Thursday, Dec 08

Afternoon Delight for No. 01 Cadillac in Motul Petit Le Mans Practice

Thursday, Sep 29 519

By Jeff Olson

IMSA Wire Service

Practice 1 Results

 

Practice 2 Results

 

BRASELTON, Ga. – The fastest lap of the first three hours of practice for the race that will decide the championship went to a team that isn’t involved in the battle but has a point to make nonetheless.

 

Sebastien Bourdais’ late lap was the fastest Thursday during the second of two daytime practice sessions in preparation for the 25th Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta. A third 90-minute session was slated for Thursday night.

 

Driving the No. 01 Cadillac Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R he shares with Renger van der Zande and Scott Dixon this weekend, Bourdais was clocked at 1 minute, 9.040 seconds (132.444 mph) around the 12-turn, 2.54-mile circuit.

 

That led to a discussion in the pits among the three drivers about how their Cadillac handled as Bourdais prepares to qualify the car Friday and van der Zande gets ready for the closing stint of Saturday’s 10-hour race.

 

The No. 01 Cadillac won at Long Beach, Detroit and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park this season but enters Petit trailing the leaders by 152 points.

 

“We wanted to go out for the championship, but we had too many problems and took ourselves out of the championship hunt, which really is a shame,” Bourdais said. “This car has been fast and should have been a contender for the championship.”

 

Instead, the championship is down to two Acuras. The No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-05 co-driven by Ricky Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque and Brendon Hartley leads the No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian Acura ARX-05 shared by Tom Blomqvist, Oliver Jarvis and Helio Castroneves by 19 points.

 

In all likelihood, whichever Acura finishes better in Saturday’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season finale will claim the last title for the Daytona Prototype international (DPi) class before it’s replaced by the Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) class in 2023.

 

Blomqvist had the No. 60 second fastest through the opening two practices while the No. 10 was mired in seventh with Taylor behind the wheel.

 

Meanwhile, Louis Deletraz had the fastest lap (1:11.320) in Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2) in the No. 8 Tower Motorsport ORECA LMP2 07 he co-drives with John Farano and Rui Pinto de Andrade. Farano is the LMP2 points leader by 33 over Dwight Merriman and Ryan Dalziel in the No. 18 Era Motorsport ORECA.

 

Kay van Berlo was quickest in Le Mans Prototype 3 (LMP3) in the No. 74 Riley Motorsports Ligier JS P320 (1:15.569) that he drives with Gar Robinson and Felipe Fraga. Jack Hawksworth was fastest in the Grand Touring Daytona Pro (GTD PRO) class in the No. 14 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 (1:18.912) he drives with Ben Barnicoat and Kyle Kirkwood. 

 

Bryan Sellers had the fastest lap (1:19.500) in Grand Touring Daytona (GTD), in the No. 1 Paul Miller Racing BMW M4 GT3 he shares with Madison Snow and Erik Johansson. 

 

Qualifying to determine the starting grid streams live beginning at 3:35 p.m. ET Friday on Peacock and IMSA.com/TVLive. Forty-three cars are entered across the five classes competing.

 

NBC’s live network race coverage begins at noon Saturday. USA Network will pick up the coverage at 7 p.m. through the checkered flag. Peacock has live flag-to-flag streaming coverage starting at noon. IMSA Radio coverage is available at IMSA.com and SiriusXM.

Adam Sinclair

Adam has been a race fan since the first time he went through the tunnel under the Daytona International Speedway more than 30 years ago. He has had the privilege of traveling to races all across the state of Florida (as well as one race in Ohio), watching nearly everything with a motor compete for fame and glory, as well as participating in various racing schools to get the feel of what racecar drivers go through every week.  

Adam spent several years covering motorsports for Examiner.com., where he had the opportunity to see the racing world from behind the scenes as well as the grandstands. He invites everyone to follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus, and looks forward to sharing his enthusiasm for all things racing with the readers of SpeedwayDigest.com.

Be sure to tune in for his sports talk program, Thursday Night Thunder, where he discusses the latest in motorsports news with drivers, crew members, and fans. The show takes place (almost) every Thursday at 8:00 pm EST on the Speedway Digest Radio Network. 

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