WEC Portimao: Buemi leads Toyota 1-2 in FP1

Toyota locked out the top two positions in opening free practice for this weekend’s Portimao round of the World Endurance Championship.

#8 Toyota Gazoo Racing - Toyota GR010 - Hybrid - Se?bastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley, Ryo Hirakawa

The Japanese manufacturer continued its domination of the 2023 WEC season after finishing 1-2 in the opening round at Sebring last month, with Sebastien Buemi edging out Mike Conway by nearly four tenths.

Buemi got down to a 1m32.792s aboard the #8 Toyota GR010 HYBRID Le Mans Hypercar early in the 90-minute FP1 session on Friday morning, which Conway followed up on with a 1m33.176s.

The fastest Toyota time was just under a second quicker than the marque’s best time at this stage of the meeting on the WEC’s previous visit to the Automdromo Internacional do Algarve in 2021.

Buemi’s mark gave Toyota nearly a margin of nearly seven tenths over the next best manufacturer in Ferrari.

Alessandro Pier Guidi took third position in the Hypercar class aboard the best of the AF Corse-run Ferrari 499P LMHs. The Italian driver’s 1m33.453s shaded the 1m33.569s from team-mate Nicklas Nielsen in the sister car by just over a tenth.

The two factory Porsche 963 LMDhs filled out positions five and six in the Hypercar class, with Frederic Makowiecki and Laurens Vanthoor evenly-matched in the two Penske-run cars. Makowiecki posted a 1m33.688s to end up a tenth ahead of Vanthoor’s 1m33.792s.

Earl Bamber took seventh position in the Chip Ganassi Racing-run Cadillac V-Series.R LMDh on the European competition debut for the American car courtesy of a 1m34.107s.

Two two Peugeot 9X8 LMDhs took eighth and ninth positions, a 1m34.523s from Gustvo Menezes leaving the French manufacturer 1.7s off the pace. Mikkel Jensen was half a second in arrears in the sister car on a 1m35.033s.

Glickenhaus and Vanwall LMHs were evenly matched at the back of the Hypercar field. Tom Dillmann’s 1m35.309s in the Vanwall-Gibson Vandervell 680 just shaded the 1m35.496s from Olivier Pla in the Glickenhaus-Pipo 007.

#63 Prema Racing - Oreca 07 - Gibson - Doriane Pin, Mirko Bortolotti, Daniil Kvyat

#63 Prema Racing - Oreca 07 - Gibson - Doriane Pin, Mirko Bortolotti, Daniil Kvyat

Photo by: Paul Foster

The Italian Prema team ended up 1-2 in LMP2 with its pair of ORECA-Gibson 07s, Mirko Bortolotti ending up with a three-tenth margin in the secondary prototype class. Bortolotti’s 1m34.542s compared with Bent Viscaal’s 1m34.884s.

Inter Europol took third in class with a 1m32.920s from Fabio Scherer. Oliver Jarvis took fourth in the best of the two United Autosports ORECAs.

Ferrari factory driver Daniel Serra led the way in GTE Am for the Kessel Ferrari squad. His 1m41.341s aboard the Swiss team’s 488 GTE Evo was half a second up on second-placed Nicki Thiim’s 1m41.858s in the Northwest AMR Aston Martin Vantage GTE.

The session ended a couple of minutes early with a second red flag after Rui Andrade went off and hit the barriers at Turn 11 in his WRT LMP2 ORECA.

