Prologue Day 2: Makowiecki stars for Porsche as D’Station sets pace in LMGT3

Frederic Makowiecki put the No.5 Penske Motorsport on top of both Tuesday’s morning and afternoon test sessions in Qatar as the 2024 WEC Prologue test came to a close.

The experienced Frenchman claimed a 1m41.223 lap aboard the No. 5 Porsche 963 in the morning running, a time that was a tiny 0.037s faster than Peugeot TotalEnergies driver Stoffel Vandoorne.

Vandoorne, in the No. 94 Peugeot 9X8, and Jean-Eric Vergne in the sister No. 93 car were one-two for the French manufacturer for the first half of the three hour morning running before Makowiecki set his flying lap.

Makowiecki’s stablemate Kevin Estre in the No.6 Porsche Penske 963 Hybrid Hypercar set the third best time on a 1m41:420, while Vergne ultimately placed fourth at the chequered flag.

The No. 2 Cadillac V-Series.R, in which Sebastien Bourdais joins Alex Lynn and Earl Bamber this week, set a time of 1m41.652s with the French veteran achieving the time.

Rounding out the top six was the fastest of the reigning champions Toyota GR010 Hybrids, as the No. 7 machine posted a 1m41.789 laps with team new boy Nyck de Vries at the wheel.

Two red flags flew in this session for track sweeping, while Alpine Endurance Team’s No. 35 car suffered a technical failure halfway through the session with  Charles Milesi at the wheel of the Mecachrome-powered Alpine A424.

Makowiecki bettered his time earlier in the day during the afternoon session as he stopped the clocks on a 1m40.404s best. This was 0.054s quicker than the Alex Lynn driven Cadillac V-Series.R Hypercar which took the second fastest lap (combined of the day).

Third in the afternoon running was the new No.83 Ferrari AF Corse 499P challenger, as Yifei Ye peaked on a best of 1m40.749s.

In the LMGT3 class, the No. 777 D’station Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3 Evo of Marco Sorensen flew to the best time of 1m54.791.

That lap beat Davide Rigon in the No. 54 AF Corse Ferrari 296 GT3 by a slender 0.153 seconds, while Daniel Juncadella was third-fastest in the No. 82 TF Sport Chevrolet Corvette Z06 GT3.R.

The afternoon session witnessed WEC rookie Erwan Bastard set a class leading time of 1m54.778s to keep the D’Station Aston-Martin at the top. That time was 0.085s slower than Sorensen’s earlier time.

The No.54 Vista AF Corse car again placed second with Francesco Castellacci setting the time. The Italian’s pace was 0.2s faster than the Akkodis ASP Lexus driven by WEC newcomer Kelvin van der Linde.

Race Timetable

Thursday 29 February

Free Practice 1:  12:20 – 13:50

Free Practice 2: 17:30 – 19:00

Friday 1 March

Free Practice 3: 11:00 – 12:00

Qualifying: 16:00

Saturday 2 March

Race: 11:00 – 21:00