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Bleekemolen Leads Mercedes-AMG Sweep in SprintX Practice 1

Jeroen Bleekemolen leads Mercedes-AMG 1-2 in first practice…

Photo: Brian Cleary/

Photo: Brian Cleary/

Jeroen Bleekemolen has topped the time charts in the first Pirelli World Challenge SprintX practice session of the weekend, leading a Mercedes-AMG GT3 1-2 sweep Friday at Virginia International Raceway.

The Dutchman reeled off a best lap of 1:43.585 in his Black Swan Racing entry, nearly a half-second quicker than the No. 2 CRP Racing Mercedes, driven this weekend by Ryan Dalziel and Daniel Morad.

Bleekemolen, who will share driving duties with team owner Tim Pappas, is in a GT Pro-Am class entry.

The No. 61 R. Ferri Motorsport Ferrari 488 GT3 rebounded from an accident in Thursday’s promoter test day to post the third quickest time overall, followed by the No. 4 Magnus Racing Audi R8 LMS in fourth.

Patrick Long and Joerg Bergmeister completed the top-five in the No. 58 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.

Other class pace-setters included the No. 55 Dream Racing Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo (GT Cup Pro-Am) and the No. 017 Case-It Racing Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport (GTS Pro-Am).

The 50-minute session saw two red flags, the first for the No. 31 TR3 Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 of Andrea Montermini, which sustained rear-end damage from a spin, and a stoppage for the No. 23 M1GT Racing Audi, which brought out the second red.

Ricardo Sanchez, meanwhile, sustained right-front damage on his No. 75 Always Evolving Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3, just after the first red.

The second and final SprintX practice session of the day is set for 3:20 p.m. ET.

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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