Renger van der Zande put Visit Florida Racing on top in the opening IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice session at Road Atlanta.
The Dutch driver set a lap time of 1:12.650 in his No. 90 Ligier JS P217 Gibson midway through the session in a close-fought battle between the top Prototype teams in the first session ahead of this weekend’s season-ending Motul Petit Le Mans.
Van der Zande was just 0.033 seconds clear of Jordan Taylor’s Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R while Helio Castroneves was only a further 0.008 seconds back in the Team Penske Oreca 07 Gibson on its program debut.
The JDC-Miller Motorsports and Rebellion Racing Orecas completed the top five.
Laurens Vanthoor and Porsche lead the way in the GT Le Mans category ahead of the pair of Corvette C7.Rs.
A lap time of 1:18.320 put Vanthoor’s No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR ahead of Tommy Milner’s Corvette by only 0.004 seconds.
A late flier from Jeroen Mul moved his No. 16 Change Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 into the GT Daytona class lead by 0.254 seconds ahead of the Land Motorsport Audi R8 LMS driven by Connor De Phillippi.
James French led the way in Prototype Challenge in his Performance Tech Motorsports Oreca FLM09.
Both the No. 24 BMW M6 GTLM and GTD points-leading Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3 had mechanical issues throughout the session preventing them from setting many laps.
Practice 2 will get underway at 3:15 p.m. local time.
RESULTS: Practice 1