Romain Dumas topped the times in Friday afternoon’s caution-free 60 minute free practice session at Watkins Glen in the No.54 Core Autosport ORECA 07 Gibson, his 1m33.562s the first Gibson-powered LMP2 effort to top a competitive IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Championship session since Helio Castroneves set pole position at Petit Le Mans last year in the one-off appearance from Penske with a ‘global’ LMP2 ahead of the debut of the team’s purpose-built Acura DPis.
“First of all, for sure the car is very good,” said Dumas, who is sharing the No. 54 with co-drivers Colin Braun and Jon Bennett. “The balance is right. I didn’t drive for 10 years here, so I just had to do some laps and improve myself more than the car. It’s a good sign for the race. It’s nice to be back here in this championship and in this car. So far, all looks great, so we have to continue.”
Renger van der Zande was a quarter of a second back in the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R with Juan Pablo Montoya putting the No. 6 Acura team Penske ARX-05 third, just ahead of a late session effort from Bruno Senna in the No. 32 United Autosports Ligier JS P217 Gibson, just tenths separating the top nine cars.
GTLM saw the Fords leading the way once again, Richard Westbrook again leading the way from Dirk Mueller, No. 66 with a lap in 1m42.886s leading the sister car by just two tenths.
Both the Porsche 911 RSRs were next in the order, followed by the Corvette pair and the BMW M8 GTEs
GTD saw Sheldon van der Linde top the times in the Montaplast by Land Motorsport No. 29 Audi R8 LMS GT3, ahead of the No. 14 3GT Racing Lexus (Kyle Marcelli) and No. 51 Ferrari (Daniel Serra).