SALINAS, Calif., — Mark Wilkins, of Toronto, Ont., posted the fastest time in the GTS practice session at the Pirelli World Challenge Grand Prix of Monterey at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca presented by Cadillac. Michael Cooper, of Syosset, N.Y., was second fastest while Jack Baldwin, of Marietta,Ga., was third fastest, with just under 0.100-seconds difference between the three.
The 30-minute practice session was held under hot and sunny 80 degree conditions.
Early on in the session, Kris Wilson, of Monument, Colo., went to the top with a 1:33.750 in the No. 07 Royal Purple/Orion Energy/LaSalle
Solutions/PassTime USA Aston Martin Vantage GT4 followed by drivers’ championship contender Andrew Aquilante of Chester Springs, Penn., with a 1:34.683 in the No. 32 Calvert Dynamics/Phoenix Performance Ford Mustang Boss 302.
Dean Martin, of Westland, Mich., driving the No. 50 Picture Cars East Ford Mustang Boss 302 then posted the second fastest time with a 1:34.328. Fifteen-year-old phenom Nathan Stacy, of Owasso, Okla., then posted the third fastest time with a 1:34.543 in the No. 14 Folds of Honor Boss Mustang 302.
Aquilante then bettered Stacy’s time, equaling Martin’s time of a 1:34.328.
With eight minutes remaining in the session, Baldwin drove the No. 73 GTSport Racing/Umphrey’s McGee Porsche Cayman S to the top of the charts with a 1:33.461. Shortly after, GTS championship points leader Cooper took the top spot with a 1:33.385 in the No. 10 Blackdog Speed Shop Chevrolet Z28. In the last few laps of the session, Wilkins ran a slightly quicker 1:33.364 in the No. 38 PutOnTheBrakes.Org Kia Optima to capture and hold on to the top practice spot.
GTS drivers next take to the track for the second practice session of the weekend on Friday at 11:15 a.m. Pacific/2:15 Eastern. Follow live timing and scoring at http://worldchallenge.growsites.net/.