Alonso and Toyota Fastest in FP1 at Spa-Francorchamps
Track action began in earnest at Spa-Francorchamps as Toyota claimed the top spot in the first free practice session of the Super Season.
Fernando Alonso in his debut weekend with the FIA World Endurance Championship claimed the fastest lap for the #8 Toyota in the opening free practice session. Setting a 1:58.392, the Spaniard finished over two tenths clear of Mike Conway’s best efforts in the sister car. The fastest of the privateer teams was the #3 Rebellion Racing in the hands of Thomas Laurent, finishing within four-tenths of the two Toyotas. Though neither practice or testing show exactly how a car will perform under race conditions, it is promising to see the gap between hybrids and non-hybrids shrinking following Paul Ricard. CEFC TRSM only managed to run a single lap in each car.
In LMP2, ELMS graduates Dragonspeed ran quickest with a 2:03.494. Set on lap five by ex-F1 driver Pastor Maldonado, the time was good enough to place them above the #11 SMP Racing LMP1 of Mikael Aleshin and Vitaly Petrov. Maldonado’s lap put the car six tenths ahead of the second fastest car, the #36 Signatech Alpine or Nicolas Lapierre, Andre Negrao and Pierre Thirriet. Guest entrants G-Drive took the third quickest time.
Ford came out on top in the GTE Pro class. The #67 of Harry Tincknell, Andy Priaulx and Tony Kanaan finished two tenths up on their teammates in the #66, and six tenths up on their nearest neighbour - Gianmaria Bruni and Richard Lietz in the #91 Porsche. Newcomers BMW managed times good enough for sixth and eighth fastest, with the new Aston Martin Vantages coming in behind them.
In GTE Am, it was the Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR of Matteo Cairoli, Giorgio Roda and Khaled Al Qubaisi who ran quickest. The sister car finished third and the Gulf Racing Porsche managed to split the two.
Free practice two kicks off at 16.25 local time.
This article was originally published on Overtake Motorsport.
Shared with permission from the author.
Cover Image: Toyota Gazoo Racing