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Derani Leads AXR Cadillac 1-2 in Thursday Night Session

Derani, Albuquerque lead Practice 3 for Action Express; Ford tops the GTLM pile…

Photo: Brian Cleary/

Pipo Derani led a 1-2 result for Action Express Racing’s pair of Cadillac DPi-V.Rs in night practice for the Motul Petit Le Mans race at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

Derani, driving the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac, set a fastest lap of 1:09.455 to beat Filipe Albuquerque in the AXR team’s sister No. 5 Mustang Sampling car by 0.198 seconds.

Third-quickest in night practice, which was the third session of the day, was Ricky Taylor in the No. 7 Team Penske Acura ARX-05 DPi.

Taylor’s 1:09.728 effort came up just seven-hundredths of a second short of splitting the two lead Cadillacs.

Tristan Vautier finished fourth in the leaderboard after setting a time of 1:09.935 in the No. 85 JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac, while Oliver Jarvis placed the best of the Team Joest-run Mazda RT24-P DPi cars in fifth.

After Thursday’s afternoon session was affected by four red flag stoppages for separate incidents, night practice ran with a single red flag for the Juncos Racing Cadillac which Rene Binder beached in the Turn 10a gravel.

However, this intervention consumed less than five minutes of the 90-minute run time.

The GT Le Mans class was led by Dirk Mueller, who set the No. 66 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT on top of the class order with a time of 1:16.552.

Tom Blomqvist came closest to snatching the top spot away, with the BMW Team RLL driver coming up two-tenths shy of Mueller’s benchmark.

The Turner Motorsports BMW M6 GT3 led the way in GT Daytona, courtesy of Bill Auberlen’t 1:19.311, while the LMP2 pace was set by Gabriel Aubry in the PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports Oreca 07 Gibson.

Next up for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship field is a fourth practice session taking place at 11:15 a.m. ET.

RESULTS: Practice 3

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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