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Cocker leads Lola 1-2 in opening ALMS practice
Jonny Crocker in the Lola Judd
Drayson Racing’s Jonny Cocker made a late run to the top of the time charts Saturday in the first official practice session for the American Le Mans Series powered by eStar at Road America. The young British ace turned a lap of 1:51.173 in the Lola-Judd coupe that he will share with Paul Drayson. Cocker was the pole-winner for the last round of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n at Mid-Ohio two weeks ago.

Two closed-top prototypes held the first two positions with Guy Smith 1.324 seconds behind in Dyson Racing’s Mazda-powered Lola that he will drive with Chris Dyson. The pairing won overall at Mid-Ohio. The LMP championship-leading HPD ARX-01c of Patr¢n Highcroft Racing’s Simon Pagenaud sat third with a lap of 1:53.704; he is driving with David Brabham.

In LMPC, Luis Diaz went quickest for PR1/Mathaisen Motorsports at 2:01.882. Diaz was the LMP2 winner at Road America last year and is driving with Ricardo Gonzalez; the pairing made their first start with the PR1 ORECA FLM09 in the class at Mid-Ohio.

Gunnar Jeannette went second-quickest in class for G-Oil’s Green Earth Team Gunnar at 2:02.554 on his last lap of the session. He sits second in the class championship and will drive with Elton Julian. Kyle Marcelli, the fastest LMPC driver in Friday’s test session, was third fastest for Intersport Racing at 2:02.836.

As they did last year at Road America, BMW Rahal Letterman Racing Team flexed its muscles Saturday with the top two positions in GT. Bill Auberlen went quickest with a 2:07.818 in the BMW M3 GT that he will share with Tommy Milner. Joey Hand, who teamed with Auberlen last year to win class, was second at 2:08.089 in the BMW he’ll drive with Dirk Müller.

Ferraris sat third and fourth with Risi Competizione’s F430 GT of Pierre Kaffer’ time of 2:08.219. He will drive with Mika Salo.

Bryce Miller was the quickest GT Challenge driver, just as he was Friday. His lap of 2:15.650 in the ORBIT/Paul Miller Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (which he will share with Luke Hines) was 0.156 seconds quicker than TRG’s Andy Lally. Black Swan Racing’s Jeroen Bleekemolen was third in class at 2:15.872.

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