Gap between Toyota and WEC privateers widens in Spa Practice 2

Images by FIA WEC

Gap between Toyota and WEC privateers widens in Spa Practice 2

Le Mans/WEC

Gap between Toyota and WEC privateers widens in Spa Practice 2


Toyota finished up the second and final Friday practice session at Spa 1-2, its pair of TS050 HYBRIDs significantly running faster than in Free Practice 1, the gap between its cars the the privateer collective up from a few tenths to 2.6 seconds.

Fastest of the two Japanese prototypes was the No. 7, Mike Conway setting a 1m56.172s to go six tenths faster than the sister car, which was the fastest car in the field in the first session.

• Results

While Rebellion Racing was ‘best of the rest’ in FP1, this time around it was DragonSpeed turning the fastest LMP1 non-hybrid time, Pietro Fittipaldi setting a 1m58.835s in the team’s Gibson-powered BR1.

Behind, the two Rebellion R-13s ended up fourth and fifth, 2.8 and 3.4 seconds off the top Toyota TS050’s ultimate pace.

Interestingly, SMP Racing’s pair of BR1s, running low-drag aero at Spa (while DragonSpeed gets more mileage with the high-downforce kit), were sixth and seventh. The AER-powered cars could only produce times 3.8 and 4 seconds off the best time in the session. It wasn’t trouble-free for the Russian team either, the No. 17 bringing out red flags after stopping out on track.

Unfortunately, both CEFC TRSM Racing Ginetta G60-LT-P1s only set an installation lap each again. Despite multiple rumors circulating in the paddock, there’s still no official word on what the reason for the lack of track time for the Chinese-flagged team is. With no work underway on the cars in the aftermath of the installation laps, the cars have shown no signs of any mechanical issues.

In addition to posting the best time in the privateer LMP1 ranks, DragonSpeed once again ended up at the head of the pack with its ORECA too. The No. 31 finished the session with a best time of 2m02.991s, set by Pastor Maldonado once again. The No. 37 Jackie Chan DC Racing 07 Gibson slotted in second, with the No. 26 G-Drive example third.

It was a better session for the Larbre Competition crew, and its Ligier JS P217, which posted the fourth-best time in the class, with a 2m03.881s in the late going from Julien Canal, who was only officially confirmed as the team’s third driver today on the official entry list.

Ford remained the fastest GTE Pro manufacturer in FP2, the No. 66 this time touring the circuit fastest, thanks to a 2m13.733s from Stefan Mucke. The No. 91 Porsche ended the day second, with the No. 67 Ford third, both cars around a second off the best time in the class.

Further back, Aston Martin, BMW and Ferrari continued to set times noticeably off the pace, the best lap from the three marques a 2m15.513s from James Calado in the No. 51 AF Corse 488 GTE. Though it’s important to note that their practice times may not be representative of what’s possible in qualifying tomorrow.

Gulf Racing’s Porsche headed the Am class, Ben Barker’s best lap a 2m16.113s. Unlike FP1 though, it wasn’t a Porsche 1-2-3-4, as the No. 98 Aston Martin Racing Vantage of defending champions Pedro Lamy, Mathias Lauda and Paul Dalla Lana set the third-fastest time, three tenths behind behind the second place No. 77 Dempsey Proton Porsche.

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