Michael Shank Racing leads 6H Watkins Glen Practice


Michael Shank Racing topped the timesheets during free practice for the 6 Hours of Watkins Glen as LMP2 cars set the three fastest laps.

Olivier Pla turned in a 1:36.155s time in the 60 minute afternoon session to put the #60 Ligier JSP2-Honda in front before qualifying takes place tomorrow.

The Frenchman eclipsed the fastest lap from the morning’s opening session – set by his team-mate Oswaldo Negri Jr – by half a second.

The top three cars set their times in the afternoon, with the #55 Mazda Prototype of Jonathan Bomarito coming second with a 1:36.914s marker. Three hundredths of a second behind him was Johannes van Overbeek in the #2 Extreme Speed Motorsports Ligier JSP2-Nissan. This weekend the ESM team is bidding to win its third endurance event of the season after victories at Daytona and Sebring.

Wayne Taylor Racing’s Dallara-Corvette was the quickest Daytona Prototype, with the team’s third driver Max Angelelli posting a 1:37.092s time in the afternoon.

In GT Le Mans, Ford backed its recent Le Mans success with the two fastest times during free practice as the top seven cars finished within a second of the leader. Joey Hand topped the order at the close of play with a 1:43.309s effort aboard the #67 Ford GT, with Richard Westbrook just 0.068 seconds off the pace in the #66 sister car.

Third in class went to the #100 BMW M6 GTLM of John Edwards, while Alessandro Pier Guidi set the fourth fastest time in the Scuderia Racing Ferrari 488.

Protoype Challenge was topped by Renger van der Zande, who pedalled the Starworks Motorsport ORECA FLM09 to a 1:38.582s benchmark. CORE Autosport driver Colin Braun led the morning session, and despite improving on his time during the afternoon could only trail van der Zande by 0.037 seconds.

The GT Daytona order was led by a trio of German manufacturer entries, as Stevenson Motorsports locked out the two quickest times with its Audi R8s. Fastest lap of the day went to Robin Liddell in the #6 car, who recorded a 1:46.147s time to go 0.112 seconds ahead of Lawson Aschenbach in the #9 machine. Jens Klingmann completed the top three in the Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3.

The second session of the day was interrupted by a big crash for the Dream Racing Lamborghini Huracan. Lawrence DeGeorge lost control at the chicane and veered into the barrier, with the car sustaining significant damage. The driver was checked and cleared by the on-site medical centre, but the entry is now a doubt for tomorrow’s race.

Qualifying for the IMSA 6 Hours of Watkins Glen takes place on Saturday, July 2 at 15:40 local time.