Jarvis Mazda Tops IMSA practice at Laguna Seca

Oliver Jarvis delivered the speed on practice day for the Hyundai Monterey Sports Car Championship. Helio Castroneves and Felipe Nasr provided the fireworks.

Jarvis turned the best lap Saturday in the No. 77 Mazda Motorsports Mazda DPi late in the second of two IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practices at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Clocked at 1 minute, 15.692 seconds (106.441 mph) under sunny, warm and cloudless conditions, it gave Jarvis reason to smile but not get ahead of himself with so much work yet to do.

“We’ve got a tough job tonight, because you almost have to have a qualifying setup for the cooling conditions and then you have to take into account the change of temperature throughout the day,” Jarvis said. “That’s something we’ll need to sit down and focus on tonight and make sure we make the right changes at the right time.

#77 Mazda Team Joest Mazda DPi, DPi: Oliver Jarvis, Tristan Nunez

“It’s very difficult because this morning it was very cool, and it was representative of qualifying, but the track was still very green. So, we didn’t get a perfect read on what conditions will be like tomorrow. Everybody is in the same boat. You are going to be making educated guesses and just have to do the best job you can.”

Meanwhile, two weeks after their teammates collided while battling for the lead and emotions flared at Motul Petit Le Mans, Castroneves and Nasr had a coming together early in Saturday’s second practice. Castroneves was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct over the incident exiting the right-hand Turn 3 on the 11-turn, 2.238-mile road course. His No. 7 Acura Team Penske Acura ARX-05 also sustained damage that forced it to the paddock for repairs without turning a lap at speed in the session.

Nasr, in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Racing Cadillac DPi, escaped the incident apparently undamaged but ranked sixth in the afternoon after Pipo Derani put the No. 31 atop the scoring pylon in the morning practice with a lap of 1:15.851 (106.218 mph).

With two races remaining in the season, Castroneves and co-driver Ricky Taylor trail Daytona Prototype international (DPi) points leaders Renger van der Zande and Ryan Briscoe of the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R by eight points. Derani is four points behind the No. 7 Acura duo, with the intensity heightened following the Derani-Taylor collision two weeks ago that cost both a shot at victory and paved the way for the No. 10 to win and expand its lead.

Results of other classes Saturday saw the No. 3 Corvette Racing Corvette C8.R top both sessions in GT Le Mans (GTLM), while the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 set the pace in both GT Daytona practices.

#3 Corvette Racing Corvette C8.R, GTLM: Antonio Garcia, Jordan Taylor

Antonio Garcia was at the wheel of the No. 3 Corvette for its fast lap in the morning (1:21.898, 98.375 mph). Jordan Taylor took honors in the afternoon for the No. 3 with a lap of 1:22.279 (97.920 mph).

“I hope the next two sessions we are leading, too … especially the last one (the race),” said Garcia. “I kind of had a question mark about this track. It is the first time we have run here with the C8.R, although Jordan and Tommy (Milner, No. 4 Corvette co-driver) did it on the simulator.

“I didn’t know what to expect here, but the car is running well again. It feels a little bit like Mid-Ohio. It’s very slippery but we are able to make the car work. So far, we are really happy with how things are going. It’s going to be tricky with tire degradation and track heat tomorrow.”

IMSA’s all-time leading race winner Bill Auberlen turned a lap of 1:24.754 (95.060 mph) in the No. 96 BMW in the first GTD practice, with Robby Foley a tick off at 1:24.806 in the second session.

#96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3, GTD: Robby Foley III, Bill Auberlen

“We have the setup that’s going to make the car what we call ‘pointy’ for qualifying,” Auberlen said. “You rely on this extra grip that the rear is going to give you on the power-down side, for the wheel-spin side coming off the corners. You’re not just lighting the wheels up. And we’re going to set it way up on the nose so that on all these turns, there are so many of them that rely on the fronts to steer the car in so sharp that you have to have a very crisp front end.

