Toyota tops tight second practice at Monza

JEP/Motorsport Images

Toyota tops tight second practice at Monza

Le Mans/WEC

Toyota tops tight second practice at Monza

By

Brendon Hartley topped the second FIA WEC Free Practice session at Monza this morning in the No.8 Toyota GR010 HYBRID, in what was an incredibly tight 90-minutes for the six Le Mans Hypercar runners.

The New Zealander’s early 1m37.692 in the session put the No. 8 atop the times, where it would stay until the end of the red-flag affected, extended session. But it was tight up front, with all six LMH runners separated by just six tenths, with three different cars setting the best sector times (S1 Glickenhaus, S2 No.93 Peugeot, S3 Alpine).

Mikkel Jensen came closest to bettering Hartley’s lap in the No.93 Peugeot 9X8, the Dane setting a best time of a 1m37.775. The top three meanwhile, was completed by the No.708 Glickenhaus, making it three manufacturers in the top three ahead of what now looks set to be the most competitive race for top class honours in the FIA WEC for years.

The No.94 Peugeot ended up fourth, with the No.36 Alpine fifth and the second of the Toyotas sixth.

While this was another impressive showing for Peugeot in its FIA WEC debut weekend, there was a minor drama for the No.93 in the session, the car going through the gravel, damaging the underside of the car, leading to a front-right puncture. Thankfully the car did make it back to the pits.

The sister Peugeot, it must be noted however, managed 38 laps in this session after spending much of FP1 in its pit box with mechanical issues.

In LMP2, Filipe Albuquerque topped the times, setting a 1m38.917. The No.83 AF Corse ORECA which ran fastest in FP1 ended up second, with the No.31 WRT 07 Gibson third.

ARC Bratislava’s ORECA finished up fourth, though Tijmen van der Helm caused a lengthy red flag for barrier repairs after an off at the second chicane which damaged the car’s nose and the armco. Coincidentally, the No.1 Richard Mille Racing stopped out on track at Turn 1 at the same time with a likely electronics issue, Charles Milesi forced to abandon the car.

In GTE Pro Porsche once again set the pace, though this time it was the No.91 with its revised line-up that led the way. Gianmaria Bruni’s best time was a 1m46.245, half a second up on the No.52 AF Corse Ferrari. The No.51 ended up third.

It was Mikkel Pederson who ensured Porsches set the pace in both GTE categories, the Dane touring the circuit in 1m47.738 aboard the No.46 Team Project 1 911 RSR 19 to top Am.

UP NEXT: The 60-minute-long FP3 session at 13:30 local time in Italy.

MX-5 CUP | ROUND 8 – WATKINS GLEN

More RACER