Sebring 12 Hours: Castroneves leads opening practice

David Malsher-Lopez
·5-min read

Lapping the legendary 17-turn 3.74-mile airport course in 1min49.360sec, the #7 Acura ARX-05 edged Sebastien Bourdais’ JDC Miller Motorsports Cadillac DPi-V.R by just 0.035sec to earn top spot.

This pair were over 0.4sec clear of the field, but the competitive picture was blurred by a nine-minute-long red flag period caused by the need to recover the spun Performance Tech Motorsports LMP2 car of Patrick Byrne, leaving just five minutes on a crowded track for 31 cars to set a time.

Ex-IndyCar driver Matheus Leist made it two JDC-Miller Cadillacs in the top three, as he eclipsed the best time set by Ryan Briscoe in Wayne Taylor Racing’s similar Caddy. Briscoe and Renger van der Zande, who are again partnered this weekend by six-time and reigning IndyCar champion Scott Dixon, lie just two points behind Castroneves/Ricky Taylor in the IMSA DPi championship fight.

Felipe Nasr’s Action Express Racing Cadillac was fifth ahead of the two Mazda RT24-Ps of Harry Tincknell and Oliver Jarvis, while outgoing DPi champ Dane Cameron was eighth in the second Acura.

In LMP2, Simon Trummer’s PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports entry led Matt Bell’s Inter Europol car by one second.

The two Porsche 911 RSRs, in their final IMSA outing for the forseeable future, headed up GT Le Mans class, Fred Makowiecki 0.374sec faster than Laurens Vanthoor, who was a mere 0.021sec ahead of Connor De Phillippi’s BMW M8. The two Corvettes of Tommy Milner and Jordan Taylor were 0.9 and 1.2sec off the ultimate pace, but this is likely unrepresentative.

The AIM Vasser-Sullivan Lexus RC Fs were first and third in the hands of Jack Hawksworth and Townsend Bell, split by the Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3R of Pat Long.

Andrew Davis produced his customary fine job to slot the Audi R8 of Hardpoint Racing into fourth, a mere 0.02sec faster than Lawson Aschenbach’s Riley Motorsports Mercedes-Benz and 0.035sec ahead of Roman De Angelis in the Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage.

The second session begins at 2.35pm local (Eastern) time.

Session results:

1

7

BRA
BRA

 Hélio Castroneves
 Ricky Taylor
 Alexander Rossi

USA
USA
USA
USA

DPi

Acura DPi

23

1'49.360

 

