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Derani Leads ESM Nissan Sweep on Friday at Watkins Glen

Pipo Derani leads Tequila Patron ESM 1-2 on Friday at The Glen…

Photo: Nissan

Pipo Derani ended the opening day of practice for the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen on top, leading a 1-2 effort for Tequila Patron ESM.

The Brazilian, recently confirmed for the remainder of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season for the team, reeled off a 1:34.696 lap in the No. 2 Nissan Onroak DPi in Friday’s second practice session.

Derani’s time was 0.597 seconds clear of the team’s No. 22 Nissan of Bruno Senna, which was second on the time sheets.

The No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports Ligier JS P217 Gibson of Olivier Pla made it 1-2-3 sweep for Onroak Automotive-built prototypes, in a day that belonged to the French constructor.

Prototype championship leaders Wayne Taylor Racing ended Friday fourth quickest thanks to Ricky Taylor’s 1:35.402 lap, followed by the No. 85 JDC-Miller Motorsports Oreca 07 Gibson, which set the pace in the morning session in the hands of Stephen Simpson.

The pair of Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi-V.Rs were sixth and seventh, followed by the No. 90 Visit Florida Racing Riley Mk. 30 Gibson, which battled clutch issues in the morning session.

Mazda got both of its RT24-Ps on track for the first time in the afternoon, with the revised No. 70 entry setting the 9th quickest time, although more than three seconds adrift.

Dirk Mueller’s 1:43.078 lap from the morning session held as quickest of the day in GT Le Mans, leading a Ford Chip Ganassi Racing sweep of the top two positions.

Teammate Joey Hand also put the No. 66 Ford GT on the top of the time sheets in Practice 2, more than one-tenth ahead of the sister entry of Richard Westbrook, who seeks his fourth consecutive class win at Watkins Glen.

Michael Shank Racing, meanwhile, led the way in GT Daytona, with the No. 93 Acura NSX GT3 of Andy Lally and Katherine Legge quickest in both sessions.

Legge edged out the No. 15 3GT Racing Lexus RC F GT3 of Jack Hawksworth by 0.168 seconds in the afternoon, with the No. 57 Stevenson Motorsports Audi R8 LMS having posted the third quickest time in class.

Prototype Challenge was led by the No. 38 Performance Tech Oreca FLM09 of Pato O’Ward, despite an accident by the Mexican driver early in the second session to bring out a red flag.

O’Ward’s car sustained rear wing and other minor bodywork damage after hitting the wall in the final corner.

A final 60-minute practice session is on tap for Saturday at 8 a.m., followed by qualifying.

RESULTS: Practice 2

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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