Toyotas top red flag-interrupted night practice at Le Mans

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Toyotas top red flag-interrupted night practice at Le Mans

Le Mans/WEC

Toyotas top red flag-interrupted night practice at Le Mans

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The two factory Toyotas topped the times in Wednesday’s final two-hour free practice session for the Le Mans 24 Hours. Sebastien Buemi in the No. 8 Toyota Gazoo Racing GR010 posting a 3m29.351s, just under 0.4s ahead Kamui Kobayashi in the sister No. 7 car, with Olivier Pla putting the No. 708 Glickenhaus 007 Hypercar third fastest a further 0.4s back.

The session ended three minutes early after an accident at Tertre Rouge for the No. 46 Team Project 1 Porsche of Robbie Foley. The car suffered significant rear end damage, but the driver exited the car without assistance.

That was the last of a series of incidents and interruptions to the session that included a additional red flag to allow for the recovery of the No. 52 AF Corse Ferrari; Daniel Serra suffering a huge lock-up and subsequent puncture that damaged the right-front corner of the car. The team is investigating whether the car suffered a failure that caused the initial lock-up.

There were further cautions to allow for the retrieval of the No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports Oreca, the car apparently out of fuel with Patrick Kelly requiring recovery to the pits, but later rejoining.

There was trouble too for the No. 57 Kessel Racing Ferrari; Scot Andrews crawling back to the pits with an extreme flat spot, while Ben Hanley ended the session off the road at Indianapolis after having nudged the barrier in the No.21 DragonSpeed Oreca.

In LMP2 Anthony Davidson put the No. 38 JOTA ORECA on top of the times with a late session 3m32.390s. That was just enough to deny the Realteamracing No.70 the overnight bragging rights for Loic Duval, with the No. 22 United Autosports ORECA and G-Drive Racing’s No. 26 Aurus of Nyck de Vries completing the top four.
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The trouble for the No. 52 Ferrari left the team unable to improve on third-fastest behind a pair of Porsches, with Laurens Vanthoor putting the No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Porsche on top with a late improvement to 3m49.434s. That was good enough to beat Gianmaria Bruni’s early-session effort in the No. 91 factory Porsche.

The pair of factory Corvettes were some way off the session-topping pace as the U.S. squad worked on making up for lost time in their preparation for the race on Saturday.

GTE-Am, meanwhile, delivered another Porsche to the top of the times. Porsche factory driver Julien Andlauer in the No. 88 Dempsey-Proton 911 RSR posted a 3m51.452s, half a second clear of Jeroen Bleekemolen in the No. 388 Rinaldi Racing Ferrari, with the No. 56 Team Project 1 Porsche of Matteo Cairoli rounding out the top three.

RESULTS

UP NEXT: Free Practice 3, 2:00 p.m. local time Thursday

 

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