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O’Connell Tops Opening PWC Practice at Sonoma

Johnny O’Connell is fastest in the first PWC practice at Sonoma…

Photo: Brian Cleary/

Johnny O’Connell paced the opening Pirelli World Challenge practice session of the weekend with a late run to the top of the time sheets in the No. 3 Cadillac ATS-V.R.

O’Connell edged James Davison, who was shaking down the No. 69 Champ 1 Mercedes-AMG GT3 normally driven by GTA entrant Pablo Perez Companc, by 0.242 seconds to take the top spot.

Overall and Sprint championship leader Patrick Long wound up third overall and second in the GT class in the No. 58 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.

Michael Cooper, still in championship contention, was fourth fastest in the No. 8 Cadillac, while Long’s teammate Michael Schein took fifth in the No. 16 Porsche.

Defending champion Alvaro Parente, who enters the weekend as Long’s closest competitor in both the Overall and Sprint championships, turned in the seventh fastest time in the No. 9 K-PAX Racing McLaren 650 S GT3.

The lone entrant in GT Cup this weekend, Yuki Harata checked in with a fast lap of 1:38.532 in the No. 55 Dream Racing Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo.

The session ran without incident. Practice 2 is scheduled for 3:35 p.m. PT.

RESULTS: Practice 1

Ryan Myrehn is an Indianapolis-based broadcaster and reporter. In addition to his work covering primarily domestic sports car racing for Sportscar365, he is the lead announcer for SRO America's TV coverage as well as a pit reporter for IndyCar Radio. Myrehn, a graduate of DePauw University, is also the host of Sportscar365's “Double Stint” Podcast.

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