The fourth practice session for Petit Le Mans offered the best conditions yet, with clear skies and cool temperatures — ideal for fast laps as the teams set up for qualifying later this afternoon. Less than 15 minutes in, five cars —representing four different manufacturers —were already under Helio Castroneves’ pole time from last year, and within two 10ths separating first to fifth!
The fastest of these was Oliver Jarvis in the No. 77 Mazda Dpi at 1m10.786s, an eye blink ahead of Felipe Albuquerque in the Action Express Cadillac 1m10.801s. With things quieting down a little in the second half of the hour as teams switched to longer runs in preparation for the race, Jarvis’ time held up overall.
“Obviously you never know what everyone’s doing but I think we’ve got a good race car,” said Jarvis. “You just can’t read anything into the long runs) but whatever happens it’s just incredibly close. It’s going to come down to handling the traffic and staying out of trouble. It’s my first race here but I can already tell, it’s going to be intense!”
Similar variety populated the top of the GTLM times, with a representative from each of the five makes in the top 5 for much of the session before Corvette once again grabbed the top two spots. A little more than a half-second separated all eight cars in the field, though, all of which were faster than the fastest time from yesterday as Road Atlanta continued to rubber in.
In GTD, Sheldon van der Linde took a turn at the front of the times as the No. 29 Land Motorsport Audi R8 LMS GT3 continued to impress.
“Our car’s just working really well at the moment,” said van der Linde. “Our aim is to repeat our victory here from last year and we’re on the right path.”
Still, just 0.3sec back from the defending Petit Le Mans winner was Alvaro Parente in the No. 86 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3.
UP NEXT: Qualifying at 3:55 p.m. ET