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WeatherTech Championship

Ricky Taylor Paces Opening Practice at COTA

Ricky Taylor paced the opening IWSC practice at COTA…

(Photo: Brian Cleary/bcpix.com)

(Photo: Brian Cleary/bcpix.com)

Rick Taylor and Wayne Taylor Racing topped the time sheets in the first practice for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Advance Auto Parts SportsCar Showdown at Circuit of The Americas.

Taylor posted the fast time of 1:57.116 on his tenth tour of the Austin, Texas circuit in the No. 10 Cadillac DPi-V.R, checking in under the track’s existing qualifying record.

Joao Barbosa put in the second-fastest lap of the session in the No. 5 Action Express Racing Cadillac, just 0.077 seconds off of Taylor’s fast time.

Ryan Dalziel in the No. 2 Tequila Patron ESM Nissan Onroak DPi and Jonathan Bomarito in the No. 55 Mazda RT24-P completed the top four, followed by Eric Curran in the No. 31 Cadillac.

Dirk Mueller and Ford Chip Ganassi Racing paced the GT Le Mans class in the No. 66 Ford GT, trailed closely by BMW Team RLL’s Martin Tomczyk and Ryan Briscoe in the No. 67 Ford.

The strong start to the season for the Mercedes AMG GT3 continued in the first practice at COTA, with Tristan Vautier turning in a late flyer to pace the class for SunEnergy1 Racing.

Jeroen Bleekmolen in the Riley Team AMG Mercedes was a full 0.589 seconds behind in second, with the Ferrari 488 GT3 of Alessandro Balzan third in class for Scuderia Corsa.

Pato O’Ward led the three-car Prototype Challenge field for Performance Tech Motorsports, nearly five seconds ahead of the second-place BAR1 Motorsports entry with series debutante Stefan Wilson at the controls.

The WeatherTech Championship teams and cars return to the track for the second practice of the weekend at 2:55 p.m. CT this afternoon.

RESULTS: Practice 1

Ryan Myrehn is an Indianapolis-based broadcaster and reporter. In addition to his work covering primarily domestic sports car racing for Sportscar365, he is a pit reporter for SRO America's TV coverage as well as for IndyCar Radio. Myrehn, a graduate of DePauw University, is also the host of Sportscar365's “Double Stint” Podcast.

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