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TUSCC: Circuit of the Americas, Free Practice 1 Report

Spirit of Daytona took bragging rights in the opening Tudor Championship practice session of the weekend with Richard Westbrook setting the fastest lap. The #90 Corvette DP lapped the 5.4-kilometre Circuit of the Americas with a 2:00.306, leading a train of four more Daytona Prototypes before the first LMP2 car in sixth overall.

Oswaldo Negri Jr. took second place in the #60 Michael Shank Racing Ford EcoBoost Riley, trailing the leader by only .081 seconds. The #5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP placed third, clocking in at a 2:00.809.

The quickest LMP2 meanwhile was the #2 Extreme Speed Motorsports HPD ARX-03b with Johannes van Overbeek behind the wheel, over a second off the pace with a 2:01.338. The team from California needn’t fear too much, however, given their experimental outing in the FIA WEC this weekend proved fruitful in Free Practice 1 at least, with the Patrón-branded machine setting the quickest time in LMP2 by over a second, and incidentally over three seconds faster than the TUSCC spec machine.

Gunnar Jeannette drove his #52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA FLM09 to the lead in the PC class, setting a 2:02.453, beating RSR driver Jack Hawksworth’s best by .131 seconds. RSR’s sister car, the #09 piloted by Bruno Junqueira and Chris Cumming, set a 2:02.752, good enough for third.

In GTLM, Porsche’s locked out the top three positions with the #910 Porsche North America 911 RSR, currently a one-off addition to the Austin round in order to secure constructor’s points, in first place with Patrick Pilet posting a very quick 2:04.844. The #912 (Long/Christensen) and #911 (Tandy/Bergmeister), also fielding by the Porsche North America factory team, took second and third. Porsche’s nearest competitor was the #93 Dodge Viper SRT of Jonathan Bomarito and Kuno Wittmer, .675 seconds off of the lead.

TRG-AMR’s James Davison went quickest in GTD and was the only driver able to dip down into the 2:09’s, setting a 2:09.815. Andrew Davis took the #27 Dempsey Racing Porsche 911 GT America, which he co-drives with Patrick Dempsey, to second, .24 seconds off the lead. Co-leader of the GTD class championship, Dane Cameron, expertly drove his Turner Motorsports BMW Z4 to round out the top three, branded the #300 instead of the usual #94 this weekend as the team makes its 300th start.

Beck Duggleby