Felipe Nasr ran the fastest lap in the final minute of Friday’s opening practice for the Bubba Burger Sports Car Grand Prix, turning a lap of 1m13.582s in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R.
Action Express Racing took the top two positions, with Filipe Albuquerque running 1m13.675s in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R. – also in the final minute.
Ironically, the two-hour session was longer than Saturday’s Round 3 of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, a two-hour sprint which takes the green flag at 1:05 p.m. PT.
Ricky Taylor was third, at 1m13.735s in the No. 7 Team Penske Acura ARX-05, followed by Oliver Jarvis, 1m13.743s in the No. 77 Team Joest Mazda RT-24P.
DPi teams took the top nine positions of the 14 Prototypes. Leading the LMP2 contingent was Steven Simpson, at 1m14.176 in the No. 99 JDC-Miller Motorsports GAINSCO ORECA 07-Gibson.
Ryan Briscoe led the eight GTLM competitors at 1m17.898s in the No. 67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT, followed by teammate Dirk Muller in the No. 66, with a 1m17.993s. Next were the two Porsche GT Team entries, Earl Bamber at 1m18.012s in the No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR and Patrick Pilet, 1m18.046s in the No. 911.
The session was briefly red-flagged at the 51-minute mark when Nick Tandy brushed the wall and dislodged a sponsor sign in Turn 9. Tandy was able to drive back to the pits, with slight left-rear bodywork damage and a dislodged diffuser.
Only 10 minutes after practice resumed, Colin Braun tagged the wall in Turn 8 to bring out a second red flag. Braun’s No. 54 CORE autosport ORECA 07-Gibson broke the left-front headlight and shed a few dive planes. He was able to drive back to the pits, with the final 51 minutes running under the green once the session resumed – although both Laurens Vanthoor (No. 912 Porsche) and James French (No. 38 ORECA) both went off but were able to continue in the closing minutes.
NEXT UP: The WeatherTech Championship competitors will have a 45-minute final practice beginning at 4:45 p.m. PT, immediately followed by qualifying. The GTLM class has a 15-minute session beginning at 5:40 p.m. PT, followed by the Prototypes at 6 p.m. The only other on-track activity will be Saturday’s race, which will not have the benefit of a warm-up session.