Blomqvist keeps Acura ahead in second Long Beach IMSA practice

Gavin Baker/Motorsport Images

Blomqvist keeps Acura ahead in second Long Beach IMSA practice


Blomqvist keeps Acura ahead in second Long Beach IMSA practice


So far at the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach there are the two Acura ARX-06s…and then there’s everybody else. The No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing with Curb Agajanian Acura and the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport Acura kept trading fast laps in the second practice session before Tom Blomqvist finally claimed supremacy for MSR with a 1m10.391s (100.65mph), 0.323s ahead of Filipe Albuquerque. Albuquerque was going quicker in the first two sectors on his final circuit, but a little bobble at the end scuppered a lap that could have been quickest.

As for everyone else, the first non-Acura was nearly a full second behind Albuquerque and 1.3s off Blomqvist. The No. 25 BMW M Team RLL M Hybrid V8 claimed the third spot in the session with Nick Yelloly at the wheel, a 1m11.693s being the best of the rest. Alexander Sims was fourth in the No. 31 Action Express Racing Cadillac V-Series.R, with Philipp Eng in the second BMW rounding out the top five, followed by the two Porsche Penske Motorsports 963s. The defending Long Beach champs, Sebastien Bourdais and Renger van der Zande, have so far languished in the No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac, bringing up the rear of the GTP field in both sessions.

Acura was on top in GTD as well, with Mario Farnbacher putting the No. 93 Racers Edge with WTR NSX GT3 Evo22 at the top of the time sheet with a 1m18.516s (90.23mph) lap. That time is knocking on the door of Madison Snow’s GTD lap record set in qualifying last year. Seb Priaulx in the No. 80 AO Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R was the second-quickest GTD driver, only 0.056s shy of Farnbacher’s best. Marco Sorensen was third with a 1m18.572s lap in the No. 27 Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3. Frankie Montecalvo (No. 12 Vasser Sullivan Lexus) and Frederik Schandorff (No. 70 Inception Racing McLaren 720S) completed the top five.

It wasn’t until the GTD cars received their virtual checker flag in the split session, leaving the pro classes alone on the track, that a GTD PRO driver went faster, Jack Hawksworth going quicker and turning the first 1m17s GTD PRO lap at Long Beach. His 1m17.876s lap, a 90.98mph average, was under Jordan Taylor’s record lap set in qualifying for last year’s race. The final minutes saw lap times tumbling for all the GTD PRO cars, Patrick Pilet coming closest in the No. 9. Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R, 0.424s back. Antonio Garcia was third at 1m18.429 in the No. 3 Corvette.

Up Next: Qualifying at 5:15 p.m. PT. The GTD classes will qualify first in a 15-minute session, then GTP drivers will have 20 minutes on their own to set the grid for tomorrow’s 100-minute race.