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GT World Challenge America

Vilander Tops Opening Practice in St. Pete

Toni Vilander quickest in opening practice at St. Pete in R. Ferri Ferrari 488 GT3…

Photo: Brian Cleary/PWC

Toni Vilander wasted no time getting up to speed in Pirelli World Challenge, with the Finn topping the time charts in opening practice for this weekend’s Sprint season-opener at St. Pete.

The Ferrari factory driver, in his series debut, laid down a quick lap of 1:12.086 in his No. 61 R. Ferri Motorsport Ferrari 488 GT3 to end the 40-minute session on top.

Vilander was more than two-tenths clear of the competition, with fellow PWC newcomers Scott Hargrove (Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R) and Daniel Keilwitz (Callaway Competition USA Corvette C7 GT3-R) second and third quickest, respectively.

Michael Christensen posted the fourth fastest time in the No. 24 Alegra Motorsports Porsche, with Daniel Morad completing the top-five in CRP Racing’s Mercedes-AMG GT3.

The top-five were separated by less than one-second.

Parker Chase led the way in GTA, wheeling his No. 19 TruSpeed Autosport Audi R8 LMS to a 1:13.759 lap time, some three-tenths ahead of Rodrigo Baptista in the No. 3 K-PAX Racing Bentley Continental GT3.

No major incidents were reported in the session.

The second and final GT/GTA practice session of the day is set for 2:25 p.m. ET.

RESULTS: Practice 1

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

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