FP3: Kobayashi claims fastest laps so far as Lopez later crashes No. 7 Toyota
Kamui Kobayashi set the best lap of the week so far in the final free practice session at the Sebring International Raceway.
But the No.7 Toyota GR010 Hybrid Hypercar ended the session with an accident that brought out a red flag and suffered damage that will require attention before the crucial qualifying sessions later today.
JOTA again paced LMP2 as Pietro Fittipaldi continued his strong form in the No.28 Oreca-Gibson.
In LMGTE Am Aston Martin hit the front as Nicki Thiim claimed the best time in an incredibly close session that saw the top six covered by just 0.180s!
Free Practice 3 @TGR_WEC on top in final practice, but causes red flag in final stages.
Read the full report on https://t.co/PGCJzsDCLH#WEC #1000MSebring pic.twitter.com/OgZmb5ZT8D
— FIA World Endurance Championship (@FIAWEC) March 16, 2023
Below are the main headlines from FP3:
- Kamui Kobayashi reprises his FP2 position as top dog in FP3 as the No.7 Toyota Gazoo Racing GR010 Hybrid Hypercar sets the best lap of the week so far.
- A 1m45.783s lap from the Japanese ace sees Toyota stamp authority on the final free practice session and lap 1.8s faster than last years pole time
- Kobayashi’s flyer is 0.6s quicker than the sister No.8 Toyota GR010 Hybrid Hypercar which sets a 1m46.392s lap set by Brendon Hartley
- ·But the No.7 Toyota ends the session in the T17 barriers as Jose-Maria Lopez damages car against tyre-wall. Incident causes red flag and early end to the session
- Kobayashi earlier peaked with a 1m46.954s lap, 0.318s ahead of No.8 Toyota
- Antonio Fuoco sets a third best lap time of 1m46.777s in the all-new No.50 Ferrari AF Corse 499 Hypercar
- But teammate Nicklas Nielsen crashes just before red flag comes out and nudges the barriers, lightly damaging the Ferrari 499P
- Cadillac place fourth as Alex Lynn sets a 1m47.155s best in new Cadillac V-Series.R
- Cadillac forced to sit out period of the session as penalty for Richard Westbrook’s contact with No.88 Dempsey Proton Porsche in FP2 yesterday
- Mikkel Jensen places the No.93 Peugeot TotalEnergies 9X8 in fifth as team continues to make progress on first Sebring visit
- Porsche Penske end session sixth as late best time by Michael Christensen of 1m48.303
- The No.51 Ferrari AF Corse takes seventh as Alessandro Pier Guidi posts a 1m48.425s the times for the Prancing Horse
- Laurens Vanthoor sees Porsche Penske also place eighth as the No.6 Porsche 963 Hypercar heads the No.94 Peugeot 9X8 with Loic Duval peaking with a best of 1m48.602s for ninth in Hypercar
- A 1m51.208s best from Romain Dumas sees Glickenhaus round out the top 10
- Floyd Vanwall endure troubled session as Tom Dillmann is forced to stop the car on out lap from pits at beginning of the session
- Pietro Fittipaldi again takes JOTA to the top of the LMP2 category with a best lap of 1m50.128s
- He sets best laps which proves to be just under 0.1s ahead of the No.22 United Autosports Oreca-Gibson
- Phil Hanson again proves to be the fastest in the British entered car he shares with Frederick Lubin and Filipe Albuquerque
- Hertz Team JOTA also third as Yifei Ye sets lap of 1m50.356s ahead of the second United Autosports machine which is just 0.035s behind Ye’s best
- A 1m50.030s lap by Nicki Thiim sees the Northwest AMR squad top in the LMGTE Am category
- GR Racing are second as Riccardo Pera laps in 1m59.073s in close battle for top honours
- Daniel Serra continues great form with Kessel Racing Ferrari as he places second just 0.009s adrift of Pera’s best lap
- Top three covered by a mere 0.054s, while the top six separated by just 0.180s
The qualifying sessions are due to take place at 18h30 local time this evening (Thursday).
Find full results HERE.
Follow the latest track action on the official WEC app.