WEC Prologue: United Autosports leads LMP2 domination in disrupted first session

LMP2 machines dominated the timesheets during the first session of this week's World Endurance Championship Prologue pre-season test at Spa, marked by two major crashes at Raidillon.

WEC Prologue: United Autosports leads LMP2 domination in disrupted first session

United Autosports driver Filipe Albuquerque set the fastest time of 2m04.968s at the wheel of the #22 ORECA 07 not long after the first of three red flag interruptions, which he caused by getting beached on a sausage kerb.

The second stoppage came just under an hour into the session as a result of Ben Keating crashing at the top of the Eau Rouge/Raidillon complex in the TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage.

Keating was taken to the medical centre for a checks but is understood to have avoided major injury.

The session was brought to a premature halt when the other car run by TF Sport, the D'station Racing Aston of Satoshi Hoshino, had a similar accident at the exact same location.

The session did not resume thereafter owing to the damage to the tyre barriers.

LMP2 cars filled out the top seven on the overall leaderboard, with Giedo van der Garde putting the Racing Team Nederland ORECA in second on a 2'05.496s, 0.528s down on Albuquerque.

Third-fastest was Loic Duval in the RealTeam ORECA, 1.011s off the pace, followed by Ben Hanley in the DragonSpeed car and Anthony Davidson in the quicker of the two Jota machines.

However, the DragonSpeed entry was later stripped of its times, promoting Davidson to fourth and the WRT ORECA of Robin Frijns to fifth.

The best of the three cars entered in the top Hypercar division was the #8 Toyota GR010 Hybrid of Brendon Hartley in seventh with a best time of 2m06.896s, almost two seconds off the outright pace.

#8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota GR010 - Hybrid: Sebastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima, Brendon Hartley

#8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota GR010 - Hybrid: Sebastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima, Brendon Hartley

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

Alpine's grandfathered A480 LMP1 car, which raced last season as the Rebellion R-13, was second in class on a 2m07.586s set by Matthieu Vaxiviere - which was only enough for 12th overall.

The #7 Toyota didn't set a lap time, only completing two installation laps during the session.

In the GTE Pro class, Porsche driver Kevin Estre set the pace with a best time of 2m14.198s in the quicker of the 911 RSR-19s, the #92 car.

The #51 Ferrari 488 GTE of James Calado was second-fastest, a little under two tenths further back, ahead of the best of the GTE Am machines, the Cetilar Racing Ferrari.

Antonio Fuoco set the Cetilar squad's best time of 2m14.509s, quicker than the remaining three GTE Pro cars.

Corvette Racing's solo C8.R was third-fastest in GTE Pro on a 2m14.924s set by Antonio Garcia, ahead of the second factory Porsche driven by Richard Lietz.

The second AF Corse-run Ferrari Pro car was only 11th overall among the GTE cars, around a second and a half off the pace.

Monday afternoon's second session has been extended by half an hour to compensate for the morning's lost running, and will begin at 1.30pm local time.

shares
comments

Related video

Alpine LMP1 WEC car given over 100kg weight penalty at Spa
Previous article

Alpine LMP1 WEC car given over 100kg weight penalty at Spa

Next article

LMP2 team United Autosports ends first WEC Prologue day on top

LMP2 team United Autosports ends first WEC Prologue day on top
How Porsche's Le Mans legend changed the game Plus

How Porsche's Le Mans legend changed the game

The 956 set the bar at the dawn of Group C 40 years ago, and that mark only rose higher through the 1980s, both in the world championship and in the US. It and its successor, the longer-wheelbase 962, were voted as Autosport's greatest sportscar in 2020 - here's why

WEC
Aug 25, 2022
Why BMW shouldn't be overlooked on its return to prototypes Plus

Why BMW shouldn't be overlooked on its return to prototypes

OPINION: While the focus has been on the exciting prospect of Ferrari vs Porsche at the Le Mans 24 Hours next year, BMW’s factory return to endurance racing should not be ignored. It won't be at the French classic next year as it focuses efforts on the IMSA SportsCar Championship, but could be a dark horse in 2024 when it returns to La Sarthe with the crack WRT squad

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2022
The problem sausage kerbs continue to cause Plus

The problem sausage kerbs continue to cause

Track limits are the problem that motorsport doesn't seem to be able to rid itself of. But the use of so-called 'sausage kerbs' as a deterrent has in several instances only served to worsen the problem, and a growing number of voices want to see action taken

Formula 1
Jul 18, 2022
The history lessons Peugeot should have learned on its return Plus

The history lessons Peugeot should have learned on its return

The Peugeot 9X8 will make its World Endurance Championship debut at Monza this weekend. The French manufacturer has gone radical and will be hoping it doesn’t need to overhaul its contender, as it did with its first Le Mans challenger…

WEC
Jul 8, 2022
Why Peugeot's sportscar return will capture the imagination Plus

Why Peugeot's sportscar return will capture the imagination

OPINION: Peugeot will make its World Endurance Championship debut at Monza this weekend with the 9X8 Le Mans Hypercar that has ignored design conventions by eschewing a rear wing. Its distinctive look will help sportscar racing appeal to fresh audiences as a new golden era is ushered in

WEC
Jul 7, 2022
How Formula E's double-duty drivers influenced their Le Mans teams' fortunes Plus

How Formula E's double-duty drivers influenced their Le Mans teams' fortunes

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 an Italian junior formula giant is readying for its Le Mans future Plus

How an Italian junior formula giant 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 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 Plus

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? Autosport hears their stories.

Le Mans
Jun 7, 2022