Spa WEC: Alonso tops first practice for Toyota

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Spa WEC: Alonso tops first practice for Toyota
Jamie Klein
By: Jamie Klein
May 3, 2018, 11:37 AM

Toyota newcomer Fernando Alonso set the fastest time in the first practice session of the new FIA World Endurance Championship season at Spa.

Alonso took over the #8 TS050 Hybrid from teammate Sebastien Buemi 35 minutes into the 90-minute session, and promptly set a best time of 1m58.392s, almost exactly a tenth faster than Buemi.

That put the two-time Formula 1 champion 0.237s ahead of the sister #7 Toyota, whose fastest time was set by Mike Conway.

The best of the non-hybrid privateer LMP1s was the #3 Rebellion R-13-Gibson, which lapped with 0.457s off the pace in the hands of Thomas Laurent late in the session.

That demoted the #10 DragonSpeed BR Engineering BR1-Gibson, driven by Ben Hanley, to fourth, ahead of the sister #1 Oreca-built Rebellion car of Bruno Senna, which was 1.2s slower than the best of the Toyotas.

ByKolles was sixth-fastest with its revised ENSO CLM P1/01-Nissan with Tom Dillmann at the wheel, a further half a second down.

SMP Racing only got its #17 BR1-AER out for a timed run in the closing stages of the session, and was seventh-fastest with Egor Orudzhev at the wheel.

The sister #10 car of Mikhail Aleshin was slower than best of the LMP2 runners, the DragonSpeed Oreca.

Pastor Maldonado set the best time in the secondary class, a 2m03.494s in the #31 Oreca 07-Gibson to go 0.640s faster than Andre Negrao in the Alpine-badged #36 Signatech Oreca.

Jean-Eric Vergne put G-Drive Racing's part-time Oreca entry third in class, less than a tenth further back, ahead of the two Jota Sport-run Jackie Chan DC Racing cars.

Manor failed to get either of its Ginetta G60-LT-P1-Mecachrome out for a timed lap, with both the #5 and #6 cars only managing a single installation lap apiece.

Ford leads Porsche in GTE Pro

Ford led a 1-2 in the GTE Pro division, with Andy Priaulx setting the best time in class of 2m15.014s in the #67 GT ahead of Olivier Pla in the sister #66 machine.

Best of the rest was WEC returnee Gianmaria Bruni in the #91 Porsche, albeit six tenths off the pace, followed by Kevin Estre in the #92 911 RSR.

The best of the updated Ferrari 488 GTEs was fifth, 1.3s off the pace in the hands of James Calado, while the best of the new BMW M8 GTEs was sixth with Tom Blomqvist at the wheel.

Aston Martin brought up the rear of the class with its pair of new-generation Vantages.

Porsche locked out the top four spots in the GTE Am division, led by Matteo Cairoli in the #88 Dempsey-Proton Racing entry on a 2m16.601s - sixth overall among the GTE contingent.

Practice results:

