Van der Zande Leads Practice 3

Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac DPi in Laguna Seca practice
Renger van der Zande topped a tight Prototype field to begin qualifying day at the 2018 America's Tire 250. | Photo: Jake Galstad / IMSA

Though not with the gap he established in the weekend’s first practice session, Renger van der Zande returned the Cadillac DPi-V.R of Wayne Taylor Racing to the top of the timesheet in Practice 3 at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.

Wayne Taylor’s No. 10 Cadillac DPi turned 32 laps during the third and final one-hour practice of the weekend but it took just six for Van der Zande to set a 1:16.605 time. Nearly three-tenths of a second quicker than Friday’s pace, that lap from the Dutch driver stood strong through to the checkered flag.

Oliver Jarvis placed second in Mazda Team Joest’s No. 77 entry with a best lap that was a mere 0.081 seconds off Van der Zande’s pace. Another of the four DPi manufacturers was added to the top three as Helio Castroneves landed third in the No. 7 Team Penske Acura ARX-05, just 0.064 seconds further back.

In the mix of the DPi battle, Colin Braun set the fourth-fastest time to again make himself the fastest LMP2 pilot in the ORECA 07 from CORE autosport. Jonathan Bomarito completed the top five in the second Mazda RT24-P.

A spin for the No. 6 Acura DPi nearly damaged both of Penske’s prototypes as Juan Pablo Montoya pulled back on track right in front of the sister No. 7 car. Scott Sharp in the No. 2 Nissan Onroak DPi went off as well at this time, prompting IMSA to introduce the session’s second red flag.

Porsches Surface in GTLM

A Ford-dominated Friday was followed by a Porsche-perfect Saturday morning outing as Nick Tandy and Earl Bamber propelled the Porsche GT Team to the top two spots in GT Le Mans.

At 1:22.839, Tandy was an impressive three-tenths of a second clear of Bamber as the Nos. 911 and 912 Porsche 911 RSRs filed in number order atop the timesheet. Tandy’s lap was nearly a full half-second quicker than the fastest GTLM lap from Friday’s running.

BMW Team RLL pilots Jesse Krohn and Alexander Sims were third and fifth, split by Richard Westbrook in the fastest of Chip Ganassi Racing’s Ford GTs.

Long Quickest Among Tight GTD Field

After landing fifth and 10th in Friday’s two sessions, Wright Motorsports’ Porsche 911 GT3 R was pedaled to the top of the GT Daytona category to begin the second day of the Laguna Seca weekend.

Christina Nielsen’s co-driver Patrick Long executed a 1:24.619 lap to outpace Jeroen Bleekemolen in Riley Motorsports’ Mercedes-AMG GT3 by 0.099 seconds.

Katherine Legge, Madison Snow, Kyle Marcelli, Cooper MacNeil, Bill Auberlen and Andy Lally placed third through eighth in Acura, Lamborghini, Lexus, Ferrari, BMW and Audi machinery to create a fully unique top eight.

Qualifying is next for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Laguna Seca. GTD will qualify first at 12:45 p.m. PDT.

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