Austin WEC: Rebellion tops FP2 before hitting drama

Rebellion Racing topped second practice for this weekend's Lone Star Le Mans at the Circuit of the Americas, but is in a race against time to make qualifying after blowing an engine.

Austin WEC: Rebellion tops FP2 before hitting drama

As was the case during Saturday's earlier FP1 session, Gustavo Menezes set the fastest time aboard the #1 Rebellion R-13, posting an 1m48.804s early on in the two-hour session.

That was enough to top the session by 0.654s ahead of the quicker of the two Toyota TS050 Hybrids, the #8 with Brendon Hartley at the wheel.

But just before the halfway mark of the session, when Bruno Senna was at the wheel, smoke started pouring from the rear of the #1 car, Senna parking up at Turn 5.

The car was promptly recovered and the Rebellion crew began the process of changing the normally-aspirated Gibson engine ahead of qualifying, which begins at 1810 local time.

"I think we should be OK [for qualifying]," commented Rebellion team manager Bart Hayden on the engine change. "It's not the end of the world."

Toyota's #7 car, which is carrying a larger success handicap than the sister car, once again struggled, ending up seventh-fastest overall, behind four of the LMP2 runners.

Mike Conway's best effort aboard the championship-leading car was 2.381s off the pace.

Mercedes Formula E driver Nyck de Vries set the pace in LMP2 with a time only 1.059s slower than Menezes in the Rebellion.

De Vries took the #29 Racing Team Nederland Oreca to a blistering time of 1m49.863s, a massive nine tenths faster than the United Autosports Oreca of Filipe Albuquerque.

Gabriel Aubry was third-fastest in the #37 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca, while the Signatech Alpine-branded Oreca of Thomas Laurent was the fourth and final LMP2 runner to outpace the slower of the Toyota LMP1s.

Porsche led the way in GTE Pro courtesy of late session-topper from Michael Christensen, a 2m01.176s, at the wheel of the #92 works 911 RSR-19.

That was sufficient to beat the #95 Aston Martin Vantage of Marco Sorensen by a scant 0.053s, and the #91 Porsche of Gianmaria Bruni by a little over three tenths.

Corvette Racing's solo C8.R ended up sixth-fastest in the hands of Jan Magnussen, within a second of the pace and ahead of the #97 Aston Martin.

Matt Campbell put the #77 Dempsey-Proton Porsche fastest in GTE Am and fourth overall among the GTE runners, his 2m02.192s beating both GTE Pro class Ferraris.

There were two red flags during the session, the first coming after only 14 minutes when the #95 Aston of Sorensen came to a halt at Turn 8 with a loose left-rear wheel.

The second came with five minutes left on the clock as the #88 Dempsey-Proton Porsche stopped at Turn 2, and the session was not resumed thereafter.

Session results:

Cla # Drivers Car Class Time Gap
1 1 Brazil Bruno Senna
United States Gustavo Menezes
France Norman Nato
Rebellion R13 LMP1 1'48.804  
2 8 Switzerland Sébastien Buemi
Japan Kazuki Nakajima
New Zealand Brendon Hartley
Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 1'49.458 0.654
3 29 Netherlands Frits van Eerd
Netherlands Giedo van der Garde
Netherlands Nyck de Vries
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'49.863 1.059
4 22 United Kingdom Philip Hanson
Portugal Filipe Albuquerque
United Kingdom Paul di Resta
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'50.803 1.999
5 37 China Ho-Pin Tung
France Gabriel Aubry
United Kingdom Will Stevens
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'50.838 2.034
6 36 France Thomas Laurent
Brazil Andre Negrao
France Pierre Ragues
Alpine A470 LMP2 1'50.968 2.164
7 7 United Kingdom Mike Conway
Japan Kamui Kobayashi
Argentina Jose Maria Lopez
Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 1'51.185 2.381
8 21 Sweden Henrik Hedman
United Kingdom Ben Hanley
United States Colin Braun
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'51.879 3.075
9 42 France Nicolas Lapierre
Switzerland Antonin Borga
Switzerland Alexandre Coigny
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'51.981 3.177
10 38 Mexico Roberto Gonzalez
Portugal Antonio Felix da Costa
United Kingdom Anthony Davidson
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'52.286 3.482
11 33 United States Mark Patterson
Japan Kenta Yamashita
Denmark Anders Fjordbach
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'52.493 3.689
12 47 Italy Roberto Lacorte
Italy Andrea Belicchi
Italy Giorgio Sernagiotto
Dallara P217 LMP2 1'54.506 5.702
13 92 Denmark Michael Christensen
France Kevin Estre
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 LMGTE PRO 2'01.716 12.912
14 95 Denmark Marco Sorensen
Denmark Nicki Thiim
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE PRO 2'01.769 12.965
15 91 Italy Gianmaria Bruni
Austria Richard Lietz
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 LMGTE PRO 2'02.045 13.241
16 77 Germany Christian Ried
Italy Riccardo Pera
Australia Matt Campbell
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 2'02.192 13.388
17 51 United Kingdom James Calado
Italy Alessandro Pier Guidi
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 2'02.462 13.658
18 71 Italy Davide Rigon
Spain Miguel Molina
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 2'02.583 13.779
19 63 Denmark Jan Magnussen
Germany Mike Rockenfeller
Chevrolet Corvette C8.R LMGTE PRO 2'02.597 13.793
20 98 Canada Paul Dalla Lana
United Kingdom Darren Turner
United Kingdom Ross Gunn
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE AM 2'02.634 13.830
21 70 Japan Motoaki Ishikawa
Monaco Olivier Beretta
Japan Kei Cozzolino
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 2'02.706 13.902
22 97 United Kingdom Alex Lynn
Belgium Maxime Martin
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE PRO 2'02.844 14.040
23 86 United Kingdom Michael Wainwright
United Kingdom Andrew Watson
United Kingdom Benjamin Barker
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 2'02.976 14.172
24 56 Norway Egidio Perfetti
Germany Laurents Hörr
Italy Matteo Cairoli
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 2'03.016 14.212
25 54 Switzerland Thomas Flohr
Italy Francesco Castellacci
Italy Giancarlo Fisichella
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 2'03.477 14.673
26 62 United Kingdom Bonamy Grimes
United Kingdom Johnny Mowlem
United Kingdom Charles Hollings
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 2'03.526 14.722
27 83 France François Perrodo
France Emmanuel Collard
Denmark Nicklas Nielsen
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 2'03.654 14.850
28 57 United States Ben Keating
Brazil Felipe Fraga
Netherlands Jeroen Bleekemolen
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 2'03.827 15.023
29 88 United States Bret Curtis
Belgium Adrien de Leener
Austria Thomas Preining
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 2'03.986 15.182
30 90 Turkey Salih Yoluc
Ireland Charles Eastwood
United Kingdom Jonathan Adam
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE AM 2'04.333 15.529
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