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WeatherTech Championship

Derani Leads Practice 1 at Long Beach

No. 31 Action Express Racing Cadillac V-Series.R quickest in opening practice at Long Beach…

Photo: Josh Tons/IMSA

Pipo Derani was quickest in the opening IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice session of the weekend for Saturday’s Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.

The Brazilian in the No. 31 Action Express Racing Cadillac V-Series.R reeled off a best time of 1:13.477 to outpace the No. 25 Team RLL BMW M Hybrid V8 of Connor De Phillippi by 0.026 seconds.

Sebastien Bourdais was third quickest in the No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac, which sat atop the time charts for the majority of the 60-minute session, which was interrupted twice for red flags.

Nick Tandy and Philipp Eng completed the top five for Porsche Penske Motorsport and BMW M Team RLL, respectively.

Late session improvements by Derani and De Philippi demoted the No. 7 Porsche 963 of Dane Cameron to sixth, ahead of the privateer Porsches from JDC-Miller Motorsports and Proton Competition in seventh and eighth, respectively.

GTD was led by the No. 13 AWA Chevrolet Corvette Z06 GT3.R of Matt Bell, who laid down a 1:18.911 prior to ending up in the Turn 5 barriers with less than three minutes to go.

The incident, however, did not result in a red flag.

Parker Thomson in the No. 89 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 ended up second quickest in class, ahead of the No. 45 Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2 of Kyle Marcelli in third.

The first red flag came for Brendan Iribe, who nosed his No. 70 Inception Racing McLaren 720S GT3 Evo into the barriers with minimal damage with 36 minutes to go.

Mikael Grenier, meanwhile, brought out a second red with 22 minutes left on the clock, when the Canadian slammed into the Turn 8 wall in the No. 32 Korthoff Preston Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo.

Grenier’s Mercedes-AMG sustained suspected steering damage, requiring a tow to the paddock. The session resumed with less than 12 minutes remaining.

Practice 2 gets underway at 12:50 p.m. PDT (3:50 p.m. EDT).

RESULTS: Practice 1

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

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