Michael Valiante "won" another practice session Friday at Barber Motorsports Park, running a lap of 1min 20.692secs to lead the opening day of preparation for Sunday's Porsche 250 presented by Legacy Credit Union at Barber Motorsports Park.
Valiante has led at least one session at seven of the eight events this season in the #6 Michael Shank Racing Ford Riley. He holds the track record, 1min 20.251secs, set in qualifying for the event last year when Valiante piloted the #10 SunTrust Ford Dallara.
"We've got a pretty good record going in practice, so we just have to get a little luck in some of the races," Valiante said. "We've just had a few issues. We've got a podium (second at Virginia International Raceway) and we're fifth in the points, so we'd definitely like to get a victory before the season ends."
Valiante finished fourth after the team started last in the most recent event, the Brumos Porsche 250 at Daytona International Speedway, after co-driver John Pew crashed in practice. The team managed to complete repairs moments before the start of the race.
Alex Gurney was second fastest in the #99 GAINSCO Pontiac Riley, followed by Scott Pruett in the #01 TELMEX Lexus Riley.
Pruett and co-driver Memo Rojas are the event's defending winners, and hold a one-point lead in the championship over SunTrust drivers Brian Frisselle and Max Angelelli (199-198). Gurney and Jon Fogarty are another two points back with 196 points.
Jeff Segal led Acxiom GT practice with a morning lap of 1min 27.816secs in the #69 FXDD Mazda RX-8, followed by Paul Edwards in the #07 Drinkin' Mate Pontiac GXP.R,
Two cars sustained major undertray damage after off-track excursions, but both the #60 Michael Shank Racing Ford Riley of Mark Patterson and the #12 Verizon Wireless Porsche Riley of Romain Dumas are expected to be repaired for Saturday's final practice.
Dumas suffered a bruised left foot and cuts on his ankle but is expected to return to action for practice.