Ricky Taylor leads as Acuras pace first Long Beach IMSA practice

Jake Galstad/Motorsport Images

Ricky Taylor leads as Acuras pace first Long Beach IMSA practice


Ricky Taylor leads as Acuras pace first Long Beach IMSA practice


Filipe Albuquerque predicted that Acura had closed the gap to Cadillac on the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s rougher circuits such, and he and co-driver Ricky Taylor delivered solid evidence that he was correct during the first practice session for the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.

As the GTP cars are getting their first experience on the 1.968-mile, 11-turn temporary street circuit, Taylor snatched the fast time from Albuquerque late in the hour-long session, then lowered it several times, finally setting a 1m11.942s lap on his final circuit in the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport ARX-06. Tom Blomqvist was second in the other ARX-06, the No. 60 entry from Meyer Shank Racing with Curb Agajanian, with a 0.858s margin to Taylor.

The two Porsche Penske Motorsports 963s were next, Mathieu Jaminet setting the third-quickest time at 1m13.550s in the No. 6, with Augusto Farfus completing the top five in the No. 24 BMW M Team RLL M Hybrid V8. Outside of Taylor’s stellar lap, second through sixth (Pipo Derani, No. 31 Action Express Racing Cadillac V-Series.R) were covered by a second.

Defending Long Beach GTD PRO winners Heart of Racing topped that class, Alex Riberas turning a 1m19.303s lap in the No. 23 Aston Martin Vantage GT3. Jack Hawksworth was only 0.71s shy in the No. 14 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3. With a 1m19.660s lap, Jordan Taylor was third with a time that put him behind the first GTD entry as 19 GT cars were covered by one second.

Alec Udell led the GTD class in the No. 92 Kellymoss with Riley Porsche 911 GT3 R with a 1m19.488s lap good for third overall among the GTs. Loris Spinelli was second in the No. 78 Forte Racing Powered by USRT Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo2, 0.201s slower than Udell. Bryan Sellers was third in the 2022 Long Beach-winning No. 1 Paul Miller Racing BMW M4 GT3 with a 1m19.697s lap.

UP NEXT: The second, and last, practice session before qualifying, a 1h45m split session at 3:45pm ET.