Fernando Alonso put the No. 8 Toyota Gazoo Racing TS050 HYBRID at the top of the times for the first time this weekend at Silverstone, this morning’s final practice session.
The Spaniard set the best time of the session in the opening minutes, a 1m37.677s, which was not only the best lap of the morning but also a second quicker than the fastest time set during Friday practice.
Behind, it wasn’t a Toyota 1-2 this time, as the two SMP Racing BR1s ended up second and third, the No. 17 lapping the faster of the two, with a best time of 1m39.326s by Stephane Sarrazin. The sister car ended up third, a further four tenths adrift. While the times were an improvement on the best privateer time from yesterday, Alonso’s flyer ensured there was still a margin of over a second between the fastest hybrid, and fastest privateer runner.
The sister Toyota ended up fourth, with a 1m40.033s, Mike Conway, Jose Maria Lopez and Kamui Kobayashi clearly not gunning for a time.
Both Rebellion R-13s made it out in the session, the No. 1 now fully repaired and running with a two-driver crew of Andre Lotterer and Neel Jani following Bruno Senna’s accident at Copse yesterday. The ByKolles CLM also managed to lap the circuit after it missed FP2, the Austrian team’s car was in the wars during the session though, the No. 81 BMW hitting its rear at Luffield damaging the bodywork and forcing it to come in for a quick repair.
In LMP2, it was Matthieu Vaxiviere who set the pace in the No. 28 TDS Racing ORECA, the Frenchman setting a 1m44.247s, a lap that was over a second faster than any LMP2 lap from Friday. The two Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECAs ended up second and third, the No. 37 ahead of the No. 38.
DragonSpeed’s No. 31 ORECA led the class early but ended up fourth, the best time coming from Pastor Maldonado, a 1m45.815s.
Ford’s dominance at the top of GTE Pro continued, its GTs sitting 1-2 at the head of the class. The No. 67 topped the session, after Andy Priaulx reeled off a 1m55.197s.
Best of the rest, behind the No. 66 and third in the classification was the No. 95 Aston. The Vantage AMRs continued to set encouraging times through the morning after a better run in FP2 yesterday, Nicki Thiim this time setting the British marque’s best lap, a 1m56.408s during his short three-lap stint behind the wheel.
Aston Martin also led GTE Am, Pedro Lamy in the No. 98 Vantage setting a 1m58.460s, which wound up being a tenth faster than the MR Racing Ferrari which slotted in second.
While it was a pretty uneventful session as a whole, it was red flagged with a few minutes remaining due to debris on track at Turn 12.
UP NEXT: Qualifying for the WEC runners is scheduled for at noon local time.