Meyer Shank Acura leads first Watkins Glen Six Hour practice

Michael Levitt/Lumen

Meyer Shank Acura leads first Watkins Glen Six Hour practice

IMSA

Meyer Shank Acura leads first Watkins Glen Six Hour practice

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As they look to repeat their success at the 24 Hours of Daytona and capture their first victory since the season opener, points leaders Meyer Shank Racing with Curb Agajanian set the pace in the first practice for the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, the seventh round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

Tom Blomqvist turned the quick time in the No. 60 Acura he’ll share with Oliver Jarvis — a 1m31.217s lap of the 3.4-mile, 11-turn Watkins Glen International circuit for an average speed of 134.19mph.

“We’re off to Watkins Glen off the back of several consistent results, which has been a morale boost for the team” said Blomqvist before the session. “Getting a podium finish in Detroit was really awesome for us. We had a test at Watkins Glen a few weeks back and we went through some key items which should get us up to speed pretty quickly once we get to the track. Watkins Glen is one of my favorite tracks — it’s bloody awesome. It’s going to be hot and super hard. We plan to continue where we left off; we haven’t had a victory since Daytona, so that’s what we are going to be aiming for.”

Renger van der Zande was the quickest of the Cadillac drivers, 0.322s off Blomqvist’s time in the No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac and splitting the two Acuras. Ricky Taylor had the third-quickest time in the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura at 1m31.918s. Pipo Derani was fourth in the No. 31 Action Express Racing Cadillac, which also saw some seat time for drivers of the No. 48 AXR Cadillac, and had a best time more than two seconds off the No. 60’s pace. Earl Bamber completed the top five in the No. 02 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac.

Alex Riberas was quickest in GTD PRO for Heart of Racing, but the 1m46.356s lap (115.09mph) in the No. 23 Aston Martin Vantage was only good for fifth among the entirety of the GTD cars. Daniel Serra, in the No. 62 Risi Ferrari 488, making its first appearance since Sebring, was second among the GTD PRO drivers, 0.046s off Riberas’s best. Connor de Phillippi was third in GTD PRO, 13th of the GTD cars, in the No. 25 BMW M Team RLL M4 GT3 with a 1m46.658s lap. All seven GTD Pro cars, making their first appearance since the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca round in April, were within a second of each other.

No. 32 Gilbert Korthoff Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3 GTD: Mike Skeen, Stevan McAleer, Dirk Mueller. Jake Galstad/Lumen

Dirk Mueller topped all the GTD cars in the No. 32 Team Korthoff Motorsports Mercedes AMG with a 1m46.197s (115.26mph). Mueller joins Mike Skeen and Stevan McAleer, who leads the GTD points, in the car for the Six Hour. Second-quick was Andy Lally in the No. 44 Magnus Racing Lamborghini Huracan, making its first appearance since Sebring as the team is only contesting the Michelin Endurance Cup Races. Frankie Montecalvo was third in the No. 12 VasserSullivan Lexus RC F with a 1m46.270s. Toni Vilander (No. 21 AF Corse Ferrari 488) and Bill Auberlen (No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M4 GT3) completed the GTD top five.

The Endurance Cup-only No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA team picked up where they left off — Mikkel Jensen turning the top time in LMP2 with a 1m32.629s. Louis Deletraz was nearly half a second off Jensen’s time in the No. 8 Tower Motorsport ORECA, while Jonathan Bomarito turned a 1m33.364s lap to put the No. 11 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports Oreca in third.

CORE Autosport topped LMP3 with Colin Braun lapping the No. 54 Ligier he’ll share with Jon Bennett and George Kurtz in 1m39.789s. Garrett Grist was second in the No. 30 Jr III Racing Ligier, 0.7s off Braun’s time. Dakota Dickerson put the No. 58 MLT Motorsports Ligier in third, another 0.129s behind.

The No. 58 was the cause of the final red flag that ended the session when Tyler Maxson sailed off course at Turn 7 in what appeared to be a brake failure. The session was interrupted by three red flags before that — all for cars stopped on course.

RESULTS

Next Up: The 1h45m second practice session — the last before qualifying — at 8 a.m. ET. Qualifying for the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen will take place at 1:20 p.m. ET. Qualifying can be viewed on IMSA.tv

MX-5 CUP | ROUND 9 – ROAD AMERICA

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