WEC: Toyota fastest in Friday practice

#8 Toyota on top Friday
#8 Toyota on top Friday

Toyota led the way both free practice sessions for this weekend's Fuji round of the World Endurance Championship.

The second 90 minutes of Free Practice for the 6 Hours of Fuji, took place this afternoon in warm and dry conditions, with the sun shining down on Fuji Speedway.

The main FP2 headlines (the faster of the two sessions) can be found below:

LMP1
– No. 8 Toyota TS050 Hybrid on top in LMP1 again as Kazuki Nakajima sets best time at his home track
– Japanese driver clocks a time of 1:25.623 early in the session – nearly two seconds faster than his team-mate Sebastien Buemi who was quickest during FP1
– Rebellion Racing second quickest out of other LMP1 crews with Norman Nato posting a time of 1:27.042 during the session’s first 30 minutes
– Team LNT’s No. 5 third fastest with Egor Orudzhev clocking 1:27.602 in the Ginetta G60-LT-P1 car

LMGTE Pro
– Porsche continue to set the pace in the class, but with a gap to Ferrari of just 0.038s – the potential battle between the different marques in GTE will undoubtedly intensify from now until the end of the 6 Hours of Fuji!
– Michael Christensen in the No.91 Porsche 911 RSR-19 topped the LMGTE Pro times with a time of 1:38.214 ahead of the No.51 Ferrari 488 GTE of James Calado in second place, the British driver having been at the top of the class for the first half of the session
– In third was the sister Porsche GT Team entry, the No.91’s best time being set in the hands of Richard Lietz
– Aston Martin Racing’s two Vantage AMRs, Nos.97 and 95, were 4th and 5th in class respectively, the British team opting to concentrate on longer fuel and tire runs during the session
– Also working on optimizing set up prior to the race was the No.71 AF Corse Ferrari. Nevertheless, only 0.695 seconds separated the factory GTE entries – close competition guaranteed for qualifying tomorrow and the race on Sunday

LMP2
– JOTA’s Anthony Davidson set the pace out of the eight LMP2 crews as the Briton posted a time of 1:29.633 half-way through the session
– Davidson’s time was 0.09s adrift of Kenta Yamashita’s fastest FP1 time earlier today
– Yamashita was second fastest in FP2 at the wheel of the No. 33 High Class Racing Oreca 07, setting a time of 1:30.163
– United Autosports rounded out the top three as Phil Hanson was at the wheel when the team clocked 1:30.205
– First and second fastest LMP2 teams both equipped with Goodyear’s new tires

No.90 Aston Martin Vantage with Jonny Adam at wheel
No.90 Aston Martin Vantage with Jonny Adam at wheel

LMGTE Am
– TF Sport’s No.90 Aston Martin Vantage continued its strong morning form, with Jonny Adam once again a fastest time of 1:38.719, a slight improvement on FP1 pace
– In second place in the LMGTE Am class was Super Season class champion, Team Project 1, with Matteo Cairoli setting the pace in the No.56 Porsche 911 RSR for the German team
– Aston Martin Racing made it three different manufacturers in the top three places. Ross Gunn took the No.98 Vantage to a best time of 1:38.949, the young Briton teaming this year with Paul Dalla Lana and long-time factory driver Darren Turner
– Fourth in class was the No.54 AF Corse Ferrari of Francesco Castellacci, Giancarlo Fisichella and Thomas Flohr. 0.098s separated the Italian car from the first of the Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsches, Thomas Preining setting the fastest time for this entry

The third and final Free Practice session will take place tomorrow at 09h20 local time with Qualifying to follow in the afternoon.

Quotes

Mike Conway (TS050 HYBRID #7): “We didn’t get as much running as we would like. The car balance feels okay but with the success handicap we are behind the sister car, as expected. There’s also tough competition from Rebellion and Ginetta as well; the race pace looks very close so it’s going to be an interesting race. We need to execute well and stay out of trouble."

Kamui Kobayashi (TS050 HYBRID #7): “I didn’t drive so much today but I could experience the success handicap and the effect is quite severe. It will be difficult to fight with the sister car and I think it’s going to be a very tough race for us. There is simply less power due to the success handicap and it makes quite a big difference. We need to manage it and do our best to get the maximum from this weekend."

