Penske Porsche’s Cameron leads opening Watkins Glen practice

The No. 7 Porsche Penske Motorsport 963 sat at the top of the time chart after the 90-minute first practice session for Sunday’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, courtesy of Dane’ Cameron’s 1m34.175s (129.97mph) lap, accomplished quite early in the session. The time was about a second off the GTP lap record, which was set in last year’s race after qualifying was rained out.

The first session was expected to be impacted by weather, as is Sunday’s race, but the worst was a few drops on windshields, never enough to cause tricky track conditions. The session was interrupted twice by red flags, both for the same car. John Farano spun the No. 8 Tower Motorsports ORECA LMP2 car and made contact with the barrier in Turn 1 about 18 minutes into the session, causing a six-minute stoppage. The car was repaired quickly with a new wing and bodywork, and then Charlie Eastwood had a bigger crash with 14m remaining, causing a 10-minute red flag.

Tom Blomqvist set the second-quickest time in the No. 31 Whelen Cadillac Racing V-Series.R, 0.172s off Cameron’s best, with Filipe Albuquerque third at 1m34.452s in the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Acura ARX-06. Philip Eng made it four manufacturers in the top four in the No. 24 BMW M Team RLL M Hybrid V8, with Nick Tandy completing the top five in the No. 6 PPM 963.


Mikkel Jensen edged out Felipe Fraga for the top time in LMP2 by only 0.046s, his 1m35.531s (128.13mph) lap in the No. 11 TDS Racing ORECA enough to keep the No. 74 Riley Motorsports ORECA off the top. Nico Varrone, fresh off an LMP2 Pro-Am victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and a late addition to the No. 81 DragonSpeed entry, was third at 1m35.636s. Eastwood put the No. 8 in fourth before his crash, and Connor Zilisch completed the top five in the championship-leading No. 18 Era Motorsport ORECA.

AO Racing got off to a good start in its attempt to take three consecutive GTD PRO victories in the No. 77 Porsche 911 GT3 R, as Laurin Heinrich topped all the GT cars with a 1m45.242s (116mph) lap. He was followed in the GT ranks by the GTD-class No. 80 Lone Star Racing Mercedes AMG, Scott Andrews putting in the best lap at 1m45.402s.

Bryan Sellers put the No. 1 Paul Miller Racing BMW M 4 GT3 into second in GTD PRO at 1m45.590s, 0.174s quicker than Ross Gunn in the No. 23 Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3 Evo. Antonio Garcia (No. 4 Corvette Racing by Pratt Miller Motorsports Z06 GT3.R) and Daniel Serra (No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 296 GT3) rounded out the top five in GTD PRO.

A pair of Ferraris were second and third in GTD behind Andrews, Alessio Rovera turning in a 1m45.862s time in the No. 023 Triarsi Competizione 296 for second and Miguel Molina 0.137s back in the No. 21 AF Corse 296. Andy Lally put the No. 44 Magnus Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3 Evo into fourth, with Robby Foley fifth in the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M4.

The second practice session takes place tomorrow morning, the 90-minute session beginning at 9:10am ET.


Story originally appeared on Racer