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Vanthoor, Porsche Quickest in Rain-Hit VIR Third Practice

Vanthoor sets the pace in a wet third practice for Sunday’s GT-only IMSA contest…

Photo: Brian Cleary/BC Pix

Porsche continued to set the pace at Virginia International Raceway as Laurens Vanthoor went quickest in Saturday morning’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice session.

Vanthoor, who did all of the driving in the No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR that he shares with Earl Bamber, posted the best time of 2:00.631 in wet conditions.

Nick Tandy went second-fastest in Practice 3 to complete a 1-2 placing for the Porsche North America squad, with the Englishman running 0.307 seconds off his teammate’s pace.

Joey Hand only turned in nine laps behind the wheel of the No. 66 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT, but still found space to record a 2:01.262 to go third overall.

Rounding out the top five were BMW Team RLL’s Connor de Phillippi, who ended up 1.6 seconds shy of Vanthoor’s benchmark, and Jan Magnussen in the best of the Chevrolet Corvette C7.Rs.

Jeroen Bleekemolen surged to the top of the GT Daytona order in the final minute of the hourlong session to lead the class on a time of 2:03.544 in the Riley Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3.

Bleekemolen, who shares the drive with Ben Keating, eclipsed the previous best effort held by the Magnus Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo of Andy Lally, which in turn was a second quicker than the rest of the field.

Richard Heistand placed third in the No. 14 AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 that led the GTD category across Friday’s pair of practice sessions.

No yellow or red flags were flown on Saturday morning despite the adverse weather conditions, which resulted in multiple cars – including the pace-setting No. 912 factory Porsche – having off-track moments.

Qualifying for the Michelin GT Challenge at VIR is set to take place later today at 12:25 p.m. ET.

RESULTS: Practice 3

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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