WEC Spa: F1 racer Alonso fastest in first practice for Toyota

Double Formula 1 world champion and Toyota newcomer Fernando Alonso set the fastest time in the first practice session of the new World Endurance Championship superseason at Spa

Alonso took over the #8 TS050 from team-mate Sebastien Buemi 35 minutes into the 90-minute session, and promptly set a best time of 1m58.392s.

That lap was almost exactly a tenth faster than Buemi and put the McLaren F1 driver 0.237s ahead of the best time set in the #7 Toyota, which was produced by Mike Conway.

The best of the privateer LMP1s was the #3 Rebellion R-13-Gibson, which ended up with a time 0.457s off the pace set by Alonso in the hands of Thomas Laurent late in the session.

Laurent demoted the #10 DragonSpeed BR Engineering BR1-Gibson being driven by Ben Hanley to fourth, ahead of the #1 ORECA-built Rebellion car of Bruno Senna, whose best time was 1.2s slower than the best of the Toyotas.

The ByKolles squad was sixth-fastest with its revised ENSO CLM P1/01-Nissan thanks to Tom Dillmann, a further half a second down.

SMP Racing only got its #17 BR1-AER out for a timed run in the closing stages of the session, and was seventh-fastest with Egor Orudzhev at the wheel.

The sister #10 car of Mikhail Aleshin was slower than best of the LMP2 runners, the DragonSpeed ORECA.

Pastor Maldonado set the best time in the secondary class, a 2m03.494s in the #31 ORECA 07-Gibson to go 0.640s faster than Andre Negrao in the Alpine-badged #36 Signatech ORECA.

Jean-Eric Vergne put G-Drive Racing's one-off ORECA entry third in class, less than a tenth further back, ahead of the two Jota Sport-run Jackie Chan DC Racing cars.

Manor failed to get either of its Ginetta G60-LT-P1-Mecachrome cars out for a timed lap, with both the #5 and #6 entries only managing a single installation lap.

Ford led a one-two in the GTE Pro division, with Andy Priaulx setting the best time in class on a 2m15.014s in the #67 GT ahead of Olivier Pla in the #66 machine.

WEC returnee Gianmaria Bruni was best of the rest in the #91 Porsche, albeit six tenths off the pace, followed by Kevin Estre in the #92 911 RSR.

The quickest of the updated Ferrari 488 GTEs was fifth, 1.3s off the pace in the hands of James Calado, while the best of the new BMW M8 GTE cars was sixth with Tom Blomqvist.

Aston Martin brought up the rear of the class with its pair of new-generation Vantages.

Porsche locked out the top four spots in the GTE Am division, led by Matteo Cairoli in the #88 Dempsey-Proton Racing entry on a 2m16.601s, which was good enough for sixth overall among the GTE contingent.


Pos Class Driver Team Car Gap Laps
1 LMP1 S.Buemi, K.Nakajima, F.Alonso Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota 1m58.392s 35
2 LMP1 M.Conway, K.Kobayashi, J.M.Lopez Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota 0.237s 36
3 LMP1 M.Beche, T.Laurent, G.Menezes Rebellion Racing Rebellion/Gibson 0.457s 32
4 LMP1 H.Hedman, B.Hanley, P.Fittipaldi DragonSpeed BR Engineering/Gibson 0.929s 30
5 LMP1 N.Jani, A.Lotterer, B.Senna Rebellion Racing Rebellion/Gibson 1.289s 24
6 LMP1 O.Webb, D.Kraihamer, T.Dillmann ByKOLLES Racing Team ENSO CLM/NISMO 1.740s 18
7 LMP1 S.Sarrazin, E.Orudzhev, M.Isaakyan SMP Racing BR Engineering/AER 3.107s 9
8 LMP2 R.Gonzalez, P.Maldonado, N.Berthon DragonSpeed ORECA/Gibson 5.102s 28
9 LMP1 M.Aleshin, V.Petrov SMP Racing BR Engineering/AER 5.514s 11
10 LMP2 N.Lapierre, A.Negrao, P.Thiriet Signatech Alpine Matmut Alpine/Gibson 5.742s 27
11 LMP2 R.Rusinov, J-E.Vergne, A.Pizzitola G-Drive Racing ORECA/Gibson 5.806s 28
12 LMP2 J.Jaafar, W.Tan, N.Jeffri Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA/Gibson 5.989s 28
13 LMP2 H-Pin Tung, G.Aubry, S.Richelmi Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA/Gibson 6.166s 30
14 LMP2 F.van Eerd, G.van der Garde, J.Lammers Racing Team Nederland Dallara/Gibson 6.301s 24
15 LMP2 F.Perrodo, M.Vaxiviere, L.Duval TDS Racing ORECA/Gibson 6.334s 36
16 LMP2 E.Creed, R.Ricci, J.Canal Larbre Competition Ligier/Gibson 8.119s 25
17 GTE Pro A.Priaulx, H.Tincknell, T.Kanaan Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK Ford 16.622s 30
18 GTE Pro S.Mucke, O.Pla, B.Johnson Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK Ford 16.881s 30
19 GTE Pro R.Lietz, G.Bruni Porsche GT Team Porsche 17.239s 29
20 GTE Pro M.Christensen, K.Estre Porsche GT Team Porsche 17.325s 26
21 GTE Pro A.P.Guidi, J.Calado AF Corse Ferrari 18.005s 25
22 GTE Am K.Al Qubaisi, G.Roda, M.Cairoli Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche 18.209s 32
23 GTE Pro T.Blomqvist, A.F.da Costa BMW Team MTEK BMW 18.214s 33
24 GTE Pro D.Rigon, S.Bird AF Corse Ferrari 18.397s 25
25 GTE Am M.Wainwright, B.Barker, A.Davison Gulf Racing Porsche 19.160s 30
26 GTE Pro M.Tomczyk, N.Catsburg BMW Team MTEK BMW 19.420s 31
27 GTE Pro A.Lynn, M.Martin, J.Adam Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 19.601s 33
28 GTE Am C.Ried, J.Andlauer, M.Campbell Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche 19.614s 27
29 GTE Am J.Bergmeister, P.Lindsey, E.Perfetti Team Project 1 Porsche 19.716s 29
30 GTE Pro M.Sorensen, N.Thiim, D.Turner Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 19.835s 31
31 GTE Am S.Yoluc, E.Hankey, C.Eastwood TF Sport Aston Martin 19.963s 33
32 GTE Am P.D.Lana, P.Lamy, M.Lauda Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 20.066s 34
33 GTE Am Mok W.S., K.Sawa, M.Griffin Clearwater Racing Ferrari 20.755s 29
34 GTE Am M.Ishikawa, O.Beretta, E.Cheever MR Racing Ferrari 20.925s 32
35 GTE Am T.Flohr, F.Castellacci, G.Fisichella Spirit of Race Ferrari 21.908s 31
36 LMP1 C.Robertson, D.Stoneman CEFC TRSM Racing Ginetta/Mecachrome - 1
37 LMP1 O.Rowland, A.Brundle, O.Turvey CEFC TRSM Racing Ginetta/Mecachrome - 1

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