WEC prologue: Toyota ends test four seconds clear of privateers

Toyota concluded the 30-hour official World Endurance Championship pre-season test at Paul Ricard with a four second advantage over the quickest of its privateer LMP1 rivals

WEC prologue: Toyota ends test four seconds clear of privateers

Mike Conway's best time in the high-downforce specification #8 Toyota TS050 HYBRID, a 1m32.662s set on Friday afternoon, remained the benchmark time for the remainder of the Prologue.

But Toyota has admitted that both this time and the best effort recorded by Anthony Davidson in the Le Mans-spec #7 car were set while the cars were not conforming to the WEC's Equivalence of Technology rules.

It returned within the EoT regulations for the night-time segment of the test - in which only 15 of the 35 cars took part - and the seven-hour second daytime session on Saturday, but neither car went faster than the day before.

Vitaly Petrov's best time in the night was good enough for the #11 SMP Racing BR1-AER to finish the test in third, albeit 4.372s off the pace set by Toyota.

Rebellion's new Gibson-powered R-13 was fourth thanks to Andre Lotterer's best time on Friday evening, ahead of the second SMP BR1 of Stephane Sarrazin and the ByKolles ENSO CLM P1/01-Nissan.

The only one of the nine LMP1 cars to improve in the Saturday daytime session was the #6 Manor Ginetta G60-LT-P1-Mecachrome, with Williams Formula 1 young driver Oliver Rowland setting its best time.

DragonSpeed's Gibson-powered BR1 and the second Manor-run Ginetta, which was not completed in time to run until late on Friday, completed the LMP1 timesheets.

F1 race winner Pastor Maldonado's best time from Friday was good enough to end the test on top of the LMP2 times in the DragonSpeed ORECA.

Nicolas Lapierre came within 0.317s of Maldonado's benchmark with his best time in the Alpine-badged Signatech ORECA on Saturday morning, moving ahead of the TDS Racing ORECA which failed to improve.

The quickest of the non-ORECAs was the Racing Team Nederland Dallara, which was less than a tenth adrift of Matthieu Vaxiviere's best time in the TDS car.

Porsche sweeps GTE classes

Porsche finished with a 1-2 in the GTE Pro division, with Gianmaria Bruni's class-topping effort in the #91 911 RSR going unchallenged throughout the remainder of Saturday.

Kevin Estre was 0.505s behind in the #92 car, and 0.173s ahead of the best of the Fords.

The two Ganassi-run GTs were third and fourth courtesy of Harry Tincknell and Olivier Pla's efforts in the daytime session on Friday.

Fifth and sixth in the combined GTE classification were the top two Am cars - the #88 Dempsey-Proton Porsche and the #86 Gulf Racing Porsche.

Matteo Cairoli improved shortly before noon on Saturday with the best time in class, a 1m53.155s, enough to beat Ben Barker in the #86 machine by 0.004s.

The best of the AF Corse Ferraris was fifth in GTE Pro with Alessandro Pier Guidi's best time on Friday, ahead of the lead BMW M8 and the quicker of the two new-generation Aston Martin Vantages.

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Series WEC
Teams Toyota Racing
Author Jamie Klein
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