Bamber in fact led most of the session until Ricky Taylor caused a surprise three minutes from the checkered flag, when he set fastest time in the Wayne Taylor Racing Acura ARX-05 by going fastest in the first two sectors. He had earlier survived a trip into the Turn 3 runoff.
But just a minute later, Bamber produced a lap that, although a tad slower in sectors 1 and 2, was close enough in time that his superior third sector saw him inch back ahead by 0.146sec.
The Meyer Shank Racing Acura of Oliver Jarvis was 0.55sec off WTR’s similar car, but that was still good enough for third place. It would likely not have been had Pipo Derani been in the Action Express Racing Cadillac when the track was in its best condition, but the Brazilian gave up the majority of his seat time to his new teammate Olivier Pla. The 40-year-old Frenchman has replaced Tristan Nunez in the line-up and needed to adapt to the AXR Caddy and also the bumpy 2.35-mile 14-turn track on Belle Isle. Pla’s best effort was 0.9sec from top spot but good enough to see him ahead of the second Ganassi Cadillac and the JDC Miller Motorsports’ Cadillac.
Mike Skeen was fastest in the only other class competing this weekend, GTD, and his Korthoff Motorsports Mercedes AMG GT3 lapped the track in 1min30.759sec, mere hundredths ahead of Aaron Telitz’s best effort in the Vasser Sullivan Racing Lexus RC F.
Aidan Read was an impressive third in Rick Ware Racing’s Acura NSX, ahead of Roman De Angelis in the Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage and Jan Heylen’s Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
Second practice begins at 12.05pm local (Eastern) time, with qualifying at 5.30pm.
Earl Bamber |
Ricky Taylor |
Oliver Jarvis |
Olivier Pla |
Renger van der Zande |
Tristan Vautier |
Mike Skeen |
|GTD||Mercedes AMG GT3||36||1'30.759||10.581|
Frankie Montecalvo |
|GTD||Lexus RC F GT3||45||1'30.783||10.605|
Ryan Eversley |
|GTD||Acura NSX GT3||31||1'30.865||10.687|
Roman De Angelis |
|GTD||Aston Martin Vantage GT3||43||1'30.974||10.796|
Ryan Hardwick |
|GTD||Porsche 911 GT3 R||47||1'31.009||10.831|
Ben Barnicoat |
|GTD||Lexus RC F GT3||45||1'31.054||10.876|
Robby Foley |
|GTD||BMW M4 GT3||44||1'31.100||10.922|
Russell Ward |
|GTD||Mercedes AMG GT3||40||1'31.273||11.095|
Bryan Sellers |
|GTD||BMW M4 GT3||37||1'31.415||11.237|
Robert Megennis |
|GTD||Lamborghini Huracan GT3||46||1'31.474||11.296|
|View full results|