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O’Connell Tops Opening Long Beach Practice

SKI Autosports driver paces opening GT America powered by AWS session at Long Beach…

Photo: Fabian Lagunas/SRO

Johnny O’Connell led the way in the opening GT America powered by AWS practice session at Long Beach.

The former GM factory star reeled off a chart-topping 1:20.458 lap in the No. 3 SKI Autosports Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II around the famed street circuit.

O’Connell was 0.579 seconds quicker than the No. 27 CRP Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo of Jason Daskalos, with James Sofronas third in the No. 14 GMG Racing Audi.

GT3 newcomer Justin Rothberg, steering the No. 29 Turner Motorsport BMW M4 GT3, and Kyle Washington’s GMG Type-991.2 Porsche 911 GT3 R, completed the top-five.

George Kurtz was sixth in the No. 04 CrowdStrike by Riley Mercedes-AMG, meanwhile.

Dan Knox put his No. 10 Lone Star Racing Mercedes-AMG GT2 quickest in the five-car GT2 class, ahead of Sonoma winner Aaron Farhadi in the No. 127 TPC Racing Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo EVO2.

GT4 was led by the No. 098 Rotek Racing Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport of Isaac Sherman, who edged out Heart of Racing Team’s Gray Newell and teammate Robb Holland.

The 30-minute session ran without any red flags.

The second and final practice prior to qualifying is set for 11:30 a.m. PDT (2:30 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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