Mazda Motorsports recorded the two fastest times during opening practice for round nine of the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship at Road America.
Despite being handed a 10kg weight penalty in the pre-event Balance of Performance, the two petrol powered Mazdas led the way on Friday afternoon.
In an uneventful session, Jonathan Bomarito set the fastest lap aboard the #55 Mazda he shares with Tristan Nunez. The 34 year old’s 1:56.623s lap time eclipsed that of Joel Miller in the sister #70 car by two tenths of a second.
Third quickest and best placed of the Daytona Prototype entries was the #10 Wayne Taylor Racing Dallara-Corvette, which in the hands of Ricky Taylor set a 1:57.340s effort.
The championship-leading #31 Action Express Racing Corvette DP of Dane Cameron registered the sixth quickest time, 0.996 seconds off the pace. That car nestled behind the sister Action Express machine of Joao Barbosa and the Michael Shank Racing Ligier JSP2 driven by Oswaldo Negri Jr.
In Prototype Challenge, JDC-Miller Motorsports topped the order with Stephen Simpson setting a 2:00.519s lap time on his eighth tour.
The South African driver ended the afternoon with a 0.218 second buffer over the second quickest car entered by PR/1 Mathiasen Motorsports and driven by Tom Kimber-Smith.
The early GTLM pace was set by Ford Chip Ganassi Racing, with its two Ford GTs sweeping the top positions during practice.
Richard Westbrook, driving the #67 car, turned in a 2:03.453s effort to edge out Dirk Mueller in the #66 machine by 0.370 seconds. Risi Competitizione’s Ferrari 488 finished third, with the two RLL-entered BMW M6s in fourth and fifth.
In GT Daytona, four different manufacturers occupied a diverse top five, with Lamborghini leading the way.
Paul Miller Racing’s Bryan Sellers set the fastest lap in the #48 Huracan GT3, recording a 2;08.018s best.
Sellers out-paced close opposition from Riley Motorsports (Dodge Viper), Magnus Racing (Audi), Turner Motorsport (BMW) and Stevenson Motorsports (Audi).
Practice 2 is scheduled for later today at 4:25 pm.