Fuji WEC: Kobayashi sets the pace in extended third practice

Toyota retained a comfortable advantage over its LMP1 opposition in final practice for the WEC 6 Hours of Fuji, with Kamui Kobayashi setting the quickest time.

Fuji WEC: Kobayashi sets the pace in extended third practice

Following the disruption to Friday's running, which was marred by three red flags due to kerbs coming loose, Saturday morning's session was extended by 30 minutes.

Fernando Alonso held the upper hand in the #8 Toyota TS050 Hybrid initially with a time of 1m25.180s, but when Kobayashi took over the #7 Toyota he set what proved to be the quickest lap of the session, a 1m24.589s.

Alonso's FP2 benchmark of 1m23.973s remains the quickest time of the weekend so far, however.

SMP Racing regained its mantle of top privateer thanks to a late time of 1m25.675s from Egor Orudzhev in the #17 BR Engineering BR1-AER - a little over a second off the pace set by Toyota.

That was enough to beat the best of the Rebellion R-13-Gibsons, the #1 car of Neel Jani, by four tenths.

The Silverstone-winning #3 Rebellion occupied third for much of the session, but ended up fifth with Gustavo Menezes just four hundredths behind squadmate Jani.

Jenson Button set the #11 SMP BR1's best time, which was only good enough for sixth, ahead of DragonSpeed's customer Gibson-powered BR1.

The ByKolles ENSO CLM P1/01-Nissan was eighth and last of the LMP1s, James Rossiter's best time coming in more than a second adrift of the DragonSpeed BR1.

DC Racing, Porsche top classes

Jackie Chan DC Racing led the way in LMP2 thanks to a 1m29.352s effort by Jazeman Jaafar in the #37 Oreca, the quickest time of the weekend so far in the secondary class.

Friday pacesetter TDS Racing was second with Matthieu Vaxiviere at the wheel of the #28 Oreca, followed by the second Jota Sport-run Jackie Chan car, the #38 of Stephane Richelmi.

Porsche topped the timesheets in GTE Pro courtesy of a 1m36.851s effort from Kevin Estre in the #92 911 RSR.

Best of the rest was the #66 Ford GT of Harry Tincknell, just under two tenths behind, while the lead entries from Aston Martin (Marco Sorensen), Ferrari (Davide Rigon) and BMW (Tom Blomqvist) filled out the rest of the top five.

GTE Am was likewise topped by Porsche, with Ben Barker's benchmark time of 1m37.709s putting the #86 Gulf Racing car ahead of the two slowest GTE Pro cars overall.

The session was red-flagged just as the chequered flag was about to fall when the #90 TF Sport Aston Martin's fire extinguisher went off and came to a halt while Charlie Eastwood was at the wheel.

That was the only stoppage of an otherwise virtually incident-free session.

FP3 results:

