With the championship on the line, Patrick Long has shown the early edge at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, having posted the quickest time in Friday’s second and final Pirelli World Challenge Sprint practice session.
The Porsche factory driver ended the day on top of the time charts, reeling off a best lap of 1:24.856 in his No. 58 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
Long’s time, however, was no match for Practice 1 pace-setter Michael Cooper, whose 1:23.986 lap in the No. 8 Cadillac ATS-V.R stood as the quickest of the day.
Cooper, however, suffered a crash from a suspected mechanical failure in the second session, which brought out a red flag.
“I was coming down the the hill through Turn 9 and something broke on the front right of the car and I went off and brushed the wall,” Cooper said. “The Cadillac Racing team had a fixed an hour later, so we are ready for tomorrow.”
Long heads into Sunday’s title decider 9 points behind championship leader Alvaro Parente, of K-PAX Racing, who posted the 6th quickest time in the afternoon session.
Up front, the No. 98 Calvert Dynamics Porsche of Michael Lewis made it a 1-2 for the German manufacturer in the second session, followed by the No. 2 CRP Racing Audi R8 LMS ultra of Kyle Marcelli, who has continued to impress with the previous-generation GT3 car.
Spencer Pumpelly, in the No. 34 RealTime Racing Acura TLX GT and the Austin Cindric-driven No. 6 K-PAX McLaren 650S GT3 completed the top-five overall and in the GT class.
Wright’s Michael Schein led the way in GTA, having posted a 1:26.041 in his No. 16 Porsche, while Corey Fergus bounced back from an engine failure on Thursday to go quickest in GT Cup.
Sprint qualifying for GT/GTA/GT Cup gets underway Saturday beginning at 10:25 a.m. PT.
RESULTS: Practice 2