Cadillac Racing’s V-Series.R topped the times in the second test session of the 2023 FIA WEC Prologue. Earl Bamber was the fast man in the car, setting a 1m48.429s to better the two Toyota GR010 HYBRIDs that slotted in second and third.
Bamber’s time wasn’t the quickest of the day, as Jose Maria Lopez’s Session 1-topping 1m48.208s still stands as the fastest so far.
The afternoon session was incredibly encouraging for the WEC side of the Cadillac Racing operation ahead of its world championship debut.
Bamber’s time in the session was 0.014s quicker than the No. 8 Toyota, with the No. 7 a further 0.1s back. The two GR010s did 74 and 70 laps respectively.
Behind, the two Ferrari 499Ps continued to build confidence during the session and ended up fourth and fifth. 90 total laps were completed by the two cars.
The Hypercar field remains tight on times so far at the top, as the first seven in the order all ended up with times under 1m50s.
It wasn’t a good session for Peugeot and its pair of 9X8s, however. The No. 94 finished up eighth, 2.6s off the slowest of the two Porsches.
The No. 93, meanwhile, only completed 12 laps in the three hours of track time, after Jean-Eric Vergne made an “ambitious” dive up the inside of the Vector Sport ORECA at Turn 1. He hit the left rear of the ORECA and ended up in the barriers, bringing out the red flag.
Elsewhere in the field, Glickenhaus and Vanwall again struggled to find any outright pace at what, admittedly, is still a very early stage of the event. Trap speeds for both cars have been slower than many of the LMP2s in both sessions so far. Lots of work needs to be done by both to find speed ahead of race week.
Vanwall in particular is a long way off, ahead of only one LMP2 car in the times during the second session. Jacques Villeneuve again was the slowest driver in the class, 3.5s off the next-slowest time in the session by a Hypercar driver and almost 2s off the slowest LMP2 driver.
In LMP2, United’s No. 22 ORECA once again led the way, with Phil Hanson bettering his time from the morning, touring the airfield in 1m51.492s. Ex-F1 pilot Danil Kvyat came closest to the Briton, with a time 0.05s behind in the No. 63 Prema ORECA 07.
The No. 41 WRT ORECA managed to finish up third. The No. 31 sister car had a tougher time, though, stopping on track and causing a red flag due to a damper failure.
While the quickest Hypercar times came in the morning, all bar four drivers in the LMP2 field set their best times in the second session.
GTE Am, like LMP2, saw the fastest car from the morning session set the quickest time again in the afternoon. Michelle Gatting reeled off a 1m59.201s in the Iron Dames Porsche 911 RSR 19, a time 0.25s up on the No. 21 AF Corse Ferrari. The Dempsey Proton Porsche made for two Porsches in the top three. The sister No. 88 Proton 911, meanwhile, caused a red flag in the session after stopping on track.
The FIA WEC teams will continue to test in two further Prologue sessions Sunday.