Lopez, Toyota stay ahead in Monza WEC practice

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Lopez, Toyota stay ahead in Monza WEC practice

Le Mans/WEC

Lopez, Toyota stay ahead in Monza WEC practice

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Jose Maria Lopez set the pace once again in the No. 7 Toyota Gazoo Racing GR010 HYBRID in Free Practice 2 for the FIA WEC runners this morning at Monza.

The Argentine’s lap in FP2 proved to be significantly faster than his best time from Friday afternoon. With this being the first race weekend for the FIA WEC, and the Le Mans Hypercars at Monza, the times are tumbling as the teams and drivers get up to speed. A 1m36.864s was the pace-setting lap set by Lopez this morning, compared with a 1m38.401s from FP1.

After Toyota finished up 1-2 in FP1, Alpine and the No. 708 Glickenhaus 007 split the two GR010s on this occasion. The second best time was set by Nicolas Lapierre, a 1m37.591s in the Alpine A480.

The top three in the session was completed by the No. 708 Glickenhaus driven by Olivier Pla, the Frenchman on his first weekend racing with the team, setting a 1m37.591s.

Unfortunately, for Alpine, despite ending up second in the times, it wasn’t a clean session. The car had issues firing up late in the session, before being involved in an incident on the cool-down lap which caused damage to the front and rear. Negrao was at the wheel, and was hit up the back on the entry to Ascari by Claudio Schiavoni’s No. 60 Iron Lynx Ferrari, sending him into Henrik Hedman’s DragonSpeed ORECA and into the barriers. The damage to all three cars is understood to be repairable, but it is of course never ideal for any team to spend the break between sessions tending to damage…

The three cars in question were not the only cars to hit trouble in the session either. The No. 7 Toyota suffered a right-rear puncture in the closing stages, Frits van Eerd had an off at Ascari into the gravel and the Ferrari fielded by WEC newcomer Inception Racing had a big off, also at Ascari.

Brendan Iribe was behind the wheel of the 488 at the time and went into the wall backwards. The car has suffered severe damage which the team is attempting to repair. At this stage, RACER understands the team is also working on sourcing a new car from Michelotto should it need one.

The No. 8 Toyota was fourth in the Hypercar class, with a time almost 0.9s off the ultimate pace.

In LMP2, the Racing Team Nederland ORECA ran fastest, Nyck de Vries setting a 1m38.545s, a tenth faster than Filipe Albuquerque in the No. 22 United ORECA which set the best time in the opening practice. The No. 38 JOTA ended up third after Anthony Davidson’s best effort put him 0.354s off the RTN example.

In the GTE classes, after Ferrari ended up 1-2 in FP1 the No. 92 Porsche topped the times in Pro. Kevin Estre in the No. 92 beating out Alessandro Pier Guidi’s No. 51 AF Corse by more than six tenths with a 1m45.590s.

AF Corse did, however, top Am, Francesco Castellacci the quickest in the class after a 1m46.737s. It was incredibly tight in Am, with the top three within a tenth and the top four all Ferraris and within a second. The best from the other marques was TF Sport, which ended the session fifth, two tenths off.

RESULTS

UP NEXT: Next on the schedule is FP3 at 2:00 p.m. local time.

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