Kevin Estre (GT Le Mans) and Bill Auberlen (GT Daytona) led the way in opening practice for Saturday’s Michelin GT Challenge at Virginia International Raceway.
Estre, in the No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Porsche 911 RSR-19, had a chart-topping 1:41.124 in the Proton Competition-run entry, beating out the pair of factory Chevrolet Corvette C8.Rs.
The Frenchman was 0.797 seconds quicker than the No. 4 Corvette driven by Nick Tandy, with the class championship-leading No. 3 entry of Jordan Taylor and Antonio Garcia third quickest overall and in class.
Turner Motorsport’s Auberlen, meanwhile, paced the 15-strong GTD field, thanks to a 1:44.391 lap time set in his No. 96 BMW M6 GT3.
It was 0.275 seconds faster than the No. 19 Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo of Franck Perera, who made a late charge.
The IMSA WeatherTech Sprint Cup points-leading No. 23 The Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3 of Ross Gunn was third on the time sheets while Jack Hawksworth was fourth quickest in class in the No. 14 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3.
Daniel Morad topped the time charts early in the 60-minute session in the returning No. 28 Alegra Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo and settled for fifth best in class.
There were no major incidents during the session although the Long Beach class-winning and GTD championship-contending No. 1 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini was struck with electrical issues.
Sellers completed only nine in-and-out laps trying in an attempt to diagnose the issue.
The day’s second and final practice session is scheduled to start at 11:55 a.m. ET, with qualifying beginning at 4:35 p.m. local time.
RESULTS: Practice 1