WEC Prologue: Toyota stretches privateer LMP1 gap to 5s

Toyota concluded the first daytime session at the FIA World Endurance Championship Prologue test with an advantage of over five seconds over the best of the LMP1 privateers.

WEC Prologue: Toyota stretches privateer LMP1 gap to 5s

After taking over the high-downforce spec #8 Toyota TS050 Hybrid, Mike Conway posted the quickest time of the day, a 1m32.662s, in the penultimate hour of Friday's opening session at Paul Ricard.

That was 1.993s faster than the Le Mans-spec #7 car, whose best time was set by reserve driver Anthony Davidson, and 5.466s up on the quickest of the LMP1 privateers, the #11 SMP Racing BR1-AER.

The Dallara-built BR1s held a one-two among the privateer contingent, with Matevos Isaakyan ending up 0.058s shy of squadmate Mikhail Aleshin at the wheel of the sister #17 car.

Rebellion's sole R-13-Gibson was fifth fastest, with Andre Lotterer at the wheel, three tenths behind the SMP cars, while Ben Hanley was sixth in the DragonSpeed-run BR1-Gibson.

New Manor signing Alex Brundle was seventh in the only Mecachrome-powered Ginetta G60-LT-P1 to run during the daytime session, ahead of Oliver Webb in the ByKolles ENSO CLM P1/01-Nissan.

Ex-Formula 1 driver Pastor Maldonado led the way in the LMP2 class at the wheel of the DragonSpeed Oreca 07 with a best time of 1m40.771s.

The Venezuelan beat TDS Racing Oreca driver Matthieu Vaxiviere by 0.456s, while Andre Negrao was third-quickest in the Alpine-badged Signatech Oreca.

Porsche maintained its advantage in the GTE Pro class, as Richard Lietz improved to a best time of 1m51.650s in the afternoon.

That was enough to beat the best of the Ganassi-run Ford GTs, the #67 of Harry Tincknell, by 0.360s.

Olivier Pla was third-fastest in the #66 Ford, ahead of the second Porsche and the best of the AF Corse-run Ferrari 488s.

Aston Martin could manage no better than sixth with the quicker of its two new Vantage GTEs, while the best of the two BMW M8s was eighth fastest behind the second Ferrari.

Porsche young professional Matt Campbell set the pace in the GTE Am class with a best time of 1m53.515s in the #77 Dempsey-Proton 911 RSR.

The #5 Ginetta and the #10 DragonSpeed cars have been added to the previously-announced list of 13 cars that will take advantage of the 30-hour test and run continuously through the night.

For the remaining competitors, action resumes at 0900 on Saturday morning and concludes at 1600.

shares
comments
TVR's Rebellion partnership could lead to Le Mans return

Previous article

TVR's Rebellion partnership could lead to Le Mans return

Next article

WEC Prologue: Privateers close gap to Toyota in night

WEC Prologue: Privateers close gap to Toyota in night
Load comments
How overlooked Mazda produced one of Le Mans' greatest shocks Prime

How overlooked Mazda produced one of Le Mans' greatest shocks

The screaming rotary-engined Mazda 787 is regarded as one of the most popular Le Mans 24 Hours-winning cars, but until its surprise success on this day 30 years ago it was never regarded as a likely victor. But that reckoned without a new technical partner, some canny political manoeuvring and a rival's bizarre self-inflicted weakness.

How Alpine's stunted Portimao charge kept Toyota clear Prime

How Alpine's stunted Portimao charge kept Toyota clear

Despite going stride for stride for pace at Portimao, Alpine’s grandfathered LMP1 couldn’t convert pole position into a sustained victory fight against Toyota. And due to rules and car limitations that are set in stone, the French manufacturer will be searching for solutions in its own battle of endurance.

WEC
Jun 14, 2021
Charting 100 world championship sportscar starts for Toyota Prime

Charting 100 world championship sportscar starts for Toyota

This weekend's Portimao 8 Hours round of the FIA World Endurance Championship marks the 100th world champion prototype start for Toyota. Here are the major milestones on the road to three figures since the earliest low-key days of its entry into the Group C arena nearly 40 years ago.

WEC
Jun 12, 2021
The philosophical problems the WEC's new Hypercar class is already facing Prime

The philosophical problems the WEC's new Hypercar class is already facing

Most of the column inches after the World Endurance Championship's opener were centred around the relative pace of the Hypercar class and the LMP2s, but there's another question that needs addressing in order for the new division to have a successful future

WEC
May 7, 2021
How stumbling Toyota drew first blood in the WEC's new era Prime

How stumbling Toyota drew first blood in the WEC's new era

Amid concerns that the new Hypercar class would be upstaged on debut by the spec LMP2 machines at Spa, Toyota delivered the pole and victory that the vast majority of observers expected. But neither car had a clean run, which gave the grandfathered Alpine LMP1 an unexpected shot at glory.

WEC
May 4, 2021
What to expect from sportscar racing's bold new Hypercar era Prime

What to expect from sportscar racing's bold new Hypercar era

A slim field of three cars will be entered in the Hypercar class for the first round of the World Endurance Championship's post-LMP1 age. But there are plenty of reasons for optimism with the new wave of manufacturer entries and competing class philosophies just around the corner

WEC
Apr 29, 2021
How Aston Martin scaled new heights in the Prodrive era Prime

How Aston Martin scaled new heights in the Prodrive era

The 2021 FIA World Endurance Championship kicks off at Spa this weekend, but for the first time since its 2012 inception there will be no factory-run Aston Martins in the GTE Pro class. That's especially notable because as a works entity, the Prodrive era of Aston Martin Racing that began in 2005 has been a success from the very start.

WEC
Apr 27, 2021
How 'Brilliant' Bob Wollek lived up to his nickname Prime

How 'Brilliant' Bob Wollek lived up to his nickname

Sportscar racing lost one of it's greatest talents 20 years ago today when Bob Wollek was knocked from his bicycle prior to the Sebring 12 Hours. The enigmatic Frenchman never won the Le Mans 24 Hours, but many still remember today why 'Brilliant Bob' became a legend

WEC
Mar 16, 2021