Kobayashi turns up the wick in Spa FP3

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Kobayashi turns up the wick in Spa FP3

Le Mans/WEC

Kobayashi turns up the wick in Spa FP3

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Toyota’s pace improved drastically in this morning’s final WEC Free Practice session at Spa, the No. 7 TS050 Hybrid ending up with a time of 1m54.105s from Kamui Kobayashi — considerably faster than the team’s previous best set in FP1, a 1m58.7s.

The uptick in pace put the No. 7 2.2 seconds quicker than the sister No. 8 TS050 which end up second fastest. It was also eight tenths up on last year’s pole time.

The fastest non-hybrid, the No. 17 SMP Racing BR1-AER entry with Egor Orudzhev, finished with a best time of 1m56.842s, continuing the Russian team’s strong show of pace against its privateer rivals with the high-downforce spec BR1. During the session, the No. 17 completed 18 laps, repaired after its off at Blanchimont during FP2 yesterday in the wet.

SMP’s No. 11 sister car ended the session fourth fastest ahead of the Rebellions and the ByKolles CLM.

In LMP2, G-Drive Racing’s Aurus led the way on pace, Jean-Eric Vergne topping the times with a 2m01.243s, leading the two Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECAs.

Fastest of the Chinese-flagged 07 Gibsons was the No. 37 of Will Stevens, with a 2m01.826s. Gabriel Aubry ended up third in the No. 38 with a 2m02.830s.

GTE Pro saw the No. 91 Porsche take the top spot, Gianmaria Bruni lapping the Belgian circuit in 2m13.722s before losing power on his way into the pits at the end of the session. The Italian stopping at pit in was the only incident in the session of note, the 60 minutes of running taking place in green flag conditions.

Bruni’s time was two tenths up on Harry Tincknell in the No. 67 Ford and a further three tenths up on the No. 92 Porsche that slotted in third after Kevin Estre’s best lap.

Porsche also topped the GTE Am class, with Matteo Cairoli in the No. 88 Dempsey-Proton entry edging out Matt Campbell No. 77 911 RSR with a 2m15.190s.

UP NEXT: Qualifying starts at 3 p.m. local time.

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