Cadillac came out of the blocks strong in the ‘Roar Before the Rolex 24’ test, sweeping the top four positions in the the opening practice session of the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season.
Joao Barbosa led the 75-minute practice with a lap of 1m37.266 in the No. Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R., followed by Ranger van der Zande in the No. Konica-Minolta Cadillac, Tristan Vautier in the 90 Spirit of Daytona entry and Felipe Nasr in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering car. The Cadillacs are now running with a de-stroked 5.5 liter V8 engine – compared to the 6.2 liter powerplant that carried the marque to seven victories and the championship in 2017.
“Being fastest in the opening session is not important at all,” Barbosa said. “We’re just going through our test plan which is working really well, and we’re happy to see that our car is running as well as it did here last year. We still have a lot of boxes that we need to check to be ready for the 24 Hours. Obviously, we can always improve, but we’re happy to be fast right now.”
Colin Braun was fastest of the LMP2 Prototypes, running 1m38.041 in the No. 54 CORE autosport ORECA 07-Gibson.
Richard Westbrook led the GTLM category, 1m44.095 in the No. 67 Ford Chip Ganassi Ford GT, while Ralf Ineichen was fastest in GTD, 1m47.104 in the No. 11 Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracan GT3.
All but four of the 50 entries participated in the uneventful session, run under sunny skies but a chilly 40 degrees. Notably absent from the session were the Mazda Team Joest RT24-Ps. According to the team, the late arrival of some new parts forced the Japanese DPis to spend the session in the garage.
NEXT UP: FP2, 3:30-5:30 p.m. ET.
Click here for full results.