Antonio Garcia ended the opening day of track activity for the Michelin GT Challenge at Virginia International Raceway on top, in a closely fought pair of practice sessions.
The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Le Mans class championship leader reeled off a best lap of 1:41.323 in his No. 3 Corvette C7.R to go quickest right at the end of the afternoon’s 60-minute session.
Garcia bumped the No. 66 Ford GT of Dirk Mueller, who ended up third in the session and on the day, thanks to a late improvement by the No. 24 BMW Team RLL BMW M6 GTLM of John Edwards.
“We can see that everyone is close,” Garcia said. “A lot of it [setting a fast lap] depends on when you use your tires and your fuel load. That’s the biggest thing.
“There is still quite a bit of grip here. It’s different from last year; it’s less consistent. But everyone is very tight and the race and qualifying should be like that, too. It’s a bit early yet but it’s good to be on the competitive side of things.”
The No. 67 Ford of Ryan Briscoe and Giancarlo Fisichella’s No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE completed the top-five, which were separated by just over four-tenths.
Change Racing’s Jeroen Mul led the way in GT Daytona, flying to a 1:43.830 lap in the No. 16 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 he shares with Corey Lewis.
The No. 93 Michael Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 of Andy Lally, and the No. 57 Stevenson Motorsports Audi R8 LMS of Andrew Davis, which was one of a handful of cars to have had an off-course excursion, completed the top-three in class.
No major damage was sustained by any of the cars in the afternoon session.
Practice 3 is set for 8:45 a.m. ET.
RESULTS: Practice 2