No. 60 MSR Acura moved left in avoidance as Ryan Hardwick checked up in the No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3R. Jarvis made contact with Hardwick, both spinning off track. With debris and track signage off track and lots of sand on it, a red flag was called for cleanup.
Up Next: Qualifying at 3:50 p.m. Eastern, streamed on IMSA.tv.
Mike Skeen, who won the Trans-Am Series TA2 race at Laguna Seca last weekend, tested positive for COVID and won’t be partnering with Stevan McAleer in the No. 32 Team Korthoff Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GTD entry. He’s been replaced by Dirk Mueller for the weekend. Mueller was 10th in this morning’s practice session.
“It’s extremely disappointing to miss the race this weekend, but I have no doubt that Stevan and Dirk will get a good result for Team Korthoff Motorsports. Our Mercedes-AMG GT3 has been quick and the team has been doing well, so hopefully we can continue on that path. I’ll watch with interest and rejoin the crew at Mid-Ohio,” said Skeen.