Alonso tops Spa FP2 for Toyota

Image by LAT

Alonso tops Spa FP2 for Toyota

Le Mans/WEC

Alonso tops Spa FP2 for Toyota


With rain coming down at Spa-Francorchamps, Toyota Gazoo Racing’s No. 8 TS050 HYBRID set the pace in Free Practice 2.

Fernando Alonso, fresh from announcing his last race with the team in LMP1 will be Le Mans next month, topped the times with a 2m19.483s, some 1.3 seconds ahead of the sister No. 7 machine, which had its best time set by Mike Conway.

After a strong run in FP1, finishing 1-2 atop the times — with a lap from Sergey Sirotkin two seconds clear of the field — SMP Racing had mixed fortunes in FP2.

Vitaly Petrov steered the No. 11 SMP Racing BR Engineering BR1-AER to third overall, with a time just 0.6s behind the second Toyota. The sister No. 17 BR1, though, had a big off at Blanchimont when Stephane Sarrazin lost control of the car in the wet, sending him backward into the barriers. The car suffered significant damage to one of its corners and had to be returned to the team on a flatbed. Thankfully, Sarrazin climbed out under his own power and was OK after the impact.

U.S.-flagged team DragonSpeed topped LMP2, ex-F1 driver Pastor Maldonado setting a 2m27.682s in the team’s ORECA, 1.6 seconds ahead of TDS Racing and a further tenth ahead of the No. 38 Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA.

Last in the class, the Larbre Competition’s Ligier, like the No. 17 SMP BR1, was also caught out by the conditions. Its No. 50 Labre Ligier JS P217 Gibson went off at La Source, causing bodywork damage.

In GTE Pro, Aston Martin continued to set fast times. After topping the first practice session with its No. 97 Vantage setting an identical time to the No. 67 Ford, the No. 95 Aston Martin Vantage AMR set a time of 2m32.648 in the wet with Marco Sorensen at the wheel.

The No. 91 Porsche 911 RSR ended up second, just over two tenths adrift. In third, just 0.019s behind, was the FP1-topping No. 97 Aston Martin, with the first of the two AF Corse Ferraris — the No. 71 — in fourth, 0.4s off the class lead.

In Am it was once again a Porsche at the top, though not Gulf Racing this time. The No. 77 Dempsey-Proton 911 RSR led the way after Matt Campbell reeled off a 2m34.093s.

The session was red flagged multiple times, and ended under red as the rain became heavier. At that time the Signatech Alpine A470 of Pierre Thiriet aquaplaned off the circuit at Fagnes and grazed the barriers.

UP NEXT: Free Practice 3 for the FIA WEC teams gets underway at 11 a.m. local time on Saturday.