Le Mans 24h: Toyota takes 1-2 in practice
The #7 Toyota led the way in Le Mans 24 Hours practice, with a late improvement from Sebastien Buemi in the sister #8 car securing the manufacturer a session 1-2.
Jose Maria Lopez had recorded a 3m19.626s lap aboard the #7 TS050 Hybrid with around an hour of the four-hour session remaining, but that effort was trumped with 10 minutes left by Kamui Kobayashi, who lowered the benchmark by another nine tenths.
His eventual best of 3m18.718s was more than two and a half seconds faster than the best time set at the test day earlier this month, which two-time Formula 1 world champion Fernando Alonso managed in the sister #8 car.
Buemi moved the #8, which had spent the majority of the session outside the top three, up to second with a 3m19.275s on his final lap.
His effort dislodged the #3 Oreca-built Rebellion R-13 from second, although Thomas Laurent did improve that car's time on his final lap to end the session 0.708 seconds off the pace in third.
Laurent had stopped the car on track in the final hour, but was able to recover to the pits and returned to the track to complete the session.
Ben Hanley ended up fourth in the DragonSpeed and best of the BR1 cars, finishing almost a second faster than the #11 SMP Racing entry.
The #1 Rebellion of Neel Jani, Andre Lotterer and Bruno Senna ended up sixth ahead of the second SMP car, with the sole ByKolles car eighth and five seconds off the pace.
Manor's pair of Ginetta G60-LT-P1s endured a troubled session.
The #5 car stopped on track in the first five minutes of the session, although did return to the track to set a fastest time of 3m25.203s, while the sister #6 car propped up the overall timesheets after completing just seven laps.
Its running was cut short as the team began to replace its engine in the final hour.
G-Drive sets the pace in LMP2
Jean-Eric Vergne underlined G-Drive Racing's status as LMP2 pre-race favourite by topping the timesheets by over half a second.
The Frenchman, sharing the #26 TDS Racing-entered Oreca 07 which Alex Lynn qualified on pole last year with Andrea Pizzitola and Roman Rusinov, was the only driver under the 3m27s bracket, clocking a 3m26.529s in the final hour of the session.
Photo by: Marc Fleury
Paul-Loup Chatin's early benchmark of 3m27.054s in the #48 IDEC Sport Oreca was good enough for second in class, ahead of the second TDS Racing car, the #28 example driven by Loic Duval.
Oreca filled the top five positions in class, with a late effort from Le Mans debutant Paul di Resta aboard the #22 United Autosports Ligier putting him best of the rest behind Nathanael Berthon's DragonSpeed car and Tristan Gommendy's Graff-SO24 entry, albeit still 1.755s off the pace.
Several LMP2 runners hit trouble in the session, including the #37 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca of Nabil Jeffri, who had an incident at Indianapolis and did not return to the circuit.
The #47 Villorba Corse Dallara which set a lap good enough for eighth in the hands of Felipe Nasr early on stopped at the second chicane with a left-rear puncture, although Giorgio Sernagiotto managed to get back to the pits.
Porsche controls GTE
Porsche led the way in GTE Pro, locking out the top three places in class.
Laurens Vanthoor set the fastest time halfway into the session with a 3m50.859s in the 'Pink Pig'-liveried #92 Porsche 911 RSR, which remained the benchmark until the final 20 minutes - when Patrick Pilet took over at the top in the #93 car with a 3m50.121s.
Photo by: Marc Fleury
Gianmaria Bruni was third in the Rothmans-themed #91 Porsche, a further 0.003s back.
Best of the rest was Olivier Pla in the #66 Ford GT, 1.377s off the pace, followed by the best of the AF Corse Ferraris, the #71 machine of Miguel Molina just 0.023s behind.
Porsche's fourth entry, the #94, was sixth fastest in the hands of Romain Dumas, followed by the second of the Ferraris and the remaining three Fords.
Corvette, BMW and Aston Martin all endured a low-key session, filling out the bottom six places in class between them.
After Aston Martin was handed a boost in the latest round of Balance of Performance changes, the lead Vantage GTE was 15th-fastest, 3.606s off the pace, one place behind the quicker of the BMW M8 GTEs.
Porsche likewise topped the times in GTE-Am, as Matteo Cairoli posted a best of 3m52.903s in the #88 Dempsey-Proton car to beat Ben Barker in the #86 Gulf Racing machine by 0.931s.
Ex-F1 driver Giancarlo Fisichella was the best of the non-Porsches in the #54 Spirit of Race Ferrari, a little over a tenth further back, fractionally clear of the second Dempsey-Proton car.
