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Van der Zande Tops Rain-Delayed Opening Practice at Sebring

Wayne Taylor Racing sets pace in delayed opening practice session at Sebring…

Photo: Jake Galstad/IMSA

Renger van der Zande led the way in a delayed opening practice for Saturday’s Cadillac Grand Prix of Sebring.

The Wayne Taylor Racing driver led a Cadillac DPi-V.R sweep of the three positions, having reeled off a 1:41.152 lap time in his Konica Minolta-sponsored entry.

It was 0.216 seconds faster than Stephen Simpson in the No. 85 JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac DPi in second, with Pipo Derani third in the No. 31 Action Express Racing entry.

The pair of Team Penske Acura ARX-05 entries completed the top-five overall and in the DPi class.

While having started in wet conditions following a 90-minute delay due to lightning and heavy rain, the 3.7-mile circuit dried out in the second half of the one-hour session when times began to tumble.

The session was brought to an early end with 8 minutes to go when the No. 5 JDC-Miller Cadillac DPi stopped on track.

It came moments after Rob Ferriol ran into mechanical trouble with his No. 30 Team Hardpoint Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo, while the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 was also stationary.

Gustavo Menezes led the way in LMP2, setting the only representative time in the class on slicks, in his No. 81 DragonSpeed Oreca 07 Gibson.

Menezes, who is subbing for team regular Ban Hanley this weekend, posted the 7th quickest time overall and was ahead of the two Mazda RT24-Ps on the overall time sheets.

Porsche, McLaren Lead GT Ranks

Laurens Vanthoor was quickest in GT Le Mans, thanks to a 1:59.501 lap time in his No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR-19.

Vanthoor was the only GTLM driver to break the two-minute barrier in the session.

Daytona winner Jordan Taylor was second in the No. 3 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R, followed by teammate Oliver Gavin in third.

A late flyer by Paul Holton, meanwhile, put Compass Racing’s McLaren 720S GT3 atop the leaderboard in GT Daytona.

Holton’s time as 0.445 seconds faster than the No. 14 AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 of Jack Hawksworth, who was second.

The No. 44 GRT Magnus Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo of Andy Lally completed the top-three.

Twenty-eight of the 29 entries turned laps, with the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports Oreca the only car electing not to take to the track this evening.

Practice 2 is set to get underway Saturday at 10 a.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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