It was many familiar faces at the top of each class for the first session of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship practice session at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Fifty-five cars spread among the four new classes had its first on-track session of the weekend, scheduled for sixty minutes on the 2.238-mile, 12-turn elevated road course.
The hour-long session was shortened by a Red Flag when DOUG BIELEFELD/No.88 BAR1 Motorsports ORECA FLM09/Chevrolet/Continental launched himself into the Turn Six tire wall, and the tires came falling down. He was unhurt but it was a difficult and lengthy extrication requiring a flatbed tow truck.
The session was restarted 13 minutes later, and six minutes later another Red Flag was displayed for SPENCER PUMPELLY/No.45 GTD Flying Lizards Motorsports Audi R8 LMS/Audi/Continental when he ran out of fuel on course. Four minutes later the checkered was thrown, a bit early.
The cars exited the Pit Lane by reversing at Start-Finish, causing some consternation for the larger Prototypes which couldn’t quite negotiate the sharp turn.
Veteran sports car racer, SCOTT PRUETT/No.01 Chip Ganassi Racing Riley DP/Ford/Continental topped the charts in the Prototype Class. Pruett’s time was 1:20.243. His car was one of 55 on the Pruett’s teammate, MEMO ROJAS, also logged miles in the car. All the cars in this class run Continental Tires.
Second overall was JOAO BARBOSA/No.5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP/Chevrolet/Continental. The Delta Wing Racing Car team returned to the series this weekend, with ANDY MEYERICK and KATHERINE LEGGE. The Elan-engined car was third fastest overall and in the P class with Meyerick at the wheel.
Fastest in the PC class was COLIN BRAUN/No.54 Core Autosport ORECA FLM09/Chevrolet/Continental. His lap was 1:20.915. All the cars in this class run the same chassis, engine and tires.
DIRK MUELLER/No.56 GTLM BMW RLL BMW Z4 GTE/BMW/Michelin turned a 1:24.066 for top in the GT Le Mans class. This category is the only one of the four with open tires. All but one run Michelin. The other team is Team Falken Tire with WOLF HENZLER and BRYAN SELLERS/No.17 Porsche 911 RSR.
In the large GTD class, LEH KEEN/No.22 Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT America/Porsche/Continental was quickest at 1:27.641
The next session is another hour-long practice with the combined classes, at 3:45pm PT, after the 150-minute race for the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Series.