Pos. # Drivers Car Class Time Gap
1 7 Japan Kamui Kobayashi 
United Kingdom Mike Conway 
Argentina Jose Maria Lopez 
Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 1'24.589  
2 8 Spain Fernando Alonso 
Japan Kazuki Nakajima 
Switzerland Sébastien Buemi 
Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 1'25.180 0.591
3 17 France Stéphane Sarrazin 
Russian Federation Matevos Isaakyan 
Russian Federation Egor Orudzhev 
BR Engineering BR1 LMP1 1'25.675 1.086
4 1 Germany Andre Lotterer 
Brazil Bruno Senna 
Switzerland Neel Jani 
Rebellion R13 LMP1 1'26.073 1.484
5 3 Switzerland Mathias Beche 
France Thomas Laurent 
United States Gustavo Menezes 
Rebellion R13 LMP1 1'26.102 1.513
6 11 United Kingdom Jenson Button 
Russian Federation Vitaly Petrov 
Russian Federation Mikhail Aleshin 
BR Engineering BR1 LMP1 1'26.379 1.790
7 10 United Kingdom Ben Hanley 
Australia James Allen 
BR Engineering BR1 LMP1 1'26.515 1.926
8 4 United Kingdom Oliver Webb 
France Tom Dillmann 
United Kingdom James Rossiter 
ENSO CLM P1/01 LMP1 1'27.540 2.951
9 37 Malaysia Nabil Jeffri 
Malaysia Weiron Tan 
Malaysia Jazeman Jaafar 
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'29.352 4.763
10 28 France Jean-Eric Vergne 
France François Perrodo 
France Matthieu Vaxiviere 
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'29.582 4.993
11 38 China Ho-Pin Tung 
Monaco Stéphane Richelmi 
France Gabriel Aubry 
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'29.749 5.160
12 31 United Kingdom Anthony Davidson 
Venezuela Pastor Maldonado 
Mexico Roberto Gonzalez 
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'29.857 5.268
13 29 Netherlands Giedo van der Garde 
Netherlands Nyck de Vries 
Netherlands Frits van Eerd 
Dallara P217 LMP2 1'30.752 6.163
14 36 France Nicolas Lapierre 
France Pierre Thiriet 
Brazil Andre Negrao 
Alpine A470 LMP2 1'30.808 6.219
15 50 France Romano Ricci 
France Erwin Creed 
Japan Keiko lhara 
Ligier JSP 217 LMP2 1'32.068 7.479
16 92 Denmark Michael Christensen 
France Kevin Estre 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE PRO 1'36.851 12.262
17 67 United Kingdom Harry Tincknell 
Guernsey Andy Priaulx 
Ford GT LMGTE PRO 1'37.031 12.442
18 95 Denmark Nicki Thiim 
Denmark Marco Sorensen 
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE PRO 1'37.045 12.456
19 71 United Kingdom Sam Bird 
Italy Davide Rigon 
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 1'37.170 12.581
20 82 Portugal Antonio Felix da Costa 
United Kingdom Tom Blomqvist 
BMW M8 GTE LMGTE PRO 1'37.176 12.587
21 66 Germany Stefan Mücke 
France Olivier Pla 
Ford GT LMGTE PRO 1'37.445 12.856
22 51 United Kingdom James Calado 
Italy Alessandro Pier Guidi 
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 1'37.565 12.976
23 91 Italy Gianmaria Bruni 
Austria Richard Lietz 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE PRO 1'37.612 13.023
24 86 United Kingdom Michael Wainwright 
United Kingdom Benjamin Barker 
Austria Thomas Preining 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 1'37.709 13.120
25 97 Belgium Maxime Martin 
United Kingdom Alex Lynn 
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE PRO 1'37.716 13.127
26 81 Netherlands Nick Catsburg 
Germany Martin Tomczyk 
BMW M8 GTE LMGTE PRO 1'37.730 13.141
27 77 Germany Christian Ried 
Australia Matt Campbell 
France Julien Andlauer 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 1'37.833 13.244
28 88 Italy Matteo Cairoli 
Italy Giorgio Roda 
Satoshi Hoshino 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 1'37.965 13.376
29 54 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella 
Italy Francesco Castellacci 
Switzerland Thomas Flohr 
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE AM 1'38.354 13.765
30 56 Germany Jörg Bergmeister 
United States Patrick Lindsey 
Norway Egidio Perfetti 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 1'38.554 13.965
31 61 Ireland Matthew Griffin 
Singapore Mok Weng Sun 
Japan Keita Sawa 
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE AM 1'38.622 14.033
32 70 Monaco Olivier Beretta 
Italy Eddie Cheever III 
Japan Motoaki Ishikawa 
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE AM 1'38.682 14.093
33 98 Portugal Pedro Lamy 
Canada Paul Dalla Lana 
Austria Mathias Lauda 
Aston Martin Vantage LMGTE AM 1'38.966 14.377
34 90 United Kingdom Jonathan Adam 
Turkey Salih Yoluc 
Ireland Charles Eastwood 
Aston Martin Vantage LMGTE AM 1'39.366 14.777
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