Motorsport News

Matt Campbell Sweeps WeatherTech Laguna Seca Practices

Matt Campbell during practice for the Motul Course de Monterey, 5/13/2023 (Photo: Courtesy of IMSA)

Porsche Penske Motorsport’s Matt Campbell swept both IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice sessions at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Campbell’s lap at 115.722 mph Saturday (May 13) is the fastest lap of the weekend.

Practice No. 1

The first practice session on Friday saw Chip Ganassi Racing have a serious setback. Sebastien Bourdais went off-course at turn 6, went through the gravel trap and hit the barriers. That brought out a 15-minute red flag. Bourdais was ok, but the No. 01 Cadillac was done for the day.

The Acuras were fastest early in the session, but Porsche Penske Motorsport’s Matt Campbell came to life in the final 10 minutes. He took over the top spot on the timesheet with six minutes to go, then continued to improve.

On his final lap at speed, Campbell set a lap at 105.039 mph. That ended up being the fastest lap of the day.

Campbell’s lap was .316 seconds faster than Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian’s Colin Braun in the fastest Acura. Mathieu Jaminet was third in the second Penske Porsche, then Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport’s Ricky Taylor. Action Express Racing’s Pipo Derani was fifth.

JDC-Miller MotorSports spent the session feeling things out with their new Porsche 963. It was only in the second half of the session that they ran anything resembling competitive times. They ultimately ended up at the back of the GTP class, 17th overall.

In LMP2, Tower Motorsport’s Louis Deletraz was fastest with a lap at 103.429 mph, ninth overall. Deletraz’s lap was .542 seconds faster than Crowdstrike Racing with APR’s Ben Hanley. Era Motorsport’s Ryan Dalziel was third, followed by High Class Racing’s Ed Jones. Rick Ware Racing’s Eric Lux was fifth.

The session was a little bit difficult for TDS Racing as both cars ran into trouble. First, Francois Heriau had contact with The Heart of Racing’s Ross Gunn, resulting in Gunn spinning out. IMSA officials determined that Heriau was responsible, forcing the No. 35 driver to serve a drive-through penalty.

Later on, teammate Mikkel Jensen had mechanical issues on the No. 11. That resulted in a brief red flag late in the session.

In GTD, VasserSullivan’s Frankie Montecalvo was fastest of all GT drivers with a lap at 95.014 mph, 18th overall. His lap was .086 seconds faster than AO Racing’s Sebastian Priaulx in the return of “Rexy” after their crash in qualifying at Long Beach.

Winward Racing’s Russell…

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