Hartley fastest for Toyota in final practice

Image by Toyota Gazoo Racing

Hartley fastest for Toyota in final practice

Le Mans/WEC

Hartley fastest for Toyota in final practice


Toyota Gazoo Racing’s No. 8 Toyota TS050 HYBRID topped the LMP1 field in the final WEC free practice session in Bahrain ahead of qualifying later today. Brendon Hartley was the Japanese team’s quickest driver, the New Zealander’s 1m44.285s putting the No. 8 quickest, meaning all three LMP1 teams have topped a practice session this weekend.

The 60 minutes of running were held in “wet” conditions following morning rain showers, so the pace wasn’t blistering. The track was just greasy though, not wet enough to warrant rain tires from the teams.

Ben Hanley put the No. 5 Team LNT Ginetta G60-LT-P1 second, with a time just a tenth off the leading Toyota.

After Team LNT’s Ginettas suffered a combination of driveshaft and systems issues yesterday, it was Rebellion mechanic’s turn this morning to problem solve. The No. 1 R-13 Gibson spent much of the session in the garage due to the brakes binding, causing a fire on the left rear. In the end it would finish fourth in LMP1 but seventh overall, slower than the top three teams in LMP2.

The best of the LMP2 times came from the No. 22 United Autosports ORECA 07 Gibson, which ended up third overall with a 1m45.970s from Phil Hanson. The No. 37 Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA ended up second ahead of the JOTA example. All three set times quicker than the No. 6 Ginetta, No. 1 Rebellion and No. 7 Toyota.

There was one on track drama in the LMP2 category. Cool Racing’s ORECA hit the barriers sideways at Turn 13 after Antonin Borga lost control of the car. The Swiss-flagged team was able to continue in the session though and ended up fourth in the times.

Like LMP1, GTE Pro has seen a mixture of teams setting the fastest times, with all three factories topping a practice session this weekend. AF Corse’s No. 71 488 GTE EVO ran fastest after a 1m56.065s from Davide Rigon set the benchmark, his lap two tenths faster than the best efforts from the No. 95 Aston Martin Vantage that suffered a puncture but finished up second. The No. 51 sister AF Corse Ferrari completed the top three.

In Am, Gulf Racing’s Porsche set the best time, a 1m57.221s from Ben Barker.


UP NEXT: Qualifying begins at 4:40 p.m. local time.

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