Tandy Tops 1-2 Porsche Sweep in Northeast Grand Prix Practice Day at Lime Rock
The ongoing battle for IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Le Mans (GTLM) class supremacy between Porsche GT Team teammates continued in Friday’s three practice sessions at Lime Rock Park for Saturday’s two-hour, 40-minute Northeast Grand Prix.
And while there’s no points or prize money awarded for leading practice, that didn’t prevent No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR driver Nick Tandy from stealing the fastest time of the day from teammate Laurens Vanthoor in the No. 912 entry late in the day’s third and final practice session. Tandy finished the day atop the time chart with a best lap of 49.782 seconds (106.592 mph), 0.156 seconds quicker than Vanthoor.
“This track is quite specific,” Tandy said. “It’s the tire wear that we have. So, there’s a different car that you have between qualifying and the race. We just focused on the race preparation for most of the session, and then at the end put a new set of tires on and did a qualifying simulation, which was pretty good. It was a good time to go out on track, so to end Day 1 with Porsche 1-2, it’s a good start.”
Saturday’s race will be televised on NBCSN at 9:30 p.m. ET. Live streaming is availablef beginning at 3 p.m. ET on the NBC Sports App and NBCSports.com. IMSA Radio also will have live coverage on IMSA.com, RadioLeMans.com and SiriusXM Radio.
Sellers, Paul Miller Racing Looking to Return to Lime Rock Victory Lane in No. 48 Lamborghini
The 2018 Northeast Grand Prix was the second and final victory of the season for the No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3 team and driver Bryan Sellers, but it helped to propel them to the WeatherTech Championship GT Daytona (GTD) class title at season’s end.
This weekend marks a year since that victory – the most-recent one for the team – making Sellers and the team extra hungry to return to the top step of the podium. It’s also a big weekend for the team as it’s the closest race to home for team owner Paul Miller, who hails from Parsippany, New Jersey.
“This is a huge place for Paul Miller Racing,” Sellers said. “He’s just two hours away, and this is a place that he grew up coming to, racing at, and this is a place where we want to get a result every single time we come. We’ll try and work hard for him, because the smile on his face after a result at this one is worthwhile.”
Sellers posted the fastest lap of the final practice session Friday afternoon with a time of 51.797 seconds (102.445 mph), just a tick slower than Bill Auberlen’s overall best GTD time of the day at 51.715 (102.608 mph) in the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3.
“It’s hard to tell in these sessions,” Sellers said. “Basically, what happens is you go towards the track temp coming down and you’re scrubbing tires at the end, so the number looks good, right? But the important thing is, we seem to have a pretty good car.”
Sellers is sharing the No. 48 Lamborghini with Corey Lewis this weekend. Lewis normally is the team’s third driver in IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup rounds, but Lewis was pressed into service this weekend as a late replacement for Ryan Hardwick, who is nursing an injury sustained during practice at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park two weeks ago.
Excitement Builds for New Corvette Stingray in IMSA Paddock
While many teams and competitors were resting up Thursday night ahead of a busy day of on-track activity at Lime Rock Park, the new Corvette C8 “Stingray” was being officially unveiled in Tustin, California.
The new road-going sports car from Chevrolet is revolutionary as the first mid-engine Corvette in an illustrious history for the car that dates back to 1953. And while no news has yet been announced on when the C8 will hit WeatherTech Championship racetracks, there’s plenty of excitement for the new production vehicle.
“I was very fortunate after Watkins Glen and after Canadian Tire Motorsport Park to have two spells at the Nurburgring working with the Corvette road car group on the 2020 Corvette Stingray,” said No. 4 Corvette Racing C7.R driver Oliver Gavin. “It was great to be part of that entire operation and to work with that team at such a challenging track. The Stingray was absolutely everything Tadge (Juechter, Corvette Executive Chief Engineer) said at the launch.
“The overall experience you get is absolutely fantastic. I got a lot of enjoyment and pleasure in driving the Stingray and working with the team. It’s great to see. It’s a fantastic product and a great car. The Corvette owners are going to love it. I just can’t believe that it’s going to be sold for less than $60,000! That’s absolutely extraordinary with the performance in the car.”