Brundle, New to US Ligier Top in Second COTA Session

by James Broomhead
The LMP2 Ligier coupe is making its first appearance in the US (Courtesy of IMSA)

Alex Brundle dominated the Friday morning practice for the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship race at the Circuit of the Americas.

The Brit is part of the OAK Racing team giving the Ligier LMP2 chassis its first race in North America, sharing the coupe with the team’s regular driver in the US, Gustavo Yacaman. The hour long session was conducted on a drying track, but Brundle still comfortably set the best lap of the series’ weekend so far with a 1:58.292.

His time was fully 1.7 seconds quicker than Joao Barbosa managed in the #5 Action Express Racing Chevrolet Corvette Daytona Prototype, despite the Portuguese having the best of the track condition as he set his lap (2:00.031) in the closing minutes of the session. Wayne Taylor Racing were third fastest, brothers Ricky and Taylor are the Action Express pairing’s closest rivals in the class points with just two races remaining.

Renger van der Zande used the best of the conditions to set a lap of 2:02.770 to lead the Prototype Challenge class for Starworks Motorsport. First practice leaders Gunnar Jeannette and Frankie Montecalvo were second fastest, a tenth of a second slower.

Just as in Thursday afternoon’s opening session Fred Makowiecki was the top man in GT Le Mans in the ‘extra’ Porsche North America entry he shares with fellow Frenchman Patrick Pilet. Behind the class leading 2:05.116 Porsche’s dominance of the class remained firm, Nick Tandy second fastest in another of the team’s 991. The third Porsche was fourth fastest behind the Risi Competizione Ferrari. The #3 Corvette C7.R with class championship leader Antonio Garcia aboard was fifth fastest.

Norbert Siedler was fastest in GT Daytona for Park Place Motorsports in the car he shares with Patrick Lindsey. Leh Keen and Cooper MacNeil were second fastest in the #22 Weathertech sponsored Porsche with class leaders Townsend Bell and Bill Sweedler  were third fastest in their AIM Autosport run Ferrari.

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