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Pruett Fastest in Third Practice at COTA

Pruett fast while two PCs crash in third practice at COTA…

Photo: IMSA

Photo: IMSA

The No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing Riley-Ford led its second straight practice session Friday morning at Circuit of the Americas, with Scott Pruett posting the fastest lap of the weekend in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship to date in the one-hour session.

Pruett’s best time of 1:57.366 was just under three tenths quicker than the time set by teammate Joey Hand on Thursday afternoon. Both were unofficial track records in the Prototype class.

The top five cars in the Prototype class, down to the fifth-placed No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP, were separated by 0.828 of a second.

Starworks Motorsport led in Prototype Challenge with Renger van der Zande in the No. 8 Oreca FLM09 at 1:59.609, but it was a mixed session for the Peter Baron-led team as its second car was taken out in an accident.

Todd Slusher spun the No. 16 BAR1 Motorsports entry and upon rejoining at Turn 15, managed to clout Sean Rayhall in the No. 88 Starworks car.

It has left Slusher’s car down its right front wheel and with heavy right side damage, and Rayhall’s with heavy left side damage primarily to the left front. Both teams will be in a race against time to fix their cars before qualifying later this afternoon.

BAR1 also had another near-scary moment when Don Yount spun at Turn 12 in the team’s No. 61 car, then nearly collected the No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT America, which took evasive action to the outside of the corner to avoid the spun PC car.

Team Falken Tire topped the GT Le Mans times, with Wolf Henzler clocking in at 2:03.521 in the No. 17 Porsche 911 RSR, only just ahead of Dirk Werner’s BMW, and Earl Bamber’s and Patrick Pilet’s factory Porsches. The top four in class were separated by a scant 0.078 of a second.

Meanwhile in GT Daytona four different manufacturers occupied the top four spots, separated by just 0.189 of a second.

Christopher Haase led the way in the No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Audi R8 LMS ahead of Kuno Wittmer (Aston Martin), Mario Farnbacher (Porsche) and Markus Palttala (BMW).

The Rayhall/Slusher collision, 19 minutes into the session, marked the only red flag.

Qualifying occurs starting at 3:45 p.m. CT and local time.

RESULTS: Practice 3

Tony DiZinno (@tonydizinno) is Sportscar365's North American Editor, focusing on coverage of the IMSA-sanctioned championships as well as Pirelli World Challenge. DiZinno also contributes to and other motorsports outlets. Contact Tony


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