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Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix, powered by Mazda – Friday Recap

TUDOR United SportsCar Championship practice session. Photo by DMTImaging.com

The No. 60 Michael Shank Racing Honda HPD Ligier JS P2 with drivers John Pew and Oswaldo Negri, Jr., lead the field in both of Friday’s practice sessions for the Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix powered by Mazda at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The quick lap of 1:19.028 minutes at an average speed of 101.949 mph took place in the late afternoon session on the 11-turn 2.238-mile road course.

The No. 11 RSR Racing AutoMaxUSA Oreca FLM09 with drivers Bruno Junqueira and Chris Cumming led both sessions in the Prototype Challenge class, setting the best time of the day in the second session with a lap of 1:21.046 minutes at an average speed of 99.410 mph.

In GT Le Mans, the No. 912 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR of Jorg Bergmeister and Michael Christensen set fast lap, again in the second session. The lap of 1:23.217 minutes at 96.817 mph was 0.645-of-a-second quicker than the first session’s quick lap run by the No. 25 BMW Team RLL IHG Rewards Club BMW Z4 GTE of drivers Bill Auberlen and Dirk Werner.

The quickest lap in GT Daytona was run in the first session by the No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Park Place Porsche 911 GT America at 1:27.194 minutes at 92.401 with drivers Patrick Lindsey and Spencer Pumpelly.

Qualifying for Round 4 of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship is scheduled to take place Saturday, May 2, beginning at 4:15 p.m. Pacific Time.

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It was a busy day for Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge drivers and teams as they had two sessions of practice and qualifying. The No. 9 Stevenson Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.R of Lawson Aschenbach and Matt Bell earned the GS class pole position with a lap of 1:35.765 minutes at an average speed of 84.131 mph. They were the only team in the one minute, 35-second range. The No. 158 Ford Racing/Multimatic Ford Mustang Boss 302R of Multimatic Motorsports’ Jade Buford and Austin Cindric will start second with a lap of 1:36.904 minutes at 83.904 mph.

In ST, the No. 34 Alara Racing Mazda MX-5 with drivers Christian Szymczak and Justin Piscitell will start from pole after a qualifying lap of 1:38.805 minutes at 81.542 mph. Second was the No. 25 Freedom Autosports/Mazda/SemperFiFund.org Mazda MX-5 of drivers Britt Casey, Jr., and Tom Long with a lap of 1:39.373 minutes at 81.076 mph.

The two-and-a-half hour Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race is scheduled to take the green flag Saturday, May 2, at 1:00 p.m. Pacific Time.

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Two sessions of practice for the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo were on tap Friday at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Cedric Sbirrazzuoli drove the No. 07 Dallas/STR Huracan LP 620-2 Super Trofeo to the second session’s quick lap, running 1:25.390 minutes at an average speed of 94.353 mph. Richard Antinucci was quickest in the first session, driving the No. 50 Beverly Hills/O’Gara Motorsport Huracan LP 620-2 Super Trofeo to a best lap of 1:24.384 minutes at 95.478 mph.

Race No. 1 of the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo is scheduled to go green Saturday, May 2, at 9:40 a.m. Pacific Time. Race No. 2 is set for Sunday, May 3, at 10:15 a.m. Pacific Time.

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Patrick Gallagher, of Thornville, Ohio, did not wait long set a fast lap during qualifying for Rounds Five and Six of the SCCA Pro Racing Battery Tender Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires, at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca as part of the Monterey Grand Prix. Gallagher captured what would be the pole-winning lap on only his third time around the circuit. On that lap he stopped the clock at 1:41.349 minutes at 79.496 mph. His teammate Peter Portante, of Plainville, Connecticut, will start Saturday’s race beside him, while Drake Kemper, of Toluca Lake, California, will roll off third.

Race No. 1 of the Battery Tender Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BF Goodrich Tires is scheduled for Saturday, May 2, at 8:40 a.m. Pacific Time. Race No. 2 is set for Sunday, May 3, at 9:10 a.m. Pacific Time.

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