Mazda has ended the opening day of practice for Sunday’s Continental Monterey Grand Prix on top, with the pair of SpeedSource-run prototypes running 1-2 in both sessions.
Jonathan Bomarito was quickest of the day, taking his No. 55 entry to a fast lap of 1:18.139 in Friday’s afternoon session at a chilly Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
Bomarito’s time was 0.693 seconds quicker than the sister No. 70 entry of Tom Long and Joel Miller in the session, although Miller’s 1:18.564 time from the morning stood as the car’s best of the day.
It still resulted in a Mazda sweep, as the Japanese manufacturer seeks its elusive first victory in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in Sunday’s two-hour race.
The No. 60 Michael Shank Racing Ligier JS P2 Honda made a P2 sweep of the top three positions, thanks to Ozz Negri’s 1:18.699 lap set in the morning session.
Negri was also third quickest in Practice 2, with the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP and DeltaWing DWC13 Elan completing the top-five in class in the afternoon.
Despite the dominant run, it wasn’t completely clear sailing for Mazda in the session, as Miller spun at the Corkscrew and high-sided his car on the curbs to bring out a red flag with one minute remaining on the clock.
The car did not appear to sustain any damage.
Scuderia Corsa led the way in the GT Le Mans class in both sessions, thanks to flyers by both Daniel Serra and Alessandro Pier Guidi in the team’s No. 68 Ferrari 488 GTE car.
Pier Guidi’s 1:22.975 set in the morning held as the quickest of the day, followed by the No. 66 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT of Dirk Mueller and Joey Hand in second.
It was the No. 67 Ford of Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook that ended up second quickest in Practice 2 but third on the day, ahead of the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari in fourth.
Colin Braun led Prototype Challenge, with the CORE autosport driver reeling off a quick lap of 1:19.673 to go quickest of the day in the class.
Braun edged out the No. 8 Starworks Motorsport Oreca FLM09 of Renger van der Zande by 0.723 seconds in the second practice session, although the Dutchman ran quicker in the morning.
The No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports entry was third in both sessions, and also on the day.
The Heart of Racing/Alex Job Racing, meanwhile, paced GT Daytona, thanks to Mario Farnbacher’s 1:25.390, also set in the afternoon.
Farnbacher led a Porsche 911 GT3 R 1-2-3 sweep in class, with the Sebring class-winning No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3 fourth on the class time charts.
Final practice for the PC/GTD teams gets underway Saturday at 9 a.m. PT, followed by P/GTLM practice at 11:05 a.m.