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Van der Zande Tops Opening Practice at Sebring

Chip Ganassi Racing paces first, third in opening practice for Twelve Hours of Sebring…

Photo: Rick Dole/IMSA

Renger van der Zande paced the opening practice session for Saturday’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, putting Chip Ganassi Racing and Cadillac atop the time sheets in the 90-minute IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship session.

The Dutchman reeled off a best lap of 1:46.822 in the No. 01 Cadillac DPi-V.R to edge out the Rolex 24 at Daytona race-winning No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing Acura ARX-05 of Tom Blomqvist by a considerable 0.758 seconds.

Earl Bamber made it two CGR Cadillacs in the top-three, thanks to a 1:47.546 lap time.

The No. 48 Action Express Racing Cadillac of Mike Rockenfeller was fourth quickest, with Pipo Derani completing the top-five in the sister No. 31 entry.

Louis Deletraz paced LMP2 in the No. 8 Tower Motorsport Oreca 07 Gibson while CORE autosport’s Colin Braun paced LMP3 in their Ligier JS P320 Nissan.

BMW M Team RLL led the way in GTD Pro, thanks to Nick Yelloly’s 2:00.518 lap time in the No. 24 BMW M4 GT3.

It was 0.165 seconds quicker than the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 of Daniel Serra.

Both cars were quicker than the No. 57 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo of Philip Ellis, who paced GTD with the third best time among the GT3-spec cars.

The Winward car, however, sustained damage in an accident in Turn 3 for Russell Ward, which brought out the second of two red flags.

The first red was for the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports Ligier LMP3 car that stopped in Turn 7 with electrical gremlins.

Practice 2 gets underway at 2:25 p.m. ET.

RESULTS: Practice 1

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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