24 Hours of Le Mans Test Day: Alonso on top for Toyota!
Fernando Alonso got his first 24 Hours of Le Mans off to a great start by setting the fastest lap of the day at the official test day ahead of the race on the 16/17 June, round 2 of the WEC Super Season.
The Spaniard set a 3:19.066 lap around the 13.6km Circuit des 24 Heures in the No.8 Toyota TS050 HYBRID, finishing the day 0.6 seconds ahead of the nearest LMP1 rival. The two Toyotas were split by the No.3 Rebellion Racing R13-Gibson which finished second quickest, with Mathias Beche setting a 3:19.680, 0.328s ahead of the No.7 Toyota of Kamui Kobayashi.
The LMGTE Pro category was hard fought with Ford leading the way at the end of the morning session. However it was Porsche who came out on top at the end of the day with Patrick Pilet posting a 3:52.551 just before the session prematurely due to a red flag less than two minutes before the chequered flag was due to be waved.
The pink No.93 Porsche 911 RSR of Pilet was just 0.096s ahead of the sister car, the No.91 911 of Gianmaria Bruni, which was the quickest of the cars racing in the WEC and fighting for the FIA world title. The four Ford GTs filled the next four slots on the time sheets with the No.67 Ford GT third quickest with Andy Priaulx setting a 3:53.008 lap.
In LMP2 it was the No.31 DragonSpeed ORECA which topped the timesheets with Nathanael Berthon who set the 3:55.970 lap to put the American team ahead of the 19 other class rivals on the grid. The second placed car, the No.48 IDEC Sport ORECA of Paul Loup Chatin, was just 0.024s behind, with the No.26 G-Drive Racing entry in third.
The LMGTE Am category was also headed by a Porsche, with the No.77 Dempsey-Proton Racing 911 RSR posting a 3:55.970 lap with Julien Andlauer at the wheel, 0.299s ahead of the No.54 Spirit of Race Ferrari 488 GTE of Giancarlo Fisichella.
The two test sessions were interrupted by the red flag several times. Some cars were damaged and the safety barriers had to be repaired. Fortunately none of the drivers were injured.
The teams now have one week before the 86th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans gets underway with Scrutineering in the centre of Le Mans on Sunday 10th and Monday 11th June. Track action begins on Wednesday 13th June with the race beginning at 15h00 on Saturday 16th June.
CLICK HERE for the full results from the test.