Mazda DPi fastest in first Road America practice
Mazda Team Joest's pair of Mazda RT24-P cars ended the first practice at Road America in the first and 12th positions. | Photo: Aaron Durant / The Apex

Despite spending time in the pits for repairs during the hourlong session, Mazda Team Joest’s No. 77 car was fastest in Practice 1 at Road America to top the 33-car IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship field.

Oliver Jarvis was responsible for the fastest lap of the session, turning a 1:52.627 in his Riley-based DPi. Although quickest overall, Jarvis’ best lap was just 0.020 seconds clear of Scott Sharp in the No. 2 Tequila Patron ESM Nissan Onroak DPi, ensuring that two of IMSA’s own prototypes locked out the top two positions.

Stephen Simpson slotted in third fastest behind the wheel of his No. 99 “Red Dragon” ORECA 07 with the JDC-Miller Motorsports-fielded car lapping the 4-mile circuit in 1:52.816.

Eric Curran placed one more DPi car in the top five with the fourth-fastest lap in his Cadillac DPi-V.R while Colin Braun, winner of the most recent Prototype contest at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, completed the top five in his CORE autosport ORECA.

The session was slowed by two red flags, one of which involved a Prototype competitor. With just three minutes on the clock, the session paused as the No. 22 Nissan DPi burned in Turn 13. While the fire was extinguished and driver Pipo Derani was able to exit the vehicle, the damage was significant enough to prevent the car from returning to the session.

Tandy Tops GTLM for Porsche

Nick Tandy led the way in GTLM with the best performance by a GT Le Mans car. His 2:04.082 kept the No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR 0.192 seconds clear of Antonio Garcia, who was second fastest in his Corvette C7.R.

Dirk Mueller and Jesse Krohn made it four different manufacturers in the top four with the third- and fourth-fastest laps, respectively, in their Ford and BMW machinery.

Oliver Gavin added a second Corvette to the top five while Laurens Vanthoor, Ryan Briscoe and Connor De Phillippi rounded out the eight-car class.

Magnus Leads GTD

Andy Lally turned the fastest lap out of the 12 GT Daytona competitors. The 2:07.048 put his Audi R8 LMS GT3 0.124 seconds ahead of Jack Hawksworth in 3GT Racing’s No. 15 Lexus RC F GT3.

Like GTLM, there were four manufacturers in the top four with Joerg Bergmeister landing third in his Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R and Jeroen Bleekemolen fourth in his Riley Motorsports Mercedes AMG-GT3.

Kyle Marcelli speeds around Road America in Lexus GT3
3GT Racing reached the top five with both of its Lexus RC F GT3 machines on day one of the 2018 Continental Tire Road Race Showcase. | Photo: Aaron Durant / The Apex

Kyle Marcelli added a second Lexus to the top five while Bryan Sellers, Patrick Long, Alessandro Pier Guidi, Alavaro Parente and Justin Marks completed the top 10.

The second of the two red flags flew with 25 minutes remaining when Riley’s Mercedes-AMG went off course at Turn 8 and sustained damage. The session resumed after a 10-minute delay.

The multi-class series will be back on track Friday for Practice 2 at 4:10 p.m. CDT.

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