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Pirelli GT4 America

Murillo Mercedes on Top in Portland Opening Practice

Murillo Mercedes goest fastest in first bout of on-track action for GT4 SprintX at Portland…

Photo: Brian Cleary/SRO America

Kenny Murillo paced the first of two practice sessions for this weekend’s Pirelli GT4 America SprintX round at Portland International Raceway.

Murillo posted a time of 1:17.577 behind the wheel of the No. 34 Murillo Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4 to go six-tenths clear of erstwhile leader Greg Liefooghe in the final five minutes of the 45-minute session.

Kris Wilson, who was initially third in the order, then improved right at the end to jump into second, however the Auto Technic Racing BMW driver ultimately fell 0.410 seconds short of bagging the top time.

Liefooghe’s 1:18.235 effort in the No. 19 Stephen Cameron Racing BMW M4 GT4 stood as the third-best, while Jon Miller went fourth-quickest in the No. 28 ST Racing BMW.

Session leader Murillo and his co-driver Christian Szymczak are part of the SprintX West series field, which is sharing the Portland grid with the SprintX nationwide championship.

Auto Technic Racing’s Wilson and John Allen are in the SprintX nationwide Am sub-class, while Liefooghe and his driving partner Sean Quinlan are in the Pro-Am bracket.

Rounding out the top five in Practice 2 was Matt Travis who steered the No. 47 Nolasport Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport to a time of 1:18.442 around the 1.97-mile circuit.

Travis and Jason Hart are heading into the Rose Cup Races with the SprintX nationwide championship lead, while the SprintX Am points leaders are Matthew Keegan and Preston Calvert.

The latter pairing’s Panoz Avezzano GT4 ran 14th in the first on-track opportunity of the weekend.

A second practice session is bookmarked for 3:20 p.m. local time, while qualifying for both of the weekend’s races takes place on Saturday morning.

RESULTS: Practice 1

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365 and e-racing365, with a focus on the FIA World Endurance Championship and various electric racing series.

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