Practice report

Lime Rock IMSA: Edwards puts BMW on top in FP1

John Edwards set the fastest time in opening practice for the GTD-only IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship round at Lime Rock Park for BMW.

#25: BMW M Team RLL, BMW M4 GT3, GTD PRO: Connor De Phillippi, John Edwards

The opening exchanges in the 80-minute session provided the tight margins we can expect from the 1.5-mile road course in Lakeville, Connecticut with the fastest three cars initially separated by 0.005s.

Top spot switched hands between a trio of GTD Pro drivers early on – Matt Campbell (Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3R), Antonio Garcia (Corvette C8.R) and Ben Barnicoat (VasserSullivan Lexus RC F). Campbell was the first to dip into the sub-52s bracket with a lap of 51.901s, 0.184s ahead of Garcia’s 52.085s. Barnicoat was two tenths off the pace in third.

Times tumbled towards the end of the session, as Jack Hawksworthreturning from injuries sustained in a motocross bike accident while training – briefly took P1 in the #14 Lexus with 51.842s before Edwards grabbed it in his RLL-run BMW M4, setting an overall fastest time of 51.735s.

Campbell slipped to third in the five-car class, ahead of Garcia and Ross Gunn’s Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage.

Robby Foley set the initial non-all-Pro GTD pace in his Turner Motorsport BMW M4 at 52.436s but that was easily eclipsed by Jules Gounon’s 52.138s in the WeatherTech Racing Mercedes. Gounon was also quick in the pits, receiving a warning for a speeding violation.

Bill Auberlen took over the Turner car and got to within 0.026s of Gounon with less than 20 minutes of the session remaining, before the quickest times of the session were then set.

Russell Ward’s Winward Racing Mercedes reset the bar at 52.030s with 13 minutes to go, before Mike Skeen produced 51.877s in his Team Korthoff Motorsports example.

Robert Megennis then stole P1 with 51.814s in his CarBahn with Peregrine Racing Lamborghini Huracan – not only enough to lead the class but also put the car second-quickest overall.

Skeen was second fastest (fourth overall), ahead of Philip Ellis – who went slightly quicker than Ward in the Winward Merc – for third in class. Gounon’s early time put him fourth, as teammate Cooper MacNeil was unable to get remotely close to his time, and Frankie Montecalvo was fifth in the second Lexus, ahead of Auberlen.

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Cla Driver Chassis Laps Time Gap Interval km/h
1 United States Connor de Phillippi
United States John Edwards
BMW M4 GT3 53 51.735 102.846
2 United States Robert Megennis
United States Jeff Westphal
Lamborghini Huracan GT3 57 51.814 0.079 0.079 102.690
3 United Kingdom Jack Hawksworth
United Kingdom Ben Barnicoat
Lexus RC F GT3 51 51.820 0.085 0.006 102.678
4 United States Mike Skeen
United Kingdom Stevan McAleer
Mercedes AMG GT3 61 51.877 0.142 0.057 102.565
5 Australia Matt Campbell
France Mathieu Jaminet
Porsche 911 GT3 R 57 51.901 0.166 0.024 102.518
6 United States Russell Ward
Switzerland Philip Ellis
Mercedes AMG GT3 75 52.004 0.269 0.103 102.314
7 Spain Antonio Garcia
United States Jordan Taylor
Corvette C8.R GTD 63 52.085 0.350 0.081 102.155
8 United States Cooper MacNeil
France Jules Gounon
Mercedes AMG GT3 63 52.138 0.403 0.053 102.052
9 United States Frankie Montecalvo
United States Aaron Telitz
Lexus RC F GT3 61 52.156 0.421 0.018 102.016
10 United States Robby Foley
United States Bill Auberlen
BMW M4 GT3 61 52.164 0.429 0.008 102.001
11 United Kingdom Ross Gunn
Spain Alex Riberas
Aston Martin Vantage GT3 58 52.202 0.467 0.038 101.926
12 United States Ryan Eversley
Australia Aidan Read
Acura NSX GT3 45 52.409 0.674 0.207 101.524
13 United States Bryan Sellers
United States Madison Snow
BMW M4 GT3 63 52.468 0.733 0.059 101.410
14 United States Ryan Hardwick
Belgium Jan Heylen
Porsche 911 GT3 R 69 52.557 0.822 0.089 101.238
15 Canada Roman De Angelis
Belgium Maxime Martin
Aston Martin Vantage GT3 51 52.853 1.118 0.296 100.671
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