Additional reporting by James Newbold
|1||7||Toyota TS050 Hybrid||LM P1||54||3'18.718|
|2||8||Toyota TS050 Hybrid||LM P1||55||3'19.275||0.557|
|3||3||Rebellion R13||LM P1||39||3'19.426||0.708|
|4||10||BR Engineering BR1||LM P1||44||3'20.322||1.604|
|5||11||BR Engineering BR1||LM P1||47||3'21.304||2.586|
|6||1||Rebellion R13||LM P1||46||3'21.549||2.831|
|7||17||BR Engineering BR1||LM P1||46||3'21.557||2.839|
|8||4||ENSO CLM P1/01||LM P1||37||3'23.795||5.077|
|9||5||Ginetta G60-LT-P1||LM P1||15||3'25.203||6.485|
|10||26||Oreca 07||LM P2||52||3'26.529||7.811|
|11||48||Oreca 07||LM P2||37||3'27.054||8.336|
|12||28||Oreca 07||LM P2||51||3'27.817||9.099|
|13||31||Oreca 07||LM P2||36||3'28.178||9.460|
|14||39||Oreca 07||LM P2||10||3'28.218||9.500|
|15||22||Ligier JSP 217||LM P2||43||3'28.284||9.566|
|16||37||Oreca 07||LM P2||24||3'29.135||10.417|
|17||40||Oreca 07||LM P2||32||3'29.204||10.486|
|18||47||Dallara P217||LM P2||41||3'29.214||10.496|
|19||35||Dallara P217||LM P2||44||3'29.793||11.075|
|20||23||Ligier JSP 217||LM P2||43||3'30.168||11.450|
|21||36||Alpine A470||LM P2||24||3'30.750||12.032|
|22||38||Oreca 07||LM P2||38||3'30.922||12.204|
|23||32||Ligier JSP 217||LM P2||50||3'31.056||12.338|
|24||29||Dallara P217||LM P2||48||3'31.465||12.747|
|25||34||Ligier JSP 217||LM P2||42||3'31.837||13.119|
|26||44||Ligier JSP 217||LM P2||45||3'34.062||15.344|
|27||50||Ligier JSP 217||LM P2||24||3'36.927||18.209|
|28||33||Ligier JSP 217||LM P2||51||3'37.463||18.745|
|29||25||Ligier JSP 217||LM P2||51||3'42.404||23.686|
|30||93||Porsche 911 RSR||LM GTE Pro||39||3'50.121||31.403|
|31||92||Porsche 911 RSR||LM GTE Pro||45||3'50.859||32.141|
|32||91||Porsche 911 RSR||LM GTE Pro||45||3'50.862||32.144|
|33||66||Ford GT||LM GTE Pro||39||3'51.498||32.780|
|34||71||Ferrari 488 GTE EVO||LM GTE Pro||48||3'51.521||32.803|
|35||94||Porsche 911 RSR||LM GTE Pro||42||3'51.695||32.977|
|36||51||Ferrari 488 GTE EVO||LM GTE Pro||34||3'51.738||33.020|
|37||68||Ford GT||LM GTE Pro||37||3'51.776||33.058|
|38||69||Ford GT||LM GTE Pro||30||3'51.898||33.180|
|39||67||Ford GT||LM GTE Pro||47||3'52.692||33.974|
|40||88||Porsche 911 RSR||LM GTE Am||49||3'52.903||34.185|
|41||52||Ferrari 488 GTE EVO||LM GTE Pro||51||3'52.944||34.226|
|42||64||Chevrolet Corvette C7R||LM GTE Pro||47||3'53.048||34.330|
|43||63||Chevrolet Corvette C7R||LM GTE Pro||46||3'53.397||34.679|
|44||82||BMW M8 GTE||LM GTE Pro||43||3'53.677||34.959|
|45||97||Aston Martin Vantage AMR||LM GTE Pro||50||3'53.727||35.009|
|46||86||Porsche 911 RSR||LM GTE Am||37||3'53.834||35.116|
|47||54||Ferrari 488 GTE||LM GTE Am||51||3'53.976||35.258|
|48||77||Porsche 911 RSR||LM GTE Am||44||3'54.004||35.286|
|49||56||Porsche 911 RSR||LM GTE Am||43||3'54.133||35.415|
|50||90||Aston Martin Vantage||LM GTE Am||41||3'54.527||35.809|
|51||95||Aston Martin Vantage AMR||LM GTE Pro||53||3'54.530||35.812|
|52||81||BMW M8 GTE||LM GTE Pro||39||3'54.663||35.945|
|53||98||Aston Martin Vantage||LM GTE Am||42||3'55.792||37.074|
|54||85||Ferrari 488 GTE||LM GTE Am||38||3'55.845||37.127|
|55||61||Ferrari 488 GTE||LM GTE Am||40||3'56.049||37.331|
|56||70||Ferrari 488 GTE||LM GTE Am||47||3'56.158||37.440|
|57||99||Porsche 911 RSR||LM GTE Am||36||3'56.674||37.956|
|58||84||Ferrari 488 GTE||LM GTE Am||42||3'57.016||38.298|
|59||80||Porsche 911 RSR||LM GTE Am||39||3'58.059||39.341|
|60||6||Ginetta G60-LT-P1||LM P1||7||4'06.812||48.094|
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