Christian Fittipaldi turned in a late flyer to top the time charts a red flag-plagued opening practice session for the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic in Detroit for Action Express Racing
Fittipaldi’s best lap in the No. 5 AXR Cadillac DPi-V.R of 1:23.750 was 0.480 seconds clear of second place Jordan Taylor in the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac.
Misha Goikhberg turned in the third fastest Prototype lap of the session in the JDC-Miller Oreca 07 Gibson.
Jeroen Mul led the stout GT Daytona field in the No. 16 Change Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3, displacing class points leader Jeroen Bleekemolen’s No. 33 Riley Team AMG Mercedes-AMG GT3 on his last flying lap.
Mul’s fast time was just 0.107 seconds faster than Bleekemolen, with Andrew Davis third quick for Stevenson Motorsports in their Audi R8 LMS GT3 0.155 seconds off the class leader.
Six different manufacturers were represented in the top nine in GTD.
Pato O’Ward dominated the three-car Prototype Challenge field for Performance Tech Motorsports.
There were three red flag periods in the 90-minute practice session, all for contact on track.
The first came just minutes into the session when Ryan Lewis, who is deputizing for Buddy Rice this weekend, made contact with the wall on his third lap in the No. 20 BAR1 Motorsports PC entry. The car was taken back to the paddock and did not return.
The second red flag was necessitated when Daniel Morad spun in Turn 1 and made rear-end contact with the tire barrier. The Canadian was able to drive the Alegra Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R back to the pits.
IMSA Radio reported damage to the car’s rear wing and exhaust system as well as superficial damage to the bodywork.
The final red flag came out with under 20 minutes remaining in the session when Ozz Negri spun in nearly the same spot on the track and made contact with the tire barriers in Turn 1.
The car returned to the pit lane under its own power but did suffer damage.
Also of note, the PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports Ligier JS P217 Gibson did not take part in the practice and was seen hard at work preparing the car in the paddock.
It will be a quick thrash for the teams affected by misfortune to get turned around and ready to go for the final practice of the weekend this afternoon at 1 p.m. ET.
Qualifying is this evening, beginning with GTD at 4:55 p.m. ET.
RESULTS: Practice 1