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Westbrook Tops Opening Practice at VIR

Late flyer by Richard Westbrook puts Ford on top in opening practice at VIR…

Photo: Jake Galstad/IMSA

Richard Westbrook topped the time charts in opening practice for Sunday’s Michelin GT Challenge at Virginia International Raceway, in a closely-fought session for GT Le Mans and GT Daytona machinery.

The GTLM class championship leader reeled off a 1:42.627 in the final seconds of the 60-minute session to go quickest, edging out the No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR of Earl Bamber by 0.134 seconds.

Ford GTs placed first and third in the session, with Joey Hand pedaling his No. 66 Ford to a 1:42.793 lap, ahead of defending class champion Antonio Garcia in the No. 3 Corvette C7.R.

The No. 911 Porsche of Patrick Pilet completed the top-five, which was separated by less than four-tenths.

Issues for the No. 24 Team RLL BMW M8 GTE kept it parked in the garage for the majority of the session, although Jesse Krohn managed to complete nine laps in the end.

Drama for GTD Points Leaders

Trouble struck the No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3, with Bryan Sellers slowing on track with an apparent engine failure.

Sellers, who had set the quickest time in GTD at the time, did not return to action.

The No. 14 3GT Racing Lexus RC F GT3 of Jack Hawksworth led the way in class, thanks to a 1:46.956 lap time, followed by Jeroen Bleekemolen’s No. 33 Riley Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3 in second.

Andy Lally was third quickest in class in the No. 44 Magnus Racing Audi R8 LMS.

Practice 2 is scheduled for 4:25 p.m. EDT.

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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