WEC Portimao FP1 results

Cla Drivers Car Laps Time Gap
1 Switzerland Sébastien Buemi
New Zealand Brendon Hartley
Japan Ryo Hirakawa
Toyota GR010 - Hybrid 43 1'32.792  
2 United Kingdom Mike Conway
Japan Kamui Kobayashi
Argentina Jose Maria Lopez
Toyota GR010 - Hybrid 43 1'33.176 0.384
3 Italy Alessandro Pier Guidi
United Kingdom James Calado
Italy Antonio Giovinazzi
Ferrari 499P 35 1'33.453 0.661
4 Italy Antonio Fuoco
Spain Miguel Molina
Denmark Nicklas Nielsen
Ferrari 499P 40 1'33.569 0.777
5 United States Dane Cameron
Denmark Michael Christensen
France Frédéric Makowiecki
Porsche 963 36 1'33.688 0.896
6 France Kevin Estre
Germany Andre Lotterer
Belgium Laurens Vanthoor
Porsche 963 37 1'33.792 1.000
7 New Zealand Earl Bamber
United Kingdom Alex Lynn
United Kingdom Richard Westbrook
Cadillac V-Series.R 23 1'34.107 1.315
8 France Loic Duval
United States Gustavo Menezes
Switzerland Nico Müller
Peugeot 9X8 40 1'34.523 1.731
9 France Doriane Pin
Italy Mirko Bortolotti
Russian Federation Daniil Kvyat
Oreca 07 41 1'34.542 1.750
10 Filip Ugran
United States Juan Manuel Correa
Netherlands Bent Viscaal
Oreca 07 38 1'34.884 2.092
11 Poland Jakub Smiechowski
Switzerland Fabio Scherer
Spain Albert Costa
Oreca 07 41 1'34.920 2.128
12 United Kingdom Paul di Resta
Denmark Mikkel Jensen
France Jean-Eric Vergne
Peugeot 9X8 26 1'35.033 2.241
13 United States Josh Pierson
Netherlands Giedo van der Garde
United Kingdom Oliver Jarvis
Oreca 07 41 1'35.035 2.243
14 Portugal Rui Andrade
Poland Robert Kubica
Switzerland Louis Deletraz
Oreca 07 39 1'35.042 2.250
15 Frederick Lubin
United Kingdom Philip Hanson
United Kingdom Ben Hanley
Oreca 07 42 1'35.129 2.337
16 Denmark David Heinemeier Hansson
Brazil Pietro Fittipaldi
Denmark Oliver Rasmussen
Oreca 07 36 1'35.212 2.420
17 Germany David Beckmann
China Ye Yifei
Portugal Antonio Felix da Costa
Oreca 07 39 1'35.244 2.452
18 Indonesia Sean Gelael
Austria Ferdinand Habsburg
Netherlands Robin Frijns
Oreca 07 40 1'35.260 2.468
19 Brazil Andre Negrao
Mexico Memo Rojas
United Kingdom Olli Caldwell
Oreca 07 34 1'35.293 2.501
20 France Tom Dillmann
Argentina Esteban Guerrieri
Canada Jacques Villeneuve
Vanwall Vandervell 680 36 1'35.309 2.517
21 France Matthieu Vaxiviere
France Julien Canal
France Charles Milesi
Oreca 07 40 1'35.442 2.650
22 France Romain Dumas
Australia Ryan Briscoe
France Olivier Pla
Glickenhaus 007 34 1'35.496 2.704
23 Ireland Ryan Cullen
Matthias Kaiser
France Gabriel Aubry
Oreca 07 22 1'36.119 3.327
24 Japan Takeshi Kimura
United States Scott Huffaker
Brazil Daniel Serra
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO 39 1'41.341 8.549
25 Canada Paul Dalla Lana
Zimbabwe Axcil Jefferies
Denmark Nicki Thiim
Aston Martin Vantage AMR 37 1'41.858 9.066
26 United States Ryan Hardwick
Canada Zacharie Robichon
United Kingdom Harry Tincknell
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 36 1'41.862 9.070
27 Argentina Luis Perez Companc
France Lilou Wadoux
Italy Alessio Rovera
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO 38 1'41.885 9.093
28 United States Ben Keating
Nicolas Varrone
Netherlands Nick Catsburg
Chevrolet Corvette C8.R 35 1'41.896 9.104
29 Miguel Pedro
Guilherme Moura
Italy Matteo Cairoli
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 38 1'41.940 9.148
30 Belgium Sarah Bovy
Denmark Michelle Gatting
Switzerland Rahel Frey
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 34 1'41.944 9.152
31 Italy Claudio Schiavoni
Italy Matteo Cressoni
Belgium Alessio Picariello
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 36 1'42.071 9.279
32 United Kingdom Michael Wainwright
Italy Riccardo Pera
United Kingdom Benjamin Barker
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 37 1'42.176 9.384
33 Switzerland Thomas Flohr
Italy Francesco Castellacci
Italy Davide Rigon
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO 38 1'42.287 9.495
34 Diego Alessi
France Simon Mann
Ulysse De
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO 40 1'42.296 9.504
35 Japan Satoshi Hoshino
Casper Stevenson
Japan Tomonobu Fujii
Aston Martin Vantage AMR 37 1'42.648 9.856
36 United Kingdom Ahmad Al Harthy
Michael Dinan
Ireland Charles Eastwood
Aston Martin Vantage AMR 39 1'42.871 10.079
37 Germany Christian Ried
Mikkel Pedersen
France Julien Andlauer
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 34 1'42.931 10.139
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