Returnee Lapierre puts Toyota on top in last Monza WEC test session

Toyota returnee Nicolas Lapierre ensured the Japanese manufacturer finished the World Endurance Championship prologue test at Monza on top with a fast lap early in Sunday afternoon's session

Returnee Lapierre puts Toyota on top in last Monza WEC test session

Lapierre, who will rejoin Toyota for the Spa and Le Mans 24 Hours WEC races this year, lapped the Italian circuit in a fastest time of 1m30.547s at the start of Sunday's final three-hour session in the #8 TS050 HYBRID.

That was some eight tenths faster than fellow Toyota driver Mike Conway had managed on Saturday, and nearly a full second ahead of the #7 Toyota's best time of Sunday afternoon - a 1m31.477s set by Kamui Kobayashi.

Japanese driver Kobayashi's time came just before the session was red-flagged, with Matt Rao going off and hitting the barriers at the first Lesmo in the #36 Signatech Alpine car during a late rain shower.

After a brief delay, the session resumed, but the wet surface meant no further improvements were made.

Porsche therefore ended the final session third- and fourth-fastest, with Nick Tandy putting the #1 919 Hybrid ahead of the sister #2 car with an early lap of 1m31.844s.

The #2 crew's best time was a 1m32.066s, set by 2015 WEC champion Timo Bernhard.

LMP2 was topped by the #38 JOTA Sport run-DC Racing ORECA of Ho-Pin Tung, who set a 1m36.448s - four tenths shy of Matthieu Vaxiviere's best effort in the #28 TDS car from earlier in the day.

Second was the #35 Signatech Alpine car of Nelson Panciatici, a little over a tenth behind, while Vitaly Petrov put the sole #24 Manor ORECA third in class, a further 0.031 seconds back.

Ford ended Porsche's domination of the GTE Pro category during the test, with the pair of Ganassi-run GTs making it a class one-two - albeit failing to better the German manufacturer's benchmark from Saturday.

Harry Tincknell set the pace on Sunday afternoon with a best effort of 1m47.530s in the #67 car, while Olivier Pla put the #66 entry second with a time only 0.042s slower.

The two mid-engined works 911 RSRs were next, the #91 heading the #92, while James Calado's #51 car headed up the Ferrari contingent in fifth.

Clearwater Racing set the quickest time in the GTE Am class, with Keita Sawa leading the way with a 1m50.271s in the #61 488 GTE.

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Series WEC
Drivers Nicolas Lapierre
Teams Toyota Racing
Author Jamie Klein
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