The Alley

Tandy, Gavin on top in GTLM practice

Practice GTLM 1Practice in the GTLM class at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park found a pair of 24 Hours of Le Mans winners from Great Britain turning the fastest laps on the roller-coaster road course near Toronto.

Nick Tandy of Bedford, England, co-drove the No. 19 Porsche 919 Hybrid to an overall victory at the Circuit de La Sarthe last month. Today he drove the No. 911 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR to the quickest time in the one-hour morning session at 1:15.388. He then handed off the No. 911 to teammate Patrick Pilet, who drove throughout the afternoon session and ended up second quickest at 1:15.753.

Practice GTLM 2The only driver faster than Pilet in the second session was Oliver Gavin, the pride of Yardley Hastings, England. Gavin was part of the trio that won the GTE Pro class at Le Mans. Today the Englishman hustled Corvette Racing’s Le Mans-winning No. 4 Corvette C7.R to the fastest quickest lap in the heat of the afternoon at 1:15.741. Antonio Garcia was third in GTLM at 1:15.760 in the sister Corvette C7.R, still driving a car that was leased from the French Larbre Competition team.

There was drama for BMW Team RLL today as both of its BMW Z4s had close encounters with the tire walls. Lucas Luhr had a shunt in the morning session that damaged the No. 24 BMW, but the car was repaired and returned to action for the second session. Then Bill Auberlen had light contact in the afternoon after posting the fourth quickest time.

The intensity of the competition in GTLM was apparent in today’s times. The top four in the second session were separated by four hundredths of a second, and the spread from first to eighth was less than half a second.

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