Bamber paces first Petit Le Mans practice for Cadillac

Jake Galstad/Motorsport Image

Bamber paces first Petit Le Mans practice for Cadillac


Bamber paces first Petit Le Mans practice for Cadillac


Earl Bamber set a quick time in the first practice session for the 25th Motul Petit Le Mans in the first 30 minutes of the 90-minute session to top the time sheet in the No. 02 Chip Ganasssi Racing Cadillac. Bamber’s 1m09.583s lap was good for a 131.41mph average around the 2.54-mile, 12-turn Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

“That was a great start to the weekend. We came down here and did a test three weeks ago. I think we did our homework, and the 02 Cadillac rolled off the truck great,” said Bamber.

A DPi championship contender with Oliver Jarvis, Tom Blomqvist set the second-quickest time, 1m09.915s in the No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing with Curb Agajanian Acura, followed by Sebastien Bourdais in the No. 01 CGR Cadillac at 1m10.915s. Pipo Derani (No. 31 Action Express Racing Cadillac) and Kamui Kobayashi (No. 48 AXR Cadillac) rounded out the top five. The No. 10 championship-leading No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura was sixth in the hands of Filipe Albuquerque as he and Ricky Taylor try to secure the title over MSR.

Jack Hawksworth topped all GTD competitors and was all alone at the top of GTD PRO in the No. 14 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 at 1m19.384 (115.19mph). Second-quickest GTD PRO competitor Matt Campbell in the Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3R had a host of GTD runners between he and Hawksworth as he set a time of 1m19.810s. Daniel Serra was third in the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488, followed by John Edwards (BMW M Team RLL M4 GT3) and Antonio Garcia (Corvette Racing C8.R).

The first of the five GTD cars in between Hawksworth and Campbell was the No. 1 Paul Miller Racing BMW M4 GT3 in the hands of Bryan Sellers at 1m19.500s, with Jaden Conwright only 0.09s back in the No. 42 NTE/SSR Lamborghini Huracan. Russell Ward was third in the No. 57 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG at 1m19.711s. Aaron Telitz (No. 12 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F) and Jan Heylen (No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3R) rounding out the top five.

Louis Deletraz topped LMP2 with a 1m11.320s lap in the No. 8 Tower Motorsports ORECA he’ll share with championship leader John Farano and Rui Pinto de Andrade. Sebastian Montoya is back in the No. 81 DragonSpeed USA ORECA and turned a time 0.188s shy of Deletraz, followed by Ryan Dalziel in the No. 18 Era Motorsports ORECA at 1m11.593.

The two championship contenders in LMP3 were at the top of the time sheet, only 0.015s apart. Colin Braun was the quickest in the No. 54 CORE Autosport Ligier over Gar Robinson in the No. 74 Riley Motorsports Ligier. Garret Grist was third for Jr III Racing in the No. 30 Ligier.

The session was interrupted by one red flag just after an hour was complete. Scott Huffaker in the No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA, a contender for both the Michelin Endurance Cup Championship and the overall teams’ championship, went off course and hit the wall in Turn 4.

UP NEXT: Practice 2 at 2:55 p.m. Eastern, a 1h45m session with 15 minutes reserved at the beginning for the Pro-Am classes and 15 minutes at the end for the Pros.