‘Improved’ Penske Acura paces opening Road America practice

Image by Scott LePage/LAT

‘Improved’ Penske Acura paces opening Road America practice

IMSA

‘Improved’ Penske Acura paces opening Road America practice

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Acura Team Penske came to Elkhart Lake with a goal of improving on a disappointing performance from 2018. Friday morning, the team demonstrated it’s well on its way of achieving that objective.

Dane Cameron posted the fastest lap at Road America in opening WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice for the IMSA Road Race Showcase, taming the 14-turn, 4.048-mile circuit in 1m50.007s in the No. 6 Team Penske Acura ARX-05.

“We came here and tested not long ago, because we thought we were pretty weak last year,” Cameron said. “One of our worst showings was here. We’ve put a lot of work into the car all year, and we’ve seen a lot of growth. We came here to test to try to make up for our weaknesses last year.

“This is a crucial race, with three races to go. We were pleased with this morning, even though it’s just practice. We focusing on the balance. Anything can happen here. I love coming here. I’ve won here three times in a row, but that’s been a couple of years ago. So I’m ready to win again.”

Cameron edged out the No. 54 CORE autosport Nissan Ligier JSP217 by 0.023s. Ricky Taylor was third in the No. 7 Team Penske Acura, at 1m50.107s, followed by Felipe Nasr in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R, with a 1m51.241s.

Mazda Team Joest, seeking its third consecutive DPi victory, enters the event with slight modifications to both weight and boost. Fastest of the RT-24Ps was Harry Tincknell, sixth overall at 1m51.578s in the No. 55 Mazda.

Local driver James French led the LMP2 competitors, running 1m53.808s in the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports ORECA Gibson.

Patrick Pilet put the Porsche GT Team atop the GTLM chart, running 2m2.147s in the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR. He was followed by the No. 4 Corvette C7.R of Oliver Gavin, at 2m2.544s, and Tom Blomqvist, who ran a 2m2.585s in the No. 25 Team RLL BMW M8 GTLM.

In GTD, Jeroen Bleekemolen led the way with a lap of 2m6.060s in the No. 33 Riley Motorsports Wynns Mercedes-AMG GT3, followed by Corey Lewis in the No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 and Patrick Long in the No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3.R.

All 35 entries participated in the one-hour, 15-minute session, with the final 15 minutes reserved for bronze- and silver-rated drivers in the GTD class.

RESULTS

UP NEXT: Practice 2 for the four WeatherTech Championship classes will be held from 4:25-5:25 p.m. CT.

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