Dane Cameron laps Mid-Ohio in Penske Acura DPi
Dane Cameron and the No. 6 Acura DPi were easily fastest in the opening practice session of the 2018 Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen weekend. | Photo: Richard Dole / IMSA

Dane Cameron beat last year’s pole time in the first practice session ahead of this year’s edition of the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen, placing one of Team Penske’s Acura ARX-05 cars atop the timesheet in the car’s debut at the track.

Driving the No. 6 Acura DPi he shares with Juan Pablo Montoya, Cameron lapped the 3.4-mile Watkins Glen International circuit at 1:33.562 during the first half of the hourlong session to place the car atop the running order.

That lap created a gap of 0.914 seconds back to Jordan Taylor in Wayne Taylor Racing’s Cadillac DPi-V.R which remained in place through to the checkered flag, ensuring Cameron was the only driver to eclipse the best qualifying lap from a year ago.

At 0.928 seconds behind the Acura of Cameron and just 0.014 seconds in arrears of Taylor, Romain Dumas reached the top three with a quick final lap of the session in CORE autosport’s No. 54 ORECA 07. Earlier in the session, Colin Braun made contact at Turn 1, damaging the LMP2 car and bringing out the first of two red flags.

Behind the Acura, Cadillac and Gibson engines in the top three, Ryan Dalziel added a fourth manufacturer to the top of the timesheet. His best lap in Tequila Patron ESM’s No. 2 Nissan Onroak DPi was a mere 0.012 seconds off Dumas’ pace and is the first time more than a second back from Cameron.

Tristan Vautier was the only other driver of a Cadillac DPi in the top five as he placed fifth in Spirit of Daytona Racing’s No. 90 entry, more than three-tenths of a second ahead of Ricky Taylor’s quickest lap in the second Acura.

After challenging for the top spot earlier in the session, Filipe Albuquerque and the No. 5 Action Express Racing Cadillac ended Practice 1 in seventh, 1.444 seconds slower than Cameron.

The second red-flag period began shortly after Braun’s incident when Oliver Jarvis slowed on track due to a mechanical issue in Mazda Team Joest’s No. 77 car.

Ford 1-2 in GTLM

Richard Westbrook and Dirk Mueller landed Chip Ganassi Racing’s Ford GT duo atop the GT Le Mans results to begin the Watkins Glen weekend, though Patrick Pilet was only 0.092 seconds behind in the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR.

Corvette Racing’s Nos. 3 and 4 cars filled the final two spots of the top five in the class, with Oliver Gavin in the No. 4 being the final GTLM driver to lap within a half-second of Westbrook’s class-leading time in the No. 67 Ford.

At 1.528 and 2.565 seconds back from Westbrook, both BMW M8 GTEs were mired to the bottom of the class.

Hawksworth Keeps Ferrari Duo at Bay

Jack Hawksworth led in GT Daytona in the cockpit of 3GT Racing’s No. 15 Lexus RC F GT3 while Scuderia Corsa and Squadra Corse Garage Italia reached the top three with fast laps from Jeff Segal and Daniel Serra, respectively.

Behind those two Ferrari 488 GT3s, Kyle Marcelli and Markus Palttala completed the top five in the second 3GT Lexus and Turner Motorsport’s BMW M6 GT3.

All three IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship classes will participate in a second one-hour practice on Friday, which is scheduled to begin at 2:50 p.m. EDT.

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