Jose María López (TS050 HYBRID #7): “It wasn’t an easy day on our car so we have some work to do to get ready for the race. We expected a tough challenge here for our home race and it looks like it will be difficult. But it’s great to be here again in Japan and we are determined to give our home fans a good result to reward them for their fantastic support."

Sebastien Buemi (TS050 HYBRID #8): “We had a pretty positive day. We experienced the success handicap for the first time and tried to optimise the car as much as we can. We cannot use all the data from last year which meant we had plenty of work to do so it was nice to have a clean day with no rain. Now we have a lot of data to go through to be ready for the rest of the weekend."

Kazuki Nakajima (TS050 HYBRID #8): “We have been working hard on the car in terms of set-up and systems. It’s tricky because our two cars have different energy levels due to the handicap system. We have less fuel and boost compared to Silverstone and this significantly changes the balance of the car; we need to prepare new set-ups for the energy allocation which is complicated, but I think we made a good start."

Brendon Hartley (TS050 HYBRID #8): “It was a good day and we got through our programme efficiently. It’s nice to be back in Fuji, particularly as a TOYOTA driver in Japan for the first time. We already saw plenty of TOYOTA GAZOO Racing fans today and we really feel their support. We finished both sessions as fastest but it looks very tight now thanks to the success handicap."

Practice 1

POS CLASS DRIVER CAR TIME GAP LAPS
1 LMP1 S.Buemi, K.Nakajima, B.Hartley Toyota 1m27.373s 49
2 LMP1 B.Senna, G.Menezes, N.Nato Rebellion/Gibson 1m27.659s 0.286s 41
3 LMP1 M.Conway, K.Kobayashi, J.M.Lopez Toyota 1m27.790s 0.417s 24
4 LMP1 L.Ghiotto, B.Hanley, E.Orudzhev Ginetta/AER 1m28.449s 1.076s 7
5 LMP1 C.Robertson, M.Simpson, G.Smith Ginetta/AER 1m28.712s 1.339s 8
6 LMP2 M.Patterson, K.Yamashita, A.Fjordbach ORECA/Gibson 1m29.624s 2.251s 34
7 LMP2 F.van Eerd, G.van der Garde, N.de Vries ORECA/Gibson 1m30.382s 3.009s 49
8 LMP2 N.Lapierre, A.Borga, A.Coigny ORECA/Gibson 1m30.814s 3.441s 39
9 LMP2 T.Laurent, A.Negrao, P.Ragues Alpine/Gibson 1m31.025s 3.652s 39
10 LMP2 R.Gonzalez, A.F.da Costa, A.Davidson ORECA/Gibson 1m31.141s 3.768s 45
11 LMP2 P.Hanson, F.Albuquerque, O.Jarvis ORECA/Gibson 1m31.398s 4.025s 34
12 LMP2 H-Pin Tung, G.Aubry, W.Stevens ORECA/Gibson 1m31.805s 4.432s 40
13 LMP2 R.Lacorte, A.Belicchi, G.Sernagiotto Dallara/Gibson 1m32.491s 5.118s 34
14 GTE Pro G.Bruni, R.Lietz Porsche 1m38.315s 10.942s 38
15 GTE Pro M.Christensen, K.Estre Porsche 1m38.419s 11.046s 38
16 GTE Pro D.Rigon, M.Molina Ferrari 1m38.707s 11.334s 41
17 GTE Pro M.Sorensen, N.Thiim Aston Martin 1m38.738s 11.365s 50
18 GTE Pro J.Calado, A.P.Guidi Ferrari 1m38.825s 11.452s 40
19 GTE Am S.Yoluc, C.Eastwood, J.Adam Aston Martin 1m39.010s 11.637s 43
20 GTE Am M.Ishikawa, O.Beretta, K.Cozzolino Ferrari 1m39.039s 11.666s 42
21 GTE Pro A.Lynn, M.Martin Aston Martin 1m39.069s 11.696s 47
22 GTE Am M.Wainwright, A.Watson, B.Barker Porsche 1m39.351s 11.978s 46
23 GTE Am E.Perfetti, D.H.Hansson, M.Cairoli Porsche 1m39.542s 12.169s 37
24 GTE Am S.Hoshino, A.De Leener, T.Preining Porsche 1m39.576s 12.203s 44
25 GTE Am C.Ried, R.Pera, M.Campbell Porsche 1m39.616s 12.243s 40
26 GTE Am T.Flohr, F.Castellacci, G.Fisichella Ferrari 1m39.618s 12.245s 45
27 GTE Am F.Perrodo, E.Collard, N.Nielsen Ferrari 1m39.663s 12.290s 42
28 GTE Am P.D.Lana, D.Turner, R.Gunn Aston Martin 1m39.761s 12.388s 47
29 GTE Am B.Keating, F.Fraga, J.Bleekemolen Porsche 1m39.942s 12.569s 43
30 GTE Am B.Grimes, J.Mowlem, C.Hollings Ferrari 1m40.678s 13.305s 35

