WEC Spa: United Autosports LMP2 fastest in first practice

Filipe Albuquerque and the United Autosports LMP2 squad again outpaced the cars in the new Hypercar class in first free practice for this weekend's World Endurance Championship opener at Spa.

WEC Spa: United Autosports LMP2 fastest in first practice

Aboard the United ORECA-Gibson 07 in which he'd topped the times in two of the four sessions at the official pre-season Prologue test at Spa at the beginning of this week, Albuquerque set a 2m04.083s in the opening 90-minute session that was a couple of tenths up on his best lap in testing.

The first of the cars running in the Hypercar class was the Alpine-Gibson A480 grandfathered LMP1 car, in which Matthieu Vaxiviere posted a 2m04.335s lap to end up second in the overall classification.

The two Toyota Le Mans Hypercars took seventh and 10th in the times in amongst the LMP2 pack.

Quickest of the Toyota GR010 HYBRIDs was the #7 entry in the hands of 2019-20 WEC champion Mike Conway.

His 2m04.574s was marginally faster than Sebastien Buemi had managed in the sister #8 car that went fastest during a qualifying run in the closing session of the Prologue on Tuesday afternoon.

PLUS: What to expect from sportscar racing's bold new Hypercar era

Kazuki Nakajima was four tenths in arrears of Conway on a 2m04.947s in FP1.

Third place in the times went to the TDS Racing-run RealTeam squad, Norman Nato setting a 2m04.071s in the team's LMP2 ORECA before the car stopped out on track.

A 2m04.475s from Stoffel Vandoorne was good enough for fourth in his Jota ORECA.

Ben Hanley was less than one hundredth of a second behind in fifth aboard DragonSpeed's ORECA, while Giedo van der Garde took sixth for Racing Team Nederlands.

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

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

Photo by: Erik Junius

Porsche maintained its monopoly on the top spot in GTE Pro from the Prologue, Kevin Estre setting a 2m13.466s.

That was quicker than all the laps he posted during the official test, apart from a 2m12.916s on Tuesday morning during a qualifying simulation run.

Richard Lietz was second in class in the second of the Manthey-run 911 RSR, his 2m13.500s leaving him just under four hundredths behind the sister car.

The first of the AF Corse Ferraris was right behind the second of the Porsches in Alessandro Pier Guidi's hands.

The Italian's 2m13.520s was two tenths up on a 2m13.715s from Miguel Molina in the second of the factory Ferrari 488 GTE Evos.

The solo Chevrolet Corvette C8.R brought up the rear of the five-car field with a time nearly a second off the pace.

Matteo Cairoli was quickest in GTE Am with a 2m13.941s in his Project 1 Porsche.

The WEC Spa 6 Hours starts on Saturday May 1 at 1.30pm CET, with practice and qualifying scheduled on Thursday and Friday. All sessions of the event will be streamed live on Motorsport.tv

shares
comments

Related video

Toyota "surprised" by WEC call to leave LMP2 speed unchanged
Previous article

Toyota "surprised" by WEC call to leave LMP2 speed unchanged

Next article

Podcast: Previewing a new era for the WEC

Podcast: Previewing a new era for the WEC
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
The wingless wonder Peugeot hopes will restore it to Le Mans glory Plus

The wingless wonder Peugeot hopes will restore it to Le Mans glory

Peugeot went radical with the initial plan for its Le Mans Hypercar project, and then stuck to its guns. Here’s how things are shaping up a few weeks before the debut of the 9X8 in next month's Monza World Endurance Championship round

WEC
Jun 1, 2022
How Toyota’s sole survivor turned the tables at Spa Plus

How Toyota’s sole survivor turned the tables at Spa

After a chastening opening to the season at Sebring that ended in an enormous accident, Toyota's #7 crew got their World Endurance Championship underway with victory at a treacherously slippery Spa to make up for its sister car's Sebring defeat to Alpine, as Glickenhaus's promising qualifying turned to disaster in the race

WEC
May 9, 2022
The Chinese sportscar protege targeting a path to the top with Porsche Plus

The Chinese sportscar protege targeting a path to the top with Porsche

Yifei Ye came within one lap of winning the LMP2 class on his Le Mans 24 Hours debut last year, and his eye-catching 2021 has gained Porsche’s interest. With the German manufacturer preparing for a return to the top tier, the Chinese youngster is on the path to join it

WEC
Apr 14, 2022
How WEC got off to a stormy start in 2022 as rulemakers dampen Toyota's dominance Plus

How WEC got off to a stormy start in 2022 as rulemakers dampen Toyota's dominance

Toyota’s stranglehold on the World Endurance Championship ended at the 2022 opener at Sebring, but all accusing eyes were on the Balance of Performance system as the key to the shake-up. Here's how it unfolded, to see Alpine celebrating under a stormy sky having blown away the defending champions

WEC
Mar 21, 2022
Why Penske remains ambitious for its WEC learning year Plus

Why Penske remains ambitious for its WEC learning year

Team Penske is gearing up for its role in running Porsche’s LMDh programme from 2023 by entering this year's World Endurance Championship with an LMP2 car. Although the team is considering 2022 as a season to learn, it is no less serious about winning than ever - which should make the already fiercely competitive class even more so

WEC
Mar 17, 2022