Corvette Racing Finds Nighttime Speed, Garcia Turns Thursday’s Fastest GTLM Lap in Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts Practice

15 Mar 2019
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Nighttime is the right time for Corvette Racing, or at least it was on Thursday in practice for the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts.
 
While the day’s fastest times in the other three IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship classes were set during one of the two daytime sessions, Antonio Garcia posted the fastest GT Le Mans (GTLM) time of the day at 1:56.954 inside the final 30 minutes of what was a 90-minute night practice session in preparation for the once-around-the-clock race set to start at 10:30 a.m. ET Saturday.
 
The evening speed may bode well for Garcia and co-drivers Jan Magnussen and Mike Rockenfeller, as they’re also competing in Friday’s FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) 1000 Miles of Sebring. The qualifying session for that race – which starts at 4 p.m. ET and is expected to last approximately eight hours – followed WeatherTech Championship night practice.
 
“The good thing about this is, even if we had some misses earlier in practice, we went back out and followed the plan,” Garcia said. “For sure, this was a qualifying run towards the WEC. This is maybe the only advantage we have, knowing we can do this right away before qualifying. Let’s see if the other car behaves exactly the same, because if it does, we might have a good chance.”
 
The fastest overall time of the day came in the afternoon session, when Olivier Pla lapped the 3.74-mile, 17-turn Sebring International Raceway circuit at 1:46.834 in the No. 55 Mazda Team Joest RT24-P DPi machine. Pla and his co-drivers – Jonathan Bomarito and Harry Tincknell – also are pulling double duty, racing for Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK in the WEC race.
 
Matt McMurry led all three LMP2 practice sessions, but his best lap was a 1:50.877 set this morning. He’s sharing the No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA with Gabriel Aubry and Anders Fjorback.
 
And in the GT Daytona (GTD) class, the fastest time of the day went to Bill Auberlen in the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3. Auberlen’s best lap from the afternoon session was 2:00.583 in the car he will co-drive with Robby Foley and Dillon Machavern.
 
Friday’s WeatherTech Championship schedule calls for a fourth practice session from 8 to 9:25 a.m. ET, followed by qualifying from 9:55 to 11 a.m. ET. The qualifying session will be streamed live with IMSA Radio commentary on IMSA.tv. 
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Adam Sinclair

Adam has been a race fan since the first time he went through the tunnel under the Daytona International Speedway almost 30 years ago. He has had the privilege of traveling to races all across the state of Florida (as well as one race in Ohio), watching nearly everything with a motor compete for fame and glory, as well as participating in various racing schools to get the feel of what racecar drivers go through every week.  

Adam spent several years covering motorsports for Examiner.com., where he had the opportunity to see the racing world from behind the scenes as well as the grandstands. He invites everyone to follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus, and looks forward to sharing his enthusiasm for all things racing with the readers of SpeedwayDigest.com.

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