Red Flag Plagued Practice Sessions on Day 1 at Road America Throw Teams for Loop
The IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship kicked off IMSA SportsCar weekend at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. As the two practice session commenced the drivers found themselves in a bit of an odd predicament. Multiple red flags were flown as the teams attempted to get acquainted with the new pavement surface at Road America. There didn’t seem to be a groove amongst the drivers on grid on day one’s activities. Multiple cars exceeded track limits, missed breaking zones or got caught out due to liquid on the track. The new tarmac has proven to be a challenge for the drivers to navigate prior to qualifying which will take place this afternoon starting at 1:15pm local time.
Conditions are expected to be similar to Friday with some clouds in the forecast. However for the race on Sunday it looks like rain is a big possibility. The teams relay on data gathered from practice and qualifying to make optimum changes to the cars come race time. If it rains that data becomes less useful and teams will have to make changes on the fly to adapt to the changing conditions.
In addition to the weather throwing the teams for a loop. Multiple fans suffered tent and canopy damage due to the night time wins and rain heading into Friday morning. The weather seems to be a bit more tamed as we head into Saturday night. With IMSA and Road America reporting that camping has been sold out. We anticipate local stores to also be sold out of camping gear as many will need replacement gear to make it through the weekend. If you are attending the event plan accordingly!
IMSA Sportscar Weekend Practice Notes
Whelen Engineering Cadillac Racing ran fastest between the two practice sessions setting a 1:47.986 ahead of the No. 10 Cadillac Racing V-Series.R. Whelen was the only car to dip into the 1:47s lap times in practice. The Konica Minolta Acura ARX-06 rounded out the top 3 in GTP.
In LMP2 the No. 11 the LMP2 championship leading TDS Racing ORECA LMP2 07 topped the table in practice one but as pace picked up they fell to the back of the group in practice 2. Additionally TDS Racing have their work cut out for them as both the No. 11 and No. 35 cars were heavily damaged. The no. 34 crashed out of practice one and the No. 11 had an almost identical crash in practice 2. Both cars were retired from their respective sessions. A quick turn around for repairs will be required to get the cars rebuilt for tomorrow’s qualifying session.
The No. 18 Era Motorsports car ran fastest in class setting a 1:52.244
Garett Grist was fastest in Le Mans Prototype 3 (LMP3) at 1:58.069 in his No. 30 Jr III Racing Ligier JS P320. Awa Racing No. 13 Duqueine D08 ran second fastest just over 4 tenths behind. Despite the on track drama the LMP3 class avoided the majority of the incidents. All cars in class finish the practices sessions.
GTD Pro was led by the No. 3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C8.R driven by Jason Taylor and GTD by the No. 32 Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Team Korthoff Motorsports.
The Results of each session can be found below:
Practice Session One
Practice Session Two