Le Mans test day: Toyota leads Alpine in opening session

Toyota led the way in the opening session of the Le Mans 24 Hours test day in which the three manufacturers in the Hypercar class were covered by less than a second.

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Brendon Hartley sat at the top of the timesheets after the first four hours of running at the official test, which leads into Le Mans 24 Hours race week, with a 3m31.263s in the #8 Toyota GR010 Hybrid Le Mans Hypercar. 

His time eclipsed the 3m31.519s from Nicolas Lapierre in the Alpine-Gibson A480 grandfathered LMP1 car. 

Mike Conway made a late improvement in the #7 Toyota to go third courtesy of a 3m31.852s. 

Olivier Pla was fourth fastest around the 8.47-mile Circuit de la Sarthe in the best of the two Glickenhaus 007 LMHs on a 3m31.920s, which had briefly topped the times. 

The #709 Glickenhaus was only 19th overall, nearly five seconds off the pace and behind 14 LMP2s, after completing 14 laps in the session. 

The fastest times were already close to the 3m30s race lap time target for the LMH category introduced for this year's FIA World Endurance Championship despite a 'green' circuit, which will become quicker in the lead-up to the race next weekend. 

That partially reflects the increase in power allowed to the cars running in the Hypercar division. The power level for LMH machinery was originally set at 500kW or 670bhp for Le Mans, but 520kW or 697bhp for regular WEC races.

#36 Alpine Elf Matmut Alpine A480 - Gibson Hypercar, André Negrão, Nicolas Lapierre, Matthieu Vaxiviere

#36 Alpine Elf Matmut Alpine A480 - Gibson Hypercar, André Negrão, Nicolas Lapierre, Matthieu Vaxiviere

Photo by: Rainier Ehrhardt

#708 Glickenhaus Racing Glickenhaus 007 LMH Hypercar, Luis Felipe Derani, Franck Mailleux, Olivier Pla

#708 Glickenhaus Racing Glickenhaus 007 LMH Hypercar, Luis Felipe Derani, Franck Mailleux, Olivier Pla

Photo by: Rainier Ehrhardt

The increase to the higher level for Le Mans reflects a desire by the rule makers, the FIA and the Automobile Club de l'Ouest, to increase the gap between the cars in the Hypercars class and the LMP2 prototypes. 

Best of the LMP2 field was the #23 United Autosports Oreca 07 with Paul di Resta at the wheel. His 3m33.038s was nearly five seconds slower than the P2 test day best from 2019 (there was no test day last year), which reflects efforts to slow the class for this season with the arrival of LMH. 

Phil Hanson made it a United one-two at the head of a P2 times with a 3m33.428s in the second of the British team's three Orecas.

The Belgian WRT squad took third position on its first appearance on the Circuit de la Sarthe with a 3m24.167s from Yifei Ye in the quickest of the team's pair of Orecas.

Oliver Jarvis's 3m34.577s put the Risi Competizione Oreca fourth in P2 ahead of the #28 JOTA machine of Sean Gelael in fifth.

Kevin Estre was quickest for Porsche in GTE Pro with a 3m32.901s aboard the best of the Manthey-run factory 911 RSR-19s. He ended up nearly eight tenths up on the sister car in which Gianmaria Bruni posted a 3m52.904s.

Ferrari's lead AF Corse-run 488 GTE Evo took third in the hands of James Calado with a 3m53.844s.

The best Chevrolet Corvette time was set by Nick Tandy. His 3m55.580s aboard the #64 C8.R put him fifth in class behind the second of the works Ferraris of Daniel Serra.

Marcos Gomes jumped to the top of the GTE Am times right at the end of the session with a 3m55.710s in the NorthWest AMR Aston Martin Vantage GTE. He pipped Alessio Picariello in the Proton-run Absolute Racing Porsche 911 RSR-19 by just over a tenth.

The opening session was interrupted by three short red-flag stoppages. 

Five hours of running concluding at 7:00pm local time are scheduled for the afternoon of the test day. 

Morning testing times:

