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Mazda 1-2 In Sebring Night Practice

Rast puts the #77 out front

Mazda Team Joest’s promising first day of practice at Sebring ended on a high note in the Night Session for the IMSA WeatherTech runners, the team’s RT24-Ps finishing up 1-2 in the times.

Leading the pair was the #77, Rene Rast setting the fastest lap, a 1:48.233, ahead of the #55 which completed the day with a 1:48.233 by Harry Tincknell, who was half a second off.

Completing the top three was the Whelen Engineering Action Express Cadillac, its best time a 1:48.799 from Felipe Nasr. The lap beat out the #2 ESM Nissan DPi and CORE autosport ORECA which finished up fourth and fifth, six and eight tenths off the session-topping Mazda.

After leading the first two sessions of the meeting earlier in the day, the #7 Acura Team Penske ARX-07 could only manage 12th overall, with a 1:50.111 lap.

In the GTLM class, Ford continued its stranglehold of the top spot, though this time it was the #66 GT leading the way, its best tour of the airfield-based circuit a 1:57.371 by Dirk Muller.

Second was the #25 BMW Team RLL M8 GTLM, which with a 1:57.654 by Alex Sims, ahead of the #912 Porsche, Laurent Vanthoor putting the 911 RSR third with a 1:57.843.

Further down the order, the #4 Corvette ended up eighth in class, but notably caused a late red flag in the session after Marcel Fassler ground to a halt at Turn 6. The Swiss was able to fire the C7.R back up though, causing a restart to the session with 90 seconds remaining.

In GTD, Turner Motorsport set the benchmark time with its M6 GT3 in what were the first night laps for the teams of the weekend. The team’s time was a 2:00.970 by Markus Palttala.

Behind, the Spirit of Race Ferrari again finished high up the order, in seconds spot, ahead of the Land Motorsport Audi which slotted in third. Remarkably, both the Ferrari and Audi were less than a tenth slower than Palttala.

Free Practice 4 for the IMSA WeatherTech teams will start tomorrow morning at 8:00 am local time.