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Albuquerque Paces Opening Practice at Mid-Ohio

Acura ARX-05 DPis go 1-2 in opening WeatherTech Championship session at Mid-Ohio…

Photo: Jake Galstad/IMSA

Filipe Albuquerque led the way in opening practice for Sunday’s Lexus Grand Prix at Mid-Ohio, putting the DPi points co-leading No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura ARX-05 on top of the time sheets.

The Portuguese driver reeled off a best lap of 1:11.828 early in the 90-minute session to outpace the sister Acura DPi of Meyer Shank Racing’s Tom Blomqvist by 0.076 seconds.

Earl Bamber set the third quickest time in the No. 02 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R, ahead of Pipo Derani’s No. 31 Action Express Racing entry and the Sebastien Bourdais-driven No. 01 CGR entry, which completed the top-five.

The No. 01 CGR Cadillac lost significant time early on with a steering column change, with Bourdais completing only 23 laps in the session.

LMP2 was led by the class championship-leading No. 18 Era Motorsport Oreca 07 Gibson of Ryan Dalziel thanks to a 1:13:478, which was less than two seconds slower than the DPi pace-setting time.

Dalziel edged out the No. 11 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports entry of Jonathan Bomarito by 0.407 seconds.

Colin Braun topped the time sheets in LMP3 in his No. 54 CORE autosport Ligier JS P320 Nissan, meanwhile.

The GTD class, which features a reduced 11-car field this weekend, was paced by the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M4 GT3 of Robby Foley.

Foley’s 1:21.220 was 0.208 seconds faster than Jack Hawksworth, who is making a cameo appearance in the No. 17 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 alongside Richard Heistand.

Bryan Sellers made it two BMWs in the top-three in his No. 1 Paul Miller Racing machine.

The session saw two red flags, the first for the No. 36 Andretti Autosport Ligier of Jarett Andretti, which stopped on course.

It was followed by an incident between Lance Willsey and the No. 70 inception racing McLaren 720S GT3 of Brendan Iribe, who had a coming together in Turn 11 in the closing minutes that resulted in an early checkered flag. Both cars didn’t appear to sustain any damage.

Practice 2 gets underway Saturday at 9 a.m. ET.

RESULTS: Practice 1

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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