Pos. # Class Team Car Time
1 8 Hypercar TOYOTA GAZOO RACING
Toyota GR010 HYBRID
3:31.263
2 36 Hypercar ALPINE ELF MATMUT
Alpine A480 - Gibson
3:31.519
3 7 Hypercar TOYOTA GAZOO RACING
Toyota GR010 HYBRID
3:31.852
4 708 Hypercar GLICKENHAUS RACING
Glickenhaus 007 LMH
3:31.920
5 23 LM P2 UNITED AUTOSPORTS
Oreca 07 - Gibson
3:33.038
6 22 LM P2 UNITED AUTOSPORTS USA
Oreca 07 - Gibson
3:33.428
7 41 LM P2 TEAM WRT
Oreca 07 - Gibson
3:34.167
8 82 LM P2 RISI COMPETIZIONE
Oreca 07 - Gibson
3:34.577
9 28 LM P2 JOTA
Oreca 07 - Gibson
3:34.734
10 48 LM P2 IDEC SPORT
Oreca 07 - Gibson
3:34.807
11 29 LM P2 RACING TEAM NEDERLAND
Oreca 07 - Gibson
3:34.878
12 70 LM P2 REALTEAM RACING
Oreca 07 - Gibson
3:35.004
13 65 LM P2 PANIS RACING
Oreca 07 - Gibson
3:35.196
14 34 LM P2 INTER EUROPOL COMPETITION
Oreca 07 - Gibson
3:35.360
15 21 LM P2 DRAGONSPEED USA
Oreca 07 - Gibson
3:35.412
16 24 LM P2 P/A PR1 MOTORSPORTS MATHIASEN
Oreca 07 - Gibson
3:35.413
17 32 LM P2 UNITED AUTOSPORTS
Oreca 07 - Gibson
3:35.777
18 25 LM P2 P/A G-DRIVE RACING
Aurus 01 - Gibson
3:36.088
19 709 Hypercar GLICKENHAUS RACING
Glickenhaus 007 LMH
3:36.113
20 30 LM P2 DUQUEINE TEAM
Oreca 07 - Gibson
3:36.196
21 1 LM P2 RICHARD MILLE RACING TEAM
Oreca 07 - Gibson
3:36.480
22 38 LM P2 JOTA
Oreca 07 - Gibson
3:36.554
23 31 LM P2 TEAM WRT
Oreca 07 - Gibson
3:36.571
24 49 LM P2 P/A HIGH CLASS RACING
Oreca 07 - Gibson
3:36.753
25 26 LM P2 G-DRIVE RACING
Aurus 01 - Gibson
3:36.928
26 39 LM P2 P/A SO24-DIROB BY GRAFF
Oreca 07 - Gibson
3:37.489
27 17 LM P2 P/A IDEC SPORT
Oreca 07 - Gibson
3:38.095
28 20 LM P2 HIGH CLASS RACING
Oreca 07 - Gibson
3:38.891
29 44 LM P2 ARC BRATISLAVA
Oreca 07 - Gibson
3:40.733
30 74 LM P2 P/A RACING TEAM INDIA EURASIA
Ligier JS P217 - Gibson
3:41.848
31 84 CDNT ASSOCIATION SRT41
Oreca 07 - Gibson
3:42.145
32 92 LM GTE Pro PORSCHE GT TEAM
Porsche 911 RSR - 19
3:52.901
33 91 LM GTE Pro PORSCHE GT TEAM
Porsche 911 RSR - 19
3:52.904
34 51 LM GTE Pro AF CORSE
Ferrari 488 GTE Evo
3:53.844
35 52 LM GTE Pro AF CORSE
Ferrari 488 GTE Evo
3:54.466
36 64 LM GTE Pro CORVETTE RACING
Chevrolet Corvette C8.R
3:55.580
37 95 LM GTE Am ASTON MARTIN RACING
Aston Martin Vantage AMR
3:55.710
38 79 LM GTE Pro WEATHERTECH RACING
Porsche 911 RSR - 19
3:55.751
39 18 LM GTE Am ABSOLUTE RACING
Porsche 911 RSR - 19
3:55.841
40 63 LM GTE Pro CORVETTE RACING
Chevrolet Corvette C8.R
3:55.932
41 88 LM GTE Am DEMPSEY - PROTON RACING
Porsche 911 RSR - 19
3:56.494
42 777 LM GTE Am D'STATION RACING
Aston Martin Vantage AMR
3:56.945
43 72 LM GTE Pro HUB AUTO RACING
Porsche 911 RSR - 19
3:56.998
44 54 LM GTE Am AF CORSE
Ferrari 488 GTE Evo
3:57.223
45 80 LM GTE Am IRON LYNX
Ferrari 488 GTE Evo
3:57.223
46 47 LM GTE Am CETILAR RACING
Ferrari 488 GTE Evo
3:57.232
47 56 LM GTE Am TEAM PROJECT 1
Porsche 911 RSR - 19
3:57.336
48 60 LM GTE Am IRON LYNX
Ferrari 488 GTE Evo
3:57.406
49 99 LM GTE Am PROTON COMPETITION
Porsche 911 RSR - 19
3:57.722
50 388 LM GTE Am RINALDI RACING
Ferrari 488 GTE Evo
3:57.737
51 33 LM GTE Am TF SPORT
Aston Martin Vantage AMR
3:57.750
52 77 LM GTE Am DEMPSEY - PROTON RACING
Porsche 911 RSR - 19
3:57.919
53 86 LM GTE Am GR RACING
Porsche 911 RSR - 19
3:58.001
54 83 LM GTE Am AF CORSE
Ferrari 488 GTE Evo
3:58.102
55 57 LM GTE Am KESSEL RACING
Ferrari 488 GTE Evo
3:58.299
56 85 LM GTE Am IRON LYNX
Ferrari 488 GTE Evo
3:58.476
57 71 LM GTE Am INCEPTION RACING
Ferrari 488 GTE Evo
3:58.542
58 95 LM GTE Am TF SPORT
Aston Martin Vantage AMR
3:59.023
59 55 LM GTE Am SPIRIT OF RACE
Ferrari 488 GTE Evo
3:59.165
60 46 LM GTE Am TEAM PROJECT 1
Porsche 911 RSR - 19
3:59.364
61 66 LM GTE Am JMW MOTORSPORT
Ferrari 488 GTE Evo
4:00.264
62 69 LM GTE Am HERBERTH MOTORSPORT
Porsche 911 RSR - 19
4:04.130
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