Returnee Lapierre puts Toyota on top in last Monza WEC test session
|By Jamie Klein||Sunday, April 2nd 2017, 15:13 GMT|
Toyota returnee Nicolas Lapierre ensured the Japanese manufacturer finished the World Endurance Championship prologue test at Monza on top with a fast lap early in Sunday afternoon's session.
Lapierre, who will rejoin Toyota for the Spa and Le Mans 24 Hours WEC races this year, lapped the Italian circuit in a fastest time of 1m30.547s at the start of Sunday's final three-hour session in the #8 TS050 HYBRID.
That was some eight tenths faster than fellow Toyota driver Mike Conway had managed on Saturday, and nearly a full second ahead of the #7 Toyota's best time of Sunday afternoon - a 1m31.477s set by Kamui Kobayashi.
Japanese driver Kobayashi's time came just before the session was red-flagged, with Matt Rao going off and hitting the barriers at the first Lesmo in the #36 Signatech Alpine car during a late rain shower.
After a brief delay, the session resumed, but the wet surface meant no further improvements were made.
Porsche therefore ended the final session third- and fourth-fastest, with Nick Tandy putting the #1 919 Hybrid ahead of the sister #2 car with an early lap of 1m31.844s.
The #2 crew's best time was a 1m32.066s, set by 2015 WEC champion Timo Bernhard.
LMP2 was topped by the #38 JOTA Sport run-DC Racing ORECA of Ho-Pin Tung, who set a 1m36.448s - four tenths shy of Matthieu Vaxiviere's best effort in the #28 TDS car from earlier in the day.
Second was the #35 Signatech Alpine car of Nelson Panciatici, a little over a tenth behind, while Vitaly Petrov put the sole #24 Manor ORECA third in class, a further 0.031 seconds back.
Ford ended Porsche's domination of the GTE Pro category during the test, with the pair of Ganassi-run GTs making it a class one-two - albeit failing to better the German manufacturer's benchmark from Saturday.
Harry Tincknell set the pace on Sunday afternoon with a best effort of 1m47.530s in the #67 car, while Olivier Pla put the #66 entry second with a time only 0.042s slower.
The two mid-engined works 911 RSRs were next, the #91 heading the #92, while James Calado's #51 car headed up the Ferrari contingent in fifth.
Clearwater Racing set the quickest time in the GTE Am class, with Keita Sawa leading the way with a 1m50.271s in the #61 488 GTE.