123.116

2

5

FRA
FRA

 Sebastien Bourdais
 Tristan Vautier
 Loïc Duval

FRA
FRA
FRA
FRA

DPi

Cadillac DPi

20

1'49.395

0.035

123.077

3

85

BRA
BRA

 Matheus Leist
 Stephen Simpson

RSA
RSA
AUS
AUS

 Scott Andrews

DPi

Cadillac DPi

25

1'49.828

0.468

122.592

4

10

HOL
HOL

 Renger van der Zande
 Ryan Briscoe
 Scott Dixon

AUS
AUS
NZL
NZL

DPi

Cadillac DPi

18

1'49.934

0.574

122.473

5

31

BRA
BRA

 Felipe Nasr
 Pipo Derani
 Gabby Chaves

BRA
BRA
COL
COL

DPi

Cadillac DPi

23

1'49.957

0.597

122.448

6

55

USA
USA

 Jonathan Bomarito
 Harry Tincknell
 Ryan Hunter-Reay

GBR
GBR
USA
USA

DPi

Mazda DPi

20

1'50.090

0.730

122.300

7

77

GBR
GBR

 Oliver Jarvis
 Tristan Nunez
 Olivier Pla

USA
USA
FRA
FRA

DPi

Mazda DPi

18

1'50.126

0.766

122.260

8

6

COL
COL

 Juan Pablo Montoya
 Dane Cameron
 Simon Pagenaud

USA
USA
FRA
FRA

DPi

Acura DPi

20

1'50.337

0.977

122.026

9

52

USA
USA

 Patrick Kelly
 Simon Trummer
 Scott Huffaker

SUI
SUI
USA
USA

LMP2

ORECA LMP2 07

23

1'52.040

2.680

120.171

10

51

POL
POL

 Jakub Smiechowski
 Naveen Rao
 Matthew Bell

USA
USA
GBR
GBR

LMP2

ORECA LMP2 07

20

1'53.026

3.666

119.123

11

8

CAN
CAN

 John Farano
 Mikkel Jensen
 David Heinemeier Hansson

DEN
DEN
DEN
DEN

LMP2

ORECA LMP2 07

22

1'53.189

3.829

118.951

12

38

USA
USA

 Don Yount
 Patrick Byrne
 Guy Cosmo

USA
USA
USA
USA

LMP2

ORECA LMP2 07

17

1'55.217

5.857

116.858

13

911

GBR
GBR

 Nick Tandy
 Frédéric Makowiecki

FRA
FRA
NZL
NZL

 Earl Bamber

GTLM

Porsche 911 RSR - 19

20

1'58.717

9.357

113.413

14

912

NZL
NZL

 Earl Bamber
 Laurens Vanthoor
 Neel Jani

BEL
BEL
SUI
SUI

GTLM

Porsche 911 RSR - 19

22

1'59.091

9.731

113.056

15

25

CAN
CAN

 Bruno Spengler
 Connor de Phillippi
 Colton Herta

USA
USA
USA
USA

GTLM

BMW M8 GTE

13

1'59.112

9.752

113.036

16

4

GBR
GBR

 Oliver Gavin
 Tommy Milner
 Marcel Fässler

USA
USA
SUI
SUI

GTLM

Corvette C8.R

22

1'59.617

10.257

112.559

17

3

ESP
ESP

 Antonio Garcia
 Jordan Taylor
 Nicky Catsburg

USA
USA
HOL
HOL

GTLM

Corvette C8.R

16

1'59.941

10.581

112.255

18

24

FIN
FIN

 Jesse Krohn
 John Edwards
 Augusto Farfus

USA
USA
BRA
BRA

GTLM

BMW M8 GTE

21

2'00.429

11.069

111.800

19

14

GBR
GBR

 Jack Hawksworth
 Aaron Telitz
 Kyle Kirkwood

USA
USA
USA
USA

GTD

Lexus RC F GT3

18

2'02.961

13.601

109.498

20

16

USA
USA

 Ryan Hardwick
 Patrick Long
 Jan Heylen

USA
USA
BEL
BEL

GTD

Porsche 911 GT3 R

19

2'03.288

13.928

109.208

21

12

USA
USA

 Frankie Montecalvo
 Townsend Bell
 Michael de Quesada

USA
USA
USA
USA

GTD

Lexus RC F GT3

20

2'03.382

14.022

109.125

22

30

USA
USA

 Rob Ferriol
 Andrew Davis
 Pierre Kaffer

USA
USA
GER
GER

GTD

Audi R8 LMS GT3

21

2'03.418

14.058

109.093

23

74

USA
USA

 Gar Robinson
 Lawson Aschenbach
 Marc Miller

USA
USA
USA
USA

GTD

Mercedes-AMG GT3

19

2'03.438

14.078

109.075

24

23

GBR
GBR

 Ian James
 Roman De Angelis
 Darren Turner

CAN
CAN
GBR
GBR

GTD

Aston Martin Vantage GT3

19

2'03.473

14.113

109.044

25

44

USA
USA

 Andy Lally
 John Potter
 Spencer Pumpelly

USA
USA
USA
USA

GTD

Lamborghini Huracan GT3

19

2'03.611

14.251

108.922

26

63

USA
USA

 Cooper MacNeil
 Alessandro Balzan
 Jeff Westphal

ITA
ITA
USA
USA

GTD

Ferrari 488 GT3

19

2'03.651

14.291

108.887

27

11

USA
USA

 Richard Heistand
 Steijn Schothorst
 Franck Perera

HOL
HOL
FRA
FRA

GTD

Lamborghini Huracan GT3

19

2'03.730

14.370

108.818

28

86

GER
GER

 Mario Farnbacher
 Matthew McMurry
 Shinya Michimi

USA
USA
JPN
JPN

GTD

Acura NSX GT3

20

2'03.748

14.388

108.802

29

48

USA
USA

 Bryan Sellers
 Madison Snow
 Corey Lewis

USA
USA
USA
USA

GTD

Lamborghini Huracan GT3

18

2'03.949

14.589

108.625

30

57

USA
USA

 Trent Hindman
 Mikhail Goikhberg
 Joey Hand

CAN
CAN
USA
USA

GTD

Acura NSX GT3

20

2'04.069

14.709

108.520

31

96

GBR
GBR

 Nick Yelloly
 Robby Foley
 Dillon Machavern

USA
USA
USA
USA

GTD

BMW M6 GT3

16

2'05.159

15.799

107.575