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Long Beach: Diaz puts Acura on top in Saturday practice
Luis Diaz came out flying in the first official practice session for the Tequila Patr¢n American Le Mans Series at Long Beach by taking the top spot in the 40-minute session Friday morning. The Lowe’s Fernandez Acura ARX-01b turned in a time of 1:12.239 (98.074 mph) around the 1.968-mile, 11-turn street circuit in Long Beach.

Diaz handled all the duties with teammate Adrian Fernandez in Mexico preparing for another race this weekend. Acura held the top two spots with Christian Fittipaldi second overall and in LMP2 at 1:12.531 (97.680 mph). He will drive the Andretti Green Racing Acura with Bryan Herta, who began on pole position last year with Dario Franchitti.

The weekend is shaping up to be close and extremely competitive. The first seven cars in the overall standings were within 0.707 seconds.

Marco Werner first in LMP1 and third overall in the more powerful but heavier No. 2 Audi R10 TDI at 1:12.579 (97.615 mph). He and Lucas Luhr were overall winners two weeks ago at the Acura Sports Car Challenge of St. Petersburg.

Penske Racing’s two Porsche RS Spyders were fourth and fifth overall (third and fourth in LMP2). Next was the second Audi R10 TDI of Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro.

Jan Magnussen led in GT1 for Corvette Racing in the No. 3 Corvette C6.R, a 1:17.593 (91.307 mph) in the entry he will share with Johnny O’Connell. Magnussen was more than a half-second ahead of the sister Corvette of Olivier Beretta and Oliver Gavin.

Ferrari and Porsche kept up their battle in GT2. Tafel Racing’s Dirk Mueller went quickest Friday morning at 1:20.916 (87.557 mph) in the entry he will share with Dominik Farnbacher, only 0.029 seconds ahead of the first Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 RSR of Johannes van Overbeek and Patrick Pilet. Next was the Risi Competizione Ferrari of Mika Salo and Jaime Melo at 1:20.956 (87.514 mph).

The first seven cars in class were separated by 0.847 seconds.

Qualifying at Long Beach is slated for 3:55 p.m. PT this afternoon.

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