Practice 2

POS CLASS DRIVER CAR TIME GAP LAPS
1 LMP1 S.Buemi, K.Nakajima, B.Hartley Toyota 1m25.623s 49
2 LMP1 B.Senna, G.Menezes, N.Nato Rebellion/Gibson 1m27.042s 1.419s 42
3 LMP1 L.Ghiotto, B.Hanley, E.Orudzhev Ginetta/AER 1m27.602s 1.979s 30
4 LMP1 C.Robertson, M.Simpson, G.Smith Ginetta/AER 1m28.062s 2.439s 23
5 LMP1 M.Conway, K.Kobayashi, J.M.Lopez Toyota 1m28.171s 2.548s 34
6 LMP2 R.Gonzalez, A.F.da Costa, A.Davidson ORECA/Gibson 1m29.633s 4.010s 50
7 LMP2 M.Patterson, K.Yamashita, A.Fjordbach ORECA/Gibson 1m30.163s 4.540s 37
8 LMP2 P.Hanson, F.Albuquerque, O.Jarvis ORECA/Gibson 1m30.205s 4.582s 39
9 LMP2 N.Lapierre, A.Borga, A.Coigny ORECA/Gibson 1m30.346s 4.723s 48
10 LMP2 F.van Eerd, G.van der Garde, N.de Vries ORECA/Gibson 1m30.462s 4.839s 49
11 LMP2 T.Laurent, A.Negrao, P.Ragues Alpine/Gibson 1m30.833s 5.210s 42
12 LMP2 H-Pin Tung, G.Aubry, W.Stevens ORECA/Gibson 1m31.118s 5.495s 51
13 LMP2 R.Lacorte, A.Belicchi, G.Sernagiotto Dallara/Gibson 1m31.836s 6.213s 37
14 GTE Pro M.Christensen, K.Estre Porsche 1m38.214s 12.591s 46
15 GTE Pro J.Calado, A.P.Guidi Ferrari 1m38.252s 12.629s 49
16 GTE Pro G.Bruni, R.Lietz Porsche 1m38.315s 12.692s 49
17 GTE Pro A.Lynn, M.Martin Aston Martin 1m38.451s 12.828s 49
18 GTE Am S.Yoluc, C.Eastwood, J.Adam Aston Martin 1m38.719s 13.096s 46
19 GTE Pro M.Sorensen, N.Thiim Aston Martin 1m38.728s 13.105s 48
20 GTE Pro D.Rigon, M.Molina Ferrari 1m38.909s 13.286s 40
21 GTE Am E.Perfetti, D.H.Hansson, M.Cairoli Porsche 1m38.916s 13.293s 41
22 GTE Am P.D.Lana, D.Turner, R.Gunn Aston Martin 1m38.949s 13.326s 47
23 GTE Am T.Flohr, F.Castellacci, G.Fisichella Ferrari 1m38.953s 13.330s 48
24 GTE Am S.Hoshino, A.De Leener, T.Preining Porsche 1m39.051s 13.428s 45
25 GTE Am C.Ried, R.Pera, M.Campbell Porsche 1m39.071s 13.448s 49
26 GTE Am B.Keating, F.Fraga, J.Bleekemolen Porsche 1m39.127s 13.504s 45
27 GTE Am F.Perrodo, E.Collard, N.Nielsen Ferrari 1m39.337s 13.714s 46
28 GTE Am M.Ishikawa, O.Beretta, K.Cozzolino Ferrari 1m39.405s 13.782s 47
29 GTE Am M.Wainwright, A.Watson, B.Barker Porsche 1m39.676s 14.053s 41
30 GTE Am B.Grimes, J.Mowlem, C.Hollings Ferrari 1m40.512s 14.889s 48

Leave a Reply