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Castroneves Tops Opening Practice at Sebring

Acura Team Penske quickest in first practice at Sebring…

Photo: Jake Galstad/IMSA

Helio Castroneves led the way in opening practice for this weekend’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.

The DPi points leader pipped four Cadillac DPi-V.Rs to go to the top of the time charts, thanks to a 1:49.360 lap in his No. 7 Team Penske Acura ARX-05 he shares with Ricky Taylor and Alexander Rossi.

It was 0.035 seconds quicker than the No. 5 JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac of Sebastien Bourdais, who was second ahead of the Matheus Leist-driven sister entry in third.

Ryan Briscoe, who along with Renger van der Zande enter the weekend with a two-point deficit to Castroneves and Ricky Taylor, was fourth quickest, with the No. 31 Action Express Racing Cadillac completing the top-five.

The pair of Multimatic-run Mazda RT24-Ps struggled for pace, three-tenths slower than the Acura DPi in sixth and seventh, respectively. 

Porsche GT Team, in its final GT Le Mans class outing, went 1-2 in class, led by the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR-19 of Fred Makowiecki, who was 0.374 seconds quicker than teammate Laurens Vanthoor.

The No. 25 Team RLL BMW M8 GTE of Connor De Phillippi was third in class.

AIM Vasser Sullivan led GT Daytona, meanwhile, with Jack Hawksworth’s 2:02.961 holding as the quickest in class.

It was 0.327 seconds faster than Patrick Long, who was second, with the sister No. 14 AVS Autosport Lexus third in the hands of Townsend Bell.

LMP2, meanwhile, was paced by the No 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports Oreca 07 Gibson of Simon Trummer.

The 60-minute session featured a red flag for an incident from Patrick Byrne in the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports Oreca, who had a lock-up and spin in Turn 3 in the final 15 minutes.

The car was reported to have sustained “mostly cosmetic” damage, with track action having restarted with 5 minutes remaining on the clock.

The second of three practice sessions on the day is set for 2:35 p.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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