Spa WEC: Rebellion leads Toyota in third practice

Rebellion Racing led the way in third practice for the FIA World Endurance Championship season opener at Spa, beating the best of the Toyotas by less than a second.

Neel Jani was at the wheel of the #1 Rebellion R-13-Gibson when he set the best time of the session, a 1m57.120s - 1.7s quicker than the Swiss team managed on Thursday.

Toyota's TS050 Hybrids, however, were slower than they were in second practice, with Mike Conway's best of 1m57.939s in the #7 car 0.819s down on Jani and 1.8s slower than his own FP2 benchmark.

Rebellion had held a one-two until Conway set the #7 car's best time after taking over from Kamui Kobayashi, but Thomas Laurent's 1m58.124s was only good enough for third in the end.

The best of SMP Racing's Dallara-built, AER-powered BR Engineering BR1s was fourth fastest in the hands of ex-Toyota man Stephane Sarrazin, two tenths slower than the second Rebellion.

Kazuki Nakajima put the #8 Toyota fifth, 1.353s off the pace, with FP1 pacesetter Fernando Alonso only taking over the car for the final seven minutes of the hour-long session.

SMP Racing's second BR1, driven by Mikhail Aleshin, was sixth fastest, ahead of Pietro Fittipaldi aboard the Gibson-powered DragonSpeed car and the ByKolles CLM P1/01-Nissan of Oliver Webb.

For the third session in succession, the two Manor Ginetta G60-LT-P1s completed just a single installation lap each, prompting uncertainty about the British squad's participation in the event.

LMP2 was once again led by the DragonSpeed Oreca team, courtesy of a 2m02.281s best from ex-Formula 1 driver Pastor Maldonado.

Jean-Eric Vergne put G-Drive Racing's Oreca second, exactly two tenths slower, while Ho-Pin Tung was third fastest in the #37 Jota Sport-run Jackie Chan DC Racing entry.

Ford stays on top in GTE Pro

Ford led the way in GTE Pro once again, with Andy Priaulx setting the pace with a 2m13.693s in the #67 Ganassi-run GT.

That was enough to beat the lead BMW M8 GTE of Tom Blomqvist by six tenths of a second, with Olivier Pla in the #66 Ford a further 0.024s back in third.

Porsche's pair of mid-engined 911 RSRs were fourth and fifth in class, ahead of the best of the Ferrari 488 GTEs, while the quicker of Aston Martin's pair of new Vantage GTEs was seventh.

Matt Campbell set the pace in GTE Am in the #77 Proton Competition car, less than two tenths clear of fellow Porsche junior driver Matteo Cairoli in the sister #88 entry.

Third practice results:

Pos.#DriversCarClassTimeGap
1 1 germany Andre Lotterer 
brazil Bruno Senna 
switzerland Neel Jani 
Rebellion R13 - Gibson LMP1 1'57.120  
2 7 japan Kamui Kobayashi 
united_kingdom Mike Conway 
argentina Jose Maria Lopez 
Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 1'57.939 0.819
3 3 switzerland Mathias Beche 
france Thomas Laurent 
united_states Gustavo Menezes 
Rebellion R13 - Gibson LMP1 1'58.124 1.004
4 17 france Stéphane Sarrazin 
russia Matevos Isaakyan 
russia Egor Orudzhev 
BR Engineering BR1 - AER LMP1 1'58.398 1.278
5 8 spain Fernando Alonso 
japan Kazuki Nakajima 
switzerland Sébastien Buemi 
Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 1'58.473 1.353
6 11 russia Vitaly Petrov 
russia Mikhail Aleshin 
BR Engineering BR1 - AER LMP1 1'59.147 2.027
7 10 sweden Henrik Hedman 
united_kingdom Ben Hanley 
brazil Pietro Fittipaldi 
BR Engineering BR1 - Gibson LMP1 1'59.719 2.599
8 4 united_kingdom Oliver Webb 
austria Dominik Kraihamer 
france Tom Dillmann 
ENSO CLM P1/01 - Nismo LMP1 2'01.341 4.221
9 31 venezuela Pastor Maldonado 
france Nathanael Berthon 
mexico Roberto Gonzalez 
Oreca 07 - Gibson LMP2 2'02.281 5.161
10 26 france Jean-Eric Vergne 
russia Roman Rusinov 
france Andrea Pizzitola 
Oreca 07 - Gibson LMP2 2'02.481 5.361
11 38 china Ho-Pin Tung 
monaco Stéphane Richelmi 
france Gabriel Aubry 
Oreca 07 - Gibson LMP2 2'03.357 6.237
12 36 france Nicolas Lapierre 
france Pierre Thiriet 
brazil Andre Negrao 
Alpine A470 - Gibson LMP2 2'03.414 6.294
13 28 france Loic Duval 
france François Perrodo 
france Matthieu Vaxiviere 
Oreca 07 - Gibson LMP2 2'03.524 6.404
14 37 malaysia Nabil Jeffri 
malaysia Weiron Tan 
malaysia Jazeman Jaafar 
Oreca 07 - Gibson LMP2 2'03.544 6.424
15 29 netherlands Jan Lammers 
netherlands Giedo van der Garde 
netherlands Frits van Eerd 
Dallara P217 - Gibson LMP2 2'04.732 7.612
16 50 brazil Fernando Rees 
france Romano Ricci 
france Erwin Creed 
Ligier JSP217 - Gibson LMP2 2'06.401 9.281
17 67 united_kingdom Harry Tincknell 
brazil Tony Kanaan 
guernsey Andy Priaulx 
Ford GT LMGTE PRO 2'13.693 16.573
18 82 portugal Antonio Felix da Costa
united_kingdom Tom Blomqvist 
BMW M8 GTE LMGTE PRO 2'14.225 17.105
19 66 germany Stefan Mücke 
france Olivier Pla 
united_states Billy Johnson 
Ford GT LMGTE PRO 2'14.249 17.129
20 92 denmark Michael Christensen 
france Kevin Estre 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE PRO 2'14.363 17.243
21 91 italy Gianmaria Bruni 
austria Richard Lietz 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE PRO 2'14.367 17.247
22 51 united_kingdom James Calado 
italy Alessandro Pier Guidi 
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 2'14.568 17.448
23 77 germany Christian Ried 
australia Matt Campbell 
france  Julien Andlauer 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 2'15.410 18.290
24 97 united_kingdom Jonathan Adam 
belgium Maxime Martin 
united_kingdom Alex Lynn 
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE PRO 2'15.457 18.337
25 71 united_kingdom Sam Bird 
italy Davide Rigon 
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 2'15.460 18.340
26 88 united_arab_emirates Khaled Al Qubaisi 
italy Matteo Cairoli 
italy Giorgio Roda 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 2'15.586 18.466
27 90 turkey Salih Yoluc 
united_kingdom Euan Hankey 
ireland Charlie Eastwood 
Aston Martin Vantage LMGTE AM 2'15.778 18.658
28 81 netherlands Nick Catsburg 
germany Martin Tomczyk 
BMW M8 GTE LMGTE PRO 2'16.185 19.065
29 56 germany Jörg Bergmeister 
united_states Patrick Lindsey 
norway Egidio Perfetti 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 2'16.493 19.373
30 61 ireland Matt Griffin 
singapore Mok Weng Sun 
japan Keita Sawa 
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE AM 2'17.471 20.351
31 70 monaco Olivier Beretta 
italy  Eddie Cheever III 
japan Motoaki Ishikawa 
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE AM 2'17.545 20.425
32 54 italy Giancarlo Fisichella 
italy Francesco Castellacci 
switzerland Thomas Flohr 
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE AM 2'17.662 20.542
33 98 portugal Pedro Lamy 
canada Paul Dalla Lana 
austria Mathias Lauda 
Aston Martin Vantage LMGTE AM 2'17.688 20.568
34 86 united_kingdom Michael Wainwright 
united_kingdom Ben Barker 
australia Alex Davison 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 2'18.363 21.243
35 95 denmark Marco Sorensen 
denmark Nicki Thiim 
united_kingdom Darren Turner 
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE PRO 2'18.493 21.373
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About this article
Series WEC
Event Spa-Francorchamps
Track Spa-Francorchamps
Drivers Neel Jani
Teams Rebellion Racing , Toyota Racing
Article type Practice report