Pos.#DriversCarClassLapsTimeGap
1 8 spain Fernando Alonso 
japan Kazuki Nakajima 
switzerland Sébastien Buemi 
Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 35 1'58.392  
2 7 japan Kamui Kobayashi 
united_kingdom Mike Conway 
argentina Jose Maria Lopez 
Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 36 1'58.629 0.237
3 3 switzerland Mathias Beche 
france Thomas Laurent 
united_states Gustavo Menezes 
Rebellion R13 - Gibson LMP1 32 1'58.849 0.457
4 10 sweden Henrik Hedman 
united_kingdom Ben Hanley 
brazil Pietro Fittipaldi 
BR Engineering BR1 - Gibson LMP1 30 1'59.321 0.929
5 1 germany Andre Lotterer 
brazil Bruno Senna 
switzerland Neel Jani 
Rebellion R13 - Gibson LMP1 24 1'59.681 1.289
6 4 united_kingdom Oliver Webb 
austria Dominik Kraihamer 
france Tom Dillmann 
ENSO CLM P1/01 - Nismo LMP1 18 2'00.132 1.740
7 17 france Stéphane Sarrazin 
russia Matevos Isaakyan 
russia Egor Orudzhev 
BR Engineering BR1 - AER LMP1 9 2'01.499 3.107
8 31 venezuela Pastor Maldonado 
france Nathanael Berthon 
mexico Roberto Gonzalez 
Oreca 07 - Gibson LMP2 28 2'03.494 5.102
9 11 russia Vitaly Petrov 
russia Mikhail Aleshin 
BR Engineering BR1 - AER LMP1 11 2'03.906 5.514
10 36 france Nicolas Lapierre 
france Pierre Thiriet 
brazil Andre Negrao 
Alpine A470 - Gibson LMP2 27 2'04.134 5.742
11 26 france Jean-Eric Vergne 
russia Roman Rusinov 
france Andrea Pizzitola 
Oreca 07 - Gibson LMP2 28 2'04.198 5.806
12 37 malaysia Nabil Jeffri 
malaysia Weiron Tan 
malaysia Jazeman Jaafar 
Oreca 07 - Gibson LMP2 28 2'04.381 5.989
13 38 china Ho-Pin Tung 
monaco Stéphane Richelmi 
france Gabriel Aubry 
Oreca 07 - Gibson LMP2 30 2'04.558 6.166
14 29 netherlands Jan Lammers 
netherlands Giedo van der Garde 
netherlands Frits van Eerd 
Dallara P217 - Gibson LMP2 24 2'04.693 6.301
15 28 france Loic Duval 
france François Perrodo 
france Matthieu Vaxiviere 
Oreca 07 - Gibson LMP2 36 2'04.726 6.334
16 50 brazil Fernando Rees 
france Romano Ricci 
france Erwin Creed 
Ligier JSP217 - Gibson LMP2 25 2'06.511 8.119
17 67 united_kingdom Harry Tincknell 
brazil Tony Kanaan 
guernsey Andy Priaulx 
Ford GT LMGTE PRO 30 2'15.014 16.622
18 66 germany Stefan Mücke 
france Olivier Pla 
united_states Billy Johnson 
Ford GT LMGTE PRO 30 2'15.273 16.881
19 91 italy Gianmaria Bruni 
austria Richard Lietz 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE PRO 29 2'15.631 17.239
20 92 denmark Michael Christensen 
france Kevin Estre 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE PRO 26 2'15.717 17.325
21 51 united_kingdom James Calado 
italy Alessandro Pier Guidi 
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 25 2'16.397 18.005
22 88 united_arab_emirates Khaled Al Qubaisi 
italy Matteo Cairoli 
italy Giorgio Roda 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 32 2'16.601 18.209
23 82 portugal Antonio Felix da Costa
united_kingdom Tom Blomqvist 
BMW M8 GTE LMGTE PRO 33 2'16.606 18.214
24 71 united_kingdom Sam Bird 
italy Davide Rigon 
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 25 2'16.789 18.397
25 86 united_kingdom Michael Wainwright 
united_kingdom Ben Barker 
australia Alex Davison 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 30 2'17.552 19.160
26 81 netherlands Nick Catsburg 
germany Martin Tomczyk 
BMW M8 GTE LMGTE PRO 31 2'17.812 19.420
27 97 united_kingdom Jonathan Adam 
belgium Maxime Martin 
united_kingdom Alex Lynn 
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE PRO 33 2'17.993 19.601
28 77 germany Christian Ried 
australia Matt Campbell 
france Julien Andlauer 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 27 2'18.006 19.614
29 56 germany Jörg Bergmeister 
united_states Patrick Lindsey 
norway Egidio Perfetti 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 29 2'18.108 19.716
30 95 denmark Marco Sorensen 
denmark Nicki Thiim 
united_kingdom Darren Turner 
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE PRO 31 2'18.227 19.835
31 90 turkey Salih Yoluc 
united_kingdom Euan Hankey 
ireland Charlie Eastwood 
Aston Martin Vantage LMGTE AM 33 2'18.355 19.963
32 98 portugal Pedro Lamy 
canada Paul Dalla Lana 
austria Mathias Lauda 
Aston Martin Vantage LMGTE AM 34 2'18.458 20.066
33 61 ireland Matt Griffin 
singapore Mok Weng Sun 
japan Keita Sawa 
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE AM 29 2'19.147 20.755
34 70 monaco Olivier Beretta 
japan Motoaki Ishikawa
italy  Eddie Cheever III 
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE AM 32 2'19.317 20.925
35 54 italy Giancarlo Fisichella 
italy Francesco Castellacci 
switzerland Thomas Flohr 
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE AM 31 2'20.300 21.908
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About this article

Series WEC
Event Spa-Francorchamps
Location Spa-Francorchamps
Drivers Fernando Alonso Shop Now
Teams Toyota Racing
Author Jamie Klein
Article type Practice report