Mazda moves to top in 12 hours of Sebring practice 2

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Plenty of warm Florida sunshine greeted the IMSA SportsCar Championship drivers and teams for the second of three practice sessions Thursday in preparation for Saturday’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.
 And as the mercury rose, so too did the speeds in the hour-long session. Topping the charts was Olivier Pla in the No. 55 Mazda Team Joest RT24-P DPi with a lap of one minute, 46.834 seconds (124.695 mph) aboard the machine he shares with Jonathan Bomarito and Harry Tincknell. The lap was a tenth of a second quicker than Felipe Nasr’s session-leading time of 1:46.996 set this morning in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R.
“That was a very positive session for our team,” said Pla, a three-time pole winner in the Twelve Hours. “The Mazda RT24-P is working very well around Sebring, and with the heat we have in the middle of the day, it gives us confidence for the race. I think the car can be very competitive here, of course it is a long race, but we are confident in the pace of the car.”
Nasr’s co-driver, Pipo Derani, was second quickest in the afternoon session with a lap of 1:47.649 (123.751 mph). Jordan Taylor was third in the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R at 1:47.651 (123.749 mph).
For the second consecutive session, Matt McMurry led the way in the LMP2 class, this time with a lap of 1:52.149 (118.786 mph) in the No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA.
Defending Twelve Hours of Sebring GT Le Mans (GTLM) class winner Nick Tandy topped the GTLM charts with a lap of 1:56.991 (113.869 mph). Tandy is co-driving the car with Patrick Pilet and Frederic Makowiecki, the same lineup that won the race last year.
Bill Auberlen was quickest in the GT Daytona (GTD) class in the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 at 2:00.583 (110.477 mph). He’s going in search of his 59th career IMSA win on Saturday – which would move him to within one of all-time leader Scott Pruett’s total of 60 – and he’ll do it with Robby Foley and Dillon Machavern as his co-drivers.