New FIA WEC season gets underway with first test session
The 35 cars competing in the opening round of the 2021 FIA WEC took to the Spa-Francorchamps circuit this morning in sunny conditions for the first test session as part of the two-day Prologue.
There were three red flags during the session, the first for the No. 22 United Autosports USA LMP2 as Filipe Albuquerque spun his Oreca, the car needing to be recovered after becoming beached on a kerb.
There were two further incidents at the Raidillon section out on the circuit, the first was the TF Sport No. 33 LMGTE Am car which was driven by Ben Keating at the time. Keating was unharmed but the Aston Martin Vantage AMR took a substantial hit and is now back in the pits being repaired.
Shortly after, the No. 777 D’Station entry went off at the same section of the track – this time driven by Japan’s Satoshi Hoshino. The impact with the tyre wall meant the session was stopped in order to makes repairs ahead of the afternoon session which will now start at a revised time of 13h30 local time.
This morning marked the first time that the Toyota GR010 Hybrid Hypercars were seen out on track in the WEC, with the drivers of the No 7. and No. 8 sister cars getting to grips with the new Hypercar on its first outing in the WEC.
It was the No. 22 United Autosports USA entry that posted the quickest time of the session with a lap time of 2:04.908, 0.528s ahead of Racing Team Nederland. The No. 92 Porsche belonging to Kevin Estre and WEC returnee Neel Jani set the quickest time out of the LMGTE Pro entries, 0.2s ahead of the No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE Evo driven by James Calado.
In LMGTE Am, it was Cetilar Racing who set the fastest lap time – the Italian squad moving from LMP2 to the Am category for 2021 and driving a Ferrari 488 GTE Evo.
The afternoon test session will commence at 13h30 local time.