Spa WEC: Toyota Hypercars go fastest ahead of qualifying
Toyota's new Le Mans Hypercar topped an official FIA World Endurance Championship session for the first time in third practice ahead of qualifying for this weekend's Spa season opener.
Both of the Japanese marque's GR010 Hybrid contenders set their quickest times at the very start of the one-hour session, which were the fastest of the event so far, including the pre-event Prologue test.
Kamui Kobayashi put the #7 machine at the head of the order on a 2m02.518s, almost a second faster than either Toyota had managed in FP2, while Kazuki Nakajima was 0.350s adrift in the sister #8 car.
Kobayashi's time was more than a second up on the third-placed United Autosports Oreca, which led the LMP2 class courtesy of Filipe Albuquerque's lap of 2'03.761s.
G-Drive Racing's pair of Aurus-branded Orecas completed the top three in class and the top five overall, with Roberto Merhi setting a best time of 2m03.931s the Pro-Am #25 car a little over a tenth of a second ahead of the #26 machine of Nyck de Vries.
Alpine's solo grandfathered A480 LMP1 car was third and last in the top Hypercar category, albeit with a laptime around seven tenths off the French marque's FP2 chart-topping effort.
Nicolas Lapierre's time of 2m04.110s was more than 1.5s off the outright pace.
Fourth in the LMP2 class and seventh overall was the RealTeam Oreca of Norman Nato, ahead of the Racing Team Nederland car of Giedo van der Garde and the WRT machine of Robin Frijns.
Porsche upped the ante in the GTE Pro class as Kevin Estre set the fastest time in class of the week so far, becoming the first driver to dip beneath the 2m12s mark.
Estre's best effort of 2m11.936s aboard the #92 911 RSR-19, also set towards the start of the session, put him some seven tenths up on the sister Porsche driven by Gianmaria Bruni.
Ferrari was third and fourth in class with its pair of works 488 GTE Evos, Miguel Molina setting the Italian marque's fastest time of 2m13.202s, while Corvette Racing again brought up the rear with Antonio Garcia setting a time around two seconds off the pace in his C8.R.
Porsche likewise led the way in GTE Am as Matteo Cairoli posted a 2m13.515s in the Project 1 car, beating the Dempsey-Proton machine of Matt Campbell by just over four tenths.
The WEC Spa 6 Hours starts on Saturday May 1 at 1.30pm CET, with practice and qualifying scheduled on Thursday and Friday. All sessions of the event will be streamed live on Motorsport.tv.
|1||7|| Mike Conway
Jose Maria Lopez
|Toyota GR010 - Hybrid||HYPERCAR||2'02.518|
|2||8|| Sébastien Buemi
|Toyota GR010 - Hybrid||HYPERCAR||2'02.868||0.350|
|3||22|| Philip Hanson
|4||25|| John Falb
|5||26|| Roman Rusinov
Nyck de Vries
|6||36|| Andre Negrao
|7||70|| Esteban Garcia
|8||29|| Frits van Eerd
Giedo van der Garde
Job Van Uitert
|9||31|| Robin Frijns
|10||24|| Patrick Kelly
|11||34|| Jakub Smiechowski
Renger van der Zande
|12||38|| Roberto Gonzalez
Antonio Felix da Costa
|13||21|| Henrik Hedman
Juan Pablo Montoya
|14||1|| Tatiana Calderon
|15||28|| Sean Gelael
|16||20|| Jan Magnussen
|17||44|| Miro Konopka
|Ligier JSP 217||LMP2||2'07.466||4.948|
|18||92|| Kevin Estre
|Porsche 911 RSR - 19||LMGTE PRO||2'11.936||9.418|
|19||91|| Gianmaria Bruni
|Porsche 911 RSR - 19||LMGTE PRO||2'12.640||10.122|
|20||52|| Daniel Serra
|Ferrari 488 GTE EVO||LMGTE PRO||2'13.202||10.684|
|21||51|| Alessandro Pier Guidi
|Ferrari 488 GTE EVO||LMGTE PRO||2'13.325||10.807|
|22||56|| Egidio Perfetti
|Porsche 911 RSR - 19||LMGTE AM||2'13.515||10.997|
|23||63|| Antonio Garcia
|Chevrolet Corvette C8.R||LMGTE PRO||2'13.904||11.386|
|24||77|| Christian Ried
|Porsche 911 RSR - 19||LMGTE AM||2'13.936||11.418|
|25||83|| François Perrodo
|Ferrari 488 GTE EVO||LMGTE AM||2'14.099||11.581|
|26||47|| Roberto Lacorte
|Ferrari 488 GTE EVO||LMGTE AM||2'14.304||11.786|
|27||60|| Claudio Schiavoni
|Ferrari 488 GTE EVO||LMGTE AM||2'14.562||12.044|
|28||54|| Thomas Flohr
|Ferrari 488 GTE EVO||LMGTE AM||2'14.581||12.063|
|29||33|| Ben Keating
|Aston Martin Vantage AMR||LMGTE AM||2'14.670||12.152|
|30||86|| Michael Wainwright
|Porsche 911 RSR - 19||LMGTE AM||2'14.816||12.298|
|31||777|| Satoshi Hoshino
|Aston Martin Vantage AMR||LMGTE AM||2'15.311||12.793|
|32||98|| Paul Dalla Lana
|Aston Martin Vantage AMR||LMGTE AM||2'15.340||12.822|
|33||85|| Rahel Frey
|Ferrari 488 GTE EVO||LMGTE AM||2'15.441||12.923|
|34||88|| Andrew Haryanto
|Porsche 911 RSR - 19||LMGTE AM||2'16.116||13.598|
|View full results|
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