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.

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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

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Series WEC
Event Spa-Francorchamps
Author Gary Watkins
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