Le Mans test day: Buemi keeps #8 Toyota on top

The two Toyota LMP1s were separated by just under a second at the end of the Le Mans 24 Hours test day after Sebastien Buemi found two big improvements in the afternoon session.

Le Mans test day: Buemi keeps #8 Toyota on top
Listen to this article

The Swiss driver posted a 3m20s.068s, four tenths up on teammate Fernando Alonso's previous best, with just over an hour to go and then improved again to a 3m19.440s in the closing minutes of the afternoon session. 

That put the #8 Toyota TS050 Hybrid 1.1s up on the sister #7 car in which Kamui Kobayashi set a 3m20.586s at the beginning of a session lasting four hours, before Mike Conway improved to 3m20.249s.

Buemi said: "It was all about making sure you didn't get traffic. The times were a tiny bit slower than last year, but the track was getting cooler at the end, so we should have seen similar lap times." 

LMP1 times were down on this time last year, when the conditions were cooler for much of the test day which finished with Alonso topping the times on a 3m19.066s.

Andre Lotterer was the quickest of the non-hybrid LMP1s after finding a big improvement in the closing stages to end up on 3m21.323s in the #1 Rebellion R-13-Gibson.

Stoffel Vandoorne, who undertook his first laps of the full Le Mans circuit during the test, then jumped to fourth ahead of the second Rebellion with a 3m22.061s in the #11 SMP Racing BR Engineering BR1.

Nathanael Berthon took fifth with a 3m22.194s in the #3 Rebellion just ahead of Stephane Sarrazin in the #17 SMP entry.

Renger van der Zande improved the DragonSpeed BR1's best time to a 3m25.211s, only good enough for seventh but 1.7s clear of the ByKolles ENSO CLM P1/01 of Tom Dillmann.

#38 Jackie Chan DC Racing Ligier JSP217 Gibson: Ho-Pin Tung, Stéphane Richelmi, Gabriel Aubry

#38 Jackie Chan DC Racing Ligier JSP217 Gibson: Ho-Pin Tung, Stéphane Richelmi, Gabriel Aubry

Photo by: Rainier Ehrhardt

The Jackie Chan DC Racing squad led in LMP2, as Ho-Pin Tung set a 3m28.504s in the #38 Oreca to end up two tenths clear of Pastor Maldonado's 3m28.769s in the #31 DragonSpeed Oreca.

Nicolas Lapierre managed a 3m28.997s in the Signatech Alpine Oreca to take third in class ahead of the #39 Graff Oreca of Tristan Gommendy and the #28 TDS Racing Oreca of Loic Duval.

Nyck de Vries set the best non-Oreca time in the #29 Racing Team Nederland Dallara P217, some two seconds off the class pace in seventh.

#63 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R: Jan Magnussen, Antonio Garcia, Mike Rockenfeller

#63 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R: Jan Magnussen, Antonio Garcia, Mike Rockenfeller

Photo by: Rainier Ehrhardt

Corvette Racing again headed the GTE Pro class with the #63 car. 

Mike Rockenfeller topped the times with a 3m54.001s to end up just three hundredths faster than the Ganassi Ford GT in which Harry Tincknell posted a 3m54.032s earlier in the four-hour session.

The second Chevrolet Corvette C7.R took third with a late 3m54.036s from Tommy Milner, while Davide Rigon was fourth in the best of the factory AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTEs with a 3m54.103s.

Best of the Porsches was the US-entered #93 car in which Nick Tandy recorded a 3m54.223s.

The top 12 GTE Pro cars, incorporating entries from Chevrolet, Ford, Ferrari and Aston Martin, were separated by less than a second, although times in the class were some way off those from qualifying for last year's 24 Hours.

The Scuderia Corsa-run WeatherTech Racing Ferrari led the way in GTE Am with a 3m56.862s from Toni Vilander, beating Matt Griffin's Clearwater Ferrari and Giancarlo Fisichella's Spirit of Race car by less than a tenth of a second.

For full Le Mans 24 Hours test day results, click here.

shares
comments
Le Mans test day: Buemi leads morning session for Toyota
Previous article

Le Mans test day: Buemi leads morning session for Toyota

Next article

Alonso: Privateers' test day pace hard to understand

Alonso: Privateers' test day pace hard to understand
How Porsche's Le Mans legend changed the game Prime

How Porsche's Le Mans legend changed the game

The 956 set the bar at the dawn of Group C 40 years ago, and that mark only rose higher through the 1980s, both in the world championship and in the US. It and its successor, the longer-wheelbase 962, are arguably the greatest sportscars of all time.

WEC
Aug 25, 2022
Why BMW shouldn't be overlooked on its return to prototypes Prime

Why BMW shouldn't be overlooked on its return to prototypes

OPINION: While the focus has been on the exciting prospect of Ferrari vs Porsche at the Le Mans 24 Hours next year, BMW’s factory return to endurance racing should not be ignored. It won't be at the French classic next year as it focuses efforts on the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, but could be a dark horse in 2024 when it returns to La Sarthe with the crack WRT squad.

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2022
How Formula E's double-duty drivers got on at Le Mans Prime

How Formula E's double-duty drivers got on at Le Mans

Eight Formula E drivers made the 7,000-mile sprint from the streets of Jakarta to the fabled Circuit de la Sarthe and every one had a story to share at this year's Le Mans 24 Hours. Despite a range of triumphs and disappointments, each driver doubling up on the day job played a key role in their teams' fortunes

Le Mans
Jun 14, 2022
When the moribund GTE Pro class stole the show at Le Mans Prime

When the moribund GTE Pro class stole the show at Le Mans

As the GT class faces a time of transition, it’s a good time to recall the greatest hits of the GTE Pro years that pitched manufacturers and top drivers into the tightest of duels.

Le Mans
Jun 9, 2022
The great Le Mans garagistes that challenged factory might Prime

The great Le Mans garagistes that challenged factory might

Glickenhaus is the latest in a line of small-time constructors to take on the big names. Here are some of the finest in the history of the Le Mans 24 Hours

Le Mans
Jun 9, 2022
How junior formula giant Prema is readying for its Le Mans future Prime

How junior formula giant Prema is readying for its Le Mans future

Prema remains a colossus in single-seaters, but the serial Formula 2 and Formula 3 title-winning squad has joined forces with top GT squad Iron Lynx for an attack on sportscars in the FIA World Endurance Championship and European Le Mans Series. Ahead of its debut at the Le Mans 24 Hours, its sights are firmly fixed on LMP2 glory – and a future in Hypercars next year...

Le Mans
Jun 8, 2022
Why a fifth Toyota win at Le Mans is far from a certainty in 2022 Prime

Why a fifth Toyota win at Le Mans is far from a certainty in 2022

Toyota is the clear favourite for its fifth Le Mans 24 Hours success in a row, but not as much as it was in 2021. Although its opposition is unchanged, the credentials of Glickenhaus and Alpine have now been proven, while Balance of Performance tweaks have also served to level the playing field. Here's what we can expect at the Circuit de la Sarthe for the 90th edition of the endurance classic.

Le Mans
Jun 8, 2022
The British rookies targeting a good first impression at Le Mans Prime

The British rookies targeting a good first impression at Le Mans

Three young Britons will make their first starts in the Le Mans 24 Hours this weekend in the highly-competitive 23-car GTE Am field. But how did they get here? Motorsport.com hears their stories.

Le Mans
Jun 7, 2022