“So, for qualifying we’re going to put it right on the ragged edge and Robby only has to hold on for three, four or five laps, and then we’ll reset it to what we set it for the race and the car’s going to be completely there. And we’ll have faith that because we were just in the same conditions that, hopefully, it’s going to be tomorrow.”

Practice 2 Times

Pos PiC No. Class Drivers Team Car Time Behind Gap
1 1 77 DPi O. Jarvis/T. Nunez Mazda Motorsports Mazda DPi 1:15.692 0.000s 0.000s
2 2 6 DPi J. Montoya/D. Cameron ACURA TEAM PENSKE Acura DPi 1:15.877 +0.185 +0.185
3 3 55 DPi J. Bomarito/H. Tincknell Mazda Motorsports Mazda DPi 1:16.037 +0.345 +0.160
4 4 10 DPi R. van der Zande/R. Briscoe Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R Cadillac DPi 1:16.142 +0.450 +0.105
5 5 5 DPi T. Vautier/S. Bourdais Mustang Sampling Racing/JDC-Miller Cadillac DPi 1:16.496 +0.804 +0.354
6 6 31 DPi F. Nasr/P. Derani Whelen Engineering Racing Cadillac DPi 1:16.509 +0.817 +0.013
7 7 85 DPi S. Simpson/M. Leist JDC-Miller MotorSports Cadillac DPi 1:16.914 +1.222 +0.405
8 1 3 GTLM A. Garcia/J. Taylor Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C8.R 1:22.279 +6.587 +5.365
9 2 25 GTLM B. Spengler/C. De Phillippi BMW Team RLL BMW M8 GTE 1:22.583 +6.891 +0.304
10 3 911 GTLM N. Tandy/F. Makowiecki Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR – 19 1:22.963 +7.271 +0.380
11 4 24 GTLM J. Krohn/J. Edwards BMW Team RLL BMW M8 GTE 1:23.228 +7.536 +0.265
12 5 4 GTLM O. Gavin/T. Milner Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C8.R 1:23.401 +7.709 +0.173
13 6 912 GTLM E. Bamber/L. Vanthoor Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR – 19 1:23.530 +7.838 +0.129
14 1 96 GTD B. Auberlen/R. Foley Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 1:24.806 +9.114 +1.276
15 2 30 GTD R. Ferriol/S. Pumpelly Team Hardpoint Audi R8 LMS GT3 1:25.388 +9.696 +0.582
16 3 14 GTD A. Telitz/J. Hawksworth AIM VASSER SULLIVAN Lexus RC F GT3 1:25.444 +9.752 +0.056
17 4 86 GTD M. Farnbacher/M. McMurry Meyer Shank Racing w/Curb-Agajanian Acura NSX GT3 1:25.642 +9.950 +0.198
18 5 12 GTD F. Montecalvo/T. Bell AIM VASSER SULLIVAN Lexus RC F GT3 1:25.642 +9.950 +0.000
19 6 57 GTD A. Parente/M. Goikhberg Heinricher Racing w/MSR Curb-Agajanian Acura NSX GT3 1:25.701 +10.009 +0.059
20 7 63 GTD C. MacNeil/A. Balzan Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3 1:25.743 +10.051 +0.042
21 8 23 GTD I. James/R. De Angelis Heart Of Racing Team Aston Martin Vantage GT3 1:25.894 +10.202 +0.151
22 9 76 GTD J. Kingsley/P. Holton Compass Racing McLaren 720S GT3 1:26.272 +10.580 +0.378
23 10 16 GTD R. Hardwick/P. Long Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3R 1:26.339 +10.647 +0.067
24 11 22 GTD T. Bechtolsheimer/M. Miller Gradient Racing Acura NSX GT3 1:26.715 +11.023 +0.376
25 12 74 GTD G. Robinson/L. Aschenbach Riley Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3 1:26.922 +11.230 +0.207
26 13 44 GTD J. Potter/A. Lally GRT Magnus Lamborghini Huracan GT3 1:27.252 +11.560 +0.330
27 8 7 DPi H. Castroneves/R. Taylor ACURA TEAM PENSKE Acura DPi No Time
28 1 52 LMP2 P. Kelly/S. Trummer PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA LMP2 No Time