The Northeast Grand Prix kicked off Friday morning at Lime Rock Park with Ford Chip Ganassi Racing’s Dirk Muller and 3GT Racing’s Kyle Marcelli leading their respective classes in IMSA’s GT-only event.
The German’s Ford GT tore around the tiny 1.5-mile road course (0:50.924s), but had Nick Tandy’s Porsche 911 RSR (+0.097s) right behind on the stopwatch. Muller’s teammate Ryan Briscoe (+0.156s) and Tandy’s teammate Earl Bamber (+0.242s) completed the top four in GT Le Mans.
Canada’s Marcelli put his Lexus RCF GT3 atop the GT Daytona standings (0:52.303s) during the one-hour practice session, and if the fastest cars in GTLM were close, Meyer Shank Racing’s Alvaro Parente brought the gap down to almost nothing (+0.005s) in his Acura NSX GT3. Magnus Racing’s Andy Lally kept the trend going in this with his Audi R8 LMS GT3 (+0.035s).
Other than a few spins and off-track adventures, the only significant incident of the opening WeatherTech SportsCar Championship session went to the GTD championship-leading Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3.
Unspent fuel in the exhaust caught fire while on pit lane and burned some of the Italian car’s bodywork, which forced the team to end the session with 40 minutes remaining and begin repairs in the paddock.
UP NEXT: FP2, 1:55 p.m. ET