R. Taylor puts Acura ahead in first Road America IMSA practice

Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images

R. Taylor puts Acura ahead in first Road America IMSA practice


R. Taylor puts Acura ahead in first Road America IMSA practice


After Cadillacs headed the field for most of the first practice session for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Road America, Ricky Taylor jumped to the top of the time charts with a 1m50.539s lap, an average of 131.84mph around the 4.084-mile, 14-turn circuit in the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Motorsports Acura.

Cadillacs filled the next two spots with Earl Bamber posting the top time for Chip Ganassi Racing in the No. 02 with a 1m50.835s lap. Pipo Derani was quick early and led most of the session in the No. 31 Action Express Racing Cadillac, his 1m51.051s lap ending up third best. Tom Blomqvist took the championship-leading No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing with Curb Agajanian Acura to fourth, with Sebastien Bourdais completing the top five in the No. 01 CGR Cadillac.

Jack Hawksworth set a quick time to lead GTD PRO early — which was a good thing because the No. 14 Lexus rolled to a stop on the circuit, bringing out a red flag. Vasser Sullivan crew surrounded the car in the paddock trying to root out the problem, the best guess being a fuel issue. Hawksworth was pipped late in the session by Connor de Phillipi, back in the No. 25 BMW M Team RLL M4 GT3 for the first time after testing the BMW LMDh car. De Phillippi turned a 2m06.637s lap (115.08mph) to top GTD PRO, but not GTD overall.

Hawksworth ended up with the second-quickest time, 0.334s off de Phillippi, with Antonio Garcia in the No. 3 Corvette third at 2m07.719s. Matt Campbell in the No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3R was fourth, with the No. 23 Heart of Racing Aston Martin bringing up the rear of GTD PRO.

It was a Lamborghini one-two at the top of GTD, with Robert Megennis in the No. 39 CarBahn with Peregrine Racing Huracan topping the times with a 2m06.336s lap. Combined with a third-place finish at Lime Rock, it’s been a nice bounce-back for the team that saw a car destroyed at Watkins Glen and had to lease a chassis from another team to complete the season.

“The team’s worked so hard on this new chassis getting it prepared,” said Megennis’s co-driver Jeff Westphal. “I think we found a nice sweet spot. It’s really good on the brakes, which is really helping us around here.”

Jaden Conwright was hot on Megennis’s heels in the No. 42 NTE/SSR machine, only 0.071s back. Aaron Telitz was third in the No. 12 Vasser Sullivan Lexus after briefly holding the top position with a 2m06.559. The top three in GTD were quicker than de Phillippi. Robby Foley (No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M4 GT3) and Russell Ward (No. 57 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG) rounded out the top five.

Ryan Dalziel was the quickest of the LMP2 runners with a 1m52.147s lap in the No. 18 ERA Motorsport ORECA, followed by Tristan Nunez, taking Jonathan Bomarito’s place in the No. 11 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA, and Juan Pablo Montoya in the No. 81 DragonSpeed USA entry.

Malthe Jakobsen ended up on top of LMP3 in the No. 33 Sean Creech Motorsports Ligier with a 2m0.439s lap. Gar Robinson was second for Riley Motorsports, and Scott Andrews third in the No. 90 JDC-Miller Motorsports Duqueine.

UP NEXT: The second practice, a 1h45m split session where Pro-Am and Pro classes will each have the track to themselves for 15 minutes, begins at 3:15 p.m. Central.