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Enge Quickest in Friday Practice at St. Pete

Tomas Enge quickest in opening day of Pirelli World Challenge practice…

Photo: PWC

Photo: PWC

Tomas Enge completed a day one sweep of both practice sessions Friday in GT and overall for the Cadillac Grand Prix of St. Petersburg brought to you by StopTech, part of the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg weekend.

Enge, in the No. 25 Reiter Engineering Lamborghini Gallardo FL2, bettered his session one mark of 1:14.786 with a 1:14.688 in the 50-minute second session around the 1.8-mile street circuit.

The top seven GT cars featured six different manufacturers, and split between GT and GT-A driver designations, the top seven were separated by only 0.673 of a second. Enge spoke of the tightness of the competition at the top of the field.

“It will be very close throughout the weekend,” Enge said. “Obviously I’m happy to be in this place, in this position, working on the setup. We have not been in any kind of trouble and that’s perfect.”

Dane Cameron was the only other driver to break into the 1:14 range. The driver of the No. 94 Turner Motorsport BMW Z4 GT3 was second at 1:14.927.

Alex Figge ended the session third in the No. 9 K-PAX Racing McLaren 12C GT3 at 1:15.030.

Nick Mancuso was fourth overall and top GT-A classified runner at 1:15.108 in the No. 16 Ferrari Lake Forest Ferrari 458 Italia GT3.

James Sofronas was fifth overall in the No. 14 GMG Racing Audi R8 Ultra, with Albert von Thurn Und Taxis sixth in the No. 24 Reiter Engineering Lamborghini Gallardo FL2 and two-time defending GT class champion Johnny O’Connell seventh in the No. 3 Cadillac Racing Cadillac CTS-V.R.

Jack Baldwin led once again in GTS in the No. 73 RESET-MD/Motul/StopTech Porsche Cayman S at 1:20.078. It was more than a second faster than what he ran in first practice this morning.

Baldwin, who won both St. Petersburg races in 2013, feels the competition level will be stronger this year.

“It’s gonna be stronger. It always is,” Baldwin said. “I’d be foolish to think it wouldn’t get better. We did too. It’s the nature of this business.”

Alec Udell was second in the No. 17 Watson Racing/MDG Ford Mustang Boss 302S at 1:20.573. Udell was the best of six Mustangs in the top-10 in this session, with the remaining five anywhere from fifth through 10th.

Andy Leeand a two-time St. Petersburg pole sitter, was third in the No. 20 BestIT Crown 7 Chevrolet Camaro at 1:20.929.

The 50-minute session occurred with overcast skies, 73 degree ambient temperatures and 79 percent humidity. One red flag interrupted the session to remove a stalled car, but otherwise it was a clean session for the 50-car field.

Qualifying for Round 1 occurs at 8:00 a.m. EDT on Saturday morning. Live race coverage begins at 3:10 p.m. EDT on

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