WEC Prologue: LMP2 team United Autosports tops first day

The United Autosports LMP2 team again topped the times with Filipe Albuquerque in the final session of the opening day of the FIA World Endurance Championship Prologue test at Spa.

Listen to this article

Albuquerque improved on his morning best by just over one tenth with a 2m04.822s set aboard United's Oreca 07 in the second session of the two-day test ahead of this weekend's series opener at the Belgian track.

Racing Team Nederland driver Job van Uitert ended up one thousandth of a second behind Albuquerque, while Robin Frijns took third as LMP2 machinery blocked out the top three positions on the timesheets.

The Alpine A480 LMP1 car was quickest in the Hypercar class in fourth position, while the best of the new Toyota GR010 Hybrids took sixth overall.

Albuquerque knocked the WRT Oreca in which Frijns had posted a 2m05.043s off the top of times with 90 minutes of the session left on the clock.

Van Uitert subsequently pushed Frijns down to third with a 2m04.823s in the TDS Racing-run RTN entry.

Matthieu Vaxiviere was four tenths off the pace in the down-specced Alpine P1, which is carrying more than 100kg of ballast to help bring its pace into line with that of the new breed of Le Mans Hypercars.

He briefly topped the times with a 2m05.230s set 50 minutes into a session lasting nearly four and a half hours.

That put him a tenth clear of Loic Duval in fifth position in the TDS-run RealTeam Racing entry, which ended up on 2m05.378s.

The best of the Toyota LMHs was next best on a 2m05.413s from Kazuki Nakajima, an improvement of nearly one and a half seconds on the Japanese manufacturer's fastest time on Monday morning.

The sister GR010 managed a single flying lap right at the end of the session in Mike Conway's hands after failing to post a time in the morning.

He had just set 2m10.101s, which left him behind all the P2s, when the session was red-flagged with six minutes left on the clock.

Toyota's best lap was just over five seconds slower than its LMP1 TS050 Hybrid managed in free practice for last August's Spa WEC round.

That is the margin that the new technical rules for WEC's top class are meant to have slowed the cars on a regular circuit for 2021.

Albuquerque's fastest lap was only just over one second than the P2 best in free practice last year, despite a 60bhp power reduction for the secondary prototype class this season.

It has also been mandated that the P2 cars must run in the same low-downforce configuration in which they race at the Le Mans 24 Hours at all WEC races this year.

This has resulted in an increase in top speed for the P2 cars at Spa: the United Oreca's best time through the speed trap on the Kemmel Straight was 301.0km/h, which compares with 297.7km/h best in free practice last year.

Read Also:

Porsche again led the way in GTE Pro with Kevin Estre in the #91 Manthey-run 911 RSR. The Frenchman produced a 2m14.304s lap, slightly slower than his morning best.

Second place in the GTE Pro order was taken by Miguel Molina in the best of the AF Corse-run factory Ferrari 488 GTE Evos with a 2m14.633s.

Gianmaria Bruni and James Calado were only a tenth further back in the second cars from Porsche and Ferrari respectively.

The Chevrolet Corvette C8.R was just under eight tenths off the pace in Antonio Garcia's hands.

Matteo Cairoli was quickest in GTE Am with a time that put him only behind Estre and Molina in the fastest of the Project 1 team's Porsches.

The session started half an hour early in an attempt to make up the track time lost to three red-flag stoppages in the opening session in the morning.

More time was lost early in the extended session with another red flag following two accidents: Sean Gelael backed the Jota P2 Oreca into the barriers at the top of Eau Rouge and Anders Buchardt went off at the Bruxelles hairpin in Project 1's second Porsche.

The final red flag that resulted in the session being curtailed early followed Charles Milesi stopping in the WRT Oreca at No-Name or Speaker's Corner after Bruxelles.

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

shares
comments

Related video

WEC Prologue: LMP2s dominate disrupted first session
Previous article

WEC Prologue: LMP2s dominate disrupted first session

Next article

WEC Prologue: G-Drive fastest as LMP2s stay on top

WEC Prologue: G-Drive fastest as LMP2s stay on top
How Formula E's double-duty drivers got on at Le Mans Prime

How Formula E's double-duty drivers got on at Le Mans

Eight Formula E drivers made the 7,000-mile sprint from the streets of Jakarta to the fabled Circuit de la Sarthe and every one had a story to share at this year's Le Mans 24 Hours. Despite a range of triumphs and disappointments, each driver doubling up on the day job played a key role in their teams' fortunes

Le Mans
Jun 14, 2022
How junior formula giant Prema is readying for its Le Mans future Prime

How junior formula giant Prema is readying for its Le Mans future

Prema remains a colossus in single-seaters, but the serial Formula 2 and Formula 3 title-winning squad has joined forces with top GT squad Iron Lynx for an attack on sportscars in the FIA World Endurance Championship and European Le Mans Series. Ahead of its debut at the Le Mans 24 Hours, its sights are firmly fixed on LMP2 glory – and a future in Hypercars next year...

Le Mans
Jun 8, 2022
The British rookies targeting a good first impression at Le Mans Prime

The British rookies targeting a good first impression at Le Mans

Three young Britons will make their first starts in the Le Mans 24 Hours this weekend in the highly-competitive 23-car GTE Am field. But how did they get here? Motorsport.com hears their stories.

Le Mans
Jun 7, 2022
The wingless wonder Peugeot hopes will restore it to Le Mans glory Prime

The wingless wonder Peugeot hopes will restore it to Le Mans glory

Peugeot went radical with the initial plan for its Le Mans Hypercar project, and then stuck to its guns. Here’s how things are shaping up a few weeks before the debut of the 9X8 in next month's Monza World Endurance Championship round

WEC
Jun 1, 2022
How Toyota’s sole survivor turned the tables at Spa Prime

How Toyota’s sole survivor turned the tables at Spa

After a chastening opening to the season at Sebring that ended in an enormous accident, Toyota's #7 crew got their World Endurance Championship underway with victory at a treacherously slippery Spa to make up for its sister car's Sebring defeat to Alpine, as Glickenhaus's promising qualifying turned to disaster in the race

WEC
May 9, 2022
How Toyota's WEC dominance was curbed at stormy Sebring Prime

How Toyota's WEC dominance was curbed at stormy Sebring

Toyota’s stranglehold on the FIA World Endurance Championship ended at the 2022 opener at Sebring, but all accusing eyes were on the Balance of Performance system as the key to the shake-up. Here's how it unfolded, to see Alpine celebrating under a stormy sky having blown away the defending champions...

WEC
Mar 21, 2022
Why Penske remains ambitious for its WEC learning year Prime

Why Penske remains ambitious for its WEC learning year

Team Penske is gearing up for its role in running Porsche’s LMDh programme from 2023 by entering this year's World Endurance Championship with an LMP2 car. Although the team is considering 2022 as a season to learn, it is no less serious about winning than ever - which should make the already fiercely competitive class even more so

WEC
Mar 17, 2022
Why Peugeot couldn't afford to take a Le Mans gamble in 2022 Prime

Why Peugeot couldn't afford to take a Le Mans gamble in 2022

Ahead of the much-anticipated arrival of its new 9X8 Hypercar, Peugeot revealed that it would not be entering this year's Le Mans 24 Hours with its incoming machinery. Although development restrictions for homologated cars are partially responsible, the French marque can draw on its own lessons from its history in sportscars

WEC
Feb 28, 2022