Hawksworth, Read fastest in second IMSA practice at VIR

Sam Cobb/Lumen

Hawksworth, Read fastest in second IMSA practice at VIR


Hawksworth, Read fastest in second IMSA practice at VIR


The final minutes of the second practice session of an IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship weekend are usually a flurry of teams throwing sticker tires on the cars for qualifying simulations and quickly changing fast laps. Saturday morning, the Vasser Sullivan Lexus team threw down early, though. Jack Hawksworth set a time of 1m43.984s in the No. 14 RC F GT3 to lead GTD PRO and overall, an average lap speed of 113.21mph around the 3.27-mile, 17-turn VIRginia International Raceway, in preparation for the Michelin GT Challenge at VIR.

“The track is fast and flowing around here so its suits us, and it’s nice and cool this morning,” Hawksowrth said after handing the car to teammate Ben Barnicoat. “That was a qualifying simulation. Hopefully we’ll find a couple more tenths in qualifying.”

The fast time in GTD was set early in the session as well, as Aidan Read also put in his fast time in the first 30 minutes of the hour-and-a-half session. Read’s 1m44.518s lap was good for second overall in the No. 51 Rick Ware Racing Acura NSX. Toward the end of the session, he made light contact with the tire barrier in Oak Tree, but the car’s nose was only scuffed.

“The way this thing makes speed is a little bit unconventional at times, but it also suits my style,” said Read. “I’m having fun that at this track. I learned it yesterday; I feel like I got my head around it, and we’re fastest in class today, second on the board overall. I’m disappointed we have a little bit of work to do on the car. I just nosed it in on one of my qualifying sims there, but we still laid down a decent banker and we’re in a good window. We’ve got a couple of little tweaks to make just to give us some love before qualifying.”

Read replaced Bill Auberlen at the top of the GTD charts, and Auberlen and the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M4 GT3 never went faster than 1m44.610s in the session, but maintained second in GTD and third overall. Mike Skeen turned the best time for Team Korthoff Motorsports in a late-session qualifying simulation to hold third in GTD, eighth overall, in the No. 32 Mercedes-AMG.

Rounding out the top five in GTD were a couple of cars that experienced issues in the session. The No. 42 NTE/SSR Lamborghini Huracán made a late entrance into the session after Jaden Conwright realized something was off with the brakes on the way to pit lane, and the team had to replace the rear master cylinder before Conwright could set the fourth-quickest time. Frankie Montecalvo put down a time good for fifth before the No. 12 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 stopped on track with an apparent fuel delivery issue, similar to one experienced by the No. 14 in the first practice session at Road America.

After Hawksworth, most of the fast GTD PRO times were set in the final minutes. Ross Gunn, who holds the VIR GTD qualifying record at 1m43.356s, was second quickest in PRO and fourth overall in the No. 23 Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage at 1m44.650s. The rest of the GTD PRO field was right behind, with Matt Campbell third, 0.076s slower in the No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3R, followed by Connor De Phillippi (N0. 25 BMW M Team RLL M4 GT3) and Antonio Garcia (No. 3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette).

The session was halted by one red flag for Ryan Hardwick putting the No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3R into the tire barrier at Roller Coaster. Damage was slight, and the car was back out less than 20 minutes later with a new bumper, fender and door. The Paul Miller Racing BMW M4 had an issue with the floor and diffuser, and the team took the car back to the paddock for repairs, ending the session for the No. 1 less than halfway through.


UP NEXT: The 15-minute qualifying session at 3:15 p.m. ET, which can be seen on IMSA.TV.

MX-5 Cup | Round 2 – Daytona | Livestream