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WEC Silverstone: Buemi puts Toyota on top in first practice

Toyota, WEC, Silverstone

Toyota led the way in the opening practice session of the 2017 World Endurance Championship at Silverstone, beating LMP1 rival Porsche by just under eight tenths of a second.

The quickest time of the 90 minutes came courtesy of Sebastien Buemi early on, the Swiss driver getting his first official running of the year in Toyota's TS050 HYBRID, after skipping the Monza test to race in Formula E's clashing Mexico City ePrix.

Why Toyota can make up for its heartbreak in 2017

Buemi's benchmark was a 1m40.104s, putting the #8 Toyota - running in high-downforce configuration this weekend - 0.781 seconds clear of the best of the Porsches, the #2 919 Hybrid of Brendon Hartley.

Despite running with a Le Mans 24 Hours-spec low downforce aero kit this weekend, Hartley managed to edge the second Toyota, the #7 of Mike Conway, by 0.075s to end up second fastest.

Completing the four manufacturer LMP1 cars was the #1 Porsche, which set a best time of 1m41.335s in the hands of Nick Tandy, 1.231s off the pace established by Buemi.

The ByKolles ENSO CLM P1/01 - now without Robert Kubica - managed to turn 31 laps after a disastrous Prologue, the quickest of those being a 1m48.224s, slower than all-bar one LMP2 runner.

In LMP2, it was the #13 Rebellion ORECA that started the year on top, with an early effort of 1m45.913s from Mathias Beche enough to lead the way.

Second was the #28 TDS Racing car of Matthieu Vaxiviere, 0.367s slower, while third was the #37 Jota-run DC Racing entry with Alex Brundle at the wheel.

Both GTE classes were led by Aston Martin, with Richie Stanaway putting the #95 Vantage at the head of the standings in the Pro division with a best time of 1m59.110s.

The #98 Am class car of Pedro Lamy was second-best overall of the GTE cars with a 1m59.342s, 0.150s clear of the next-best Pro car, the #66 Ford of Billy Johnson.

It was the #66 car that was responsible for causing the first Full Course Yellow of the season, however, as Stefan Mucke ground to a halt just before the Wellington Straight with around 30 minutes remaining.

Andy Priaulx made it two Fords in the top three with a time of 1m59.500s in the sister #67 car, just 0.017s ahead of the best of the new mid-engined Porsches, the #91 car.

Ferrari ended up at the bottom of the GTE Pro pile in seventh and eighth, newcomer Alessandro Pier Guidi setting the Italian marque's best time of 2m00.181s in the #51 488 GTE.

PRACTICE ONE RESULTS:

PosClassDriverTeamCarTimeGapLaps
1LMP1S.Buemi, A.Davidson, K.NakajimaToyota Gazoo RacingToyota1m40.104s-36
2LMP1T.Bernhard, E.Bamber, B.HartleyPorsche LMP TeamPorsche1m40.885s0.781s35
3LMP1M.Conway, K.Kobayashi, J.M.LopezToyota Gazoo RacingToyota1m40.960s0.856s33
4LMP1N.Jani, A.Lotterer, N.TandyPorsche LMP TeamPorsche1m41.335s1.231s39
5LMP2M.Beche, D.H.Hansson, N.Piquet Jr.Vaillante RebellionORECA/Gibson1m45.913s5.809s31
6LMP2F.Perrodo, M.Vaxiviere, E.CollardTDS RacingORECA/Gibson1m46.138s6.034s38
7LMP2D.Cheng, A.Brundle, T.GommendyJackie Chan DC RacingORECA/Gibson1m46.505s6.401s36
8LMP2R.Rusinov, P.Thiriet, A.LynnG-Drive RacingORECA/Gibson1m46.689s6.585s40
9LMP2N.Lapierre, G.Menezes, M.RaoSignatech Alpine MatmutAlpine/Gibson1m46.826s6.722s26
10LMP2T.Graves, J.Hirschi, J-E.VergneCEFC Manor TRS RacingORECA/Gibson1m47.530s7.426s38
11LMP2H-Pin Tung, O.Jarvis, T.LaurentJackie Chan DC RacingORECA/Gibson1m47.690s7.586s29
12LMP2J.Canal, N.Prost, B.SennaVaillante RebellionORECA/Gibson1m47.960s7.856s38
13LMP1O.Webb, J.Rossiter, D.KraihamerByKOLLES Racing TeamENSO CLM/NISMO1m48.224s8.120s31
14LMP2R.Gonzalez, S.Trummer, V.PetrovCEFC Manor TRS RacingORECA/Gibson1m49.249s9.145s19
15GTE ProN.Thiim, M.Sorensen, R.StanawayAston Martin RacingAston Martin1m59.110s19.006s39
16GTE AmP.D.Lana, P.Lamy, M.LaudaAston Martin RacingAston Martin1m59.342s19.238s39
17GTE ProS.Mucke, O.Pla, B.JohnsonFord Chip Ganassi Team UKFord1m59.492s19.388s32
18GTE ProA.Priaulx, H.Tincknell, P.DeraniFord Chip Ganassi Team UKFord1m59.500s19.396s36
19GTE ProR.Lietz, F.MakowieckiPorsche GT TeamPorsche1m59.517s19.413s32
20GTE ProM.Christensen, K.EstrePorsche GT TeamPorsche1m59.655s19.551s23
21GTE ProD.Turner, J.Adam, D.SerraAston Martin RacingAston Martin1m59.730s19.626s42
22GTE ProJ.Calado, A.P.GuidiAF CorseFerrari2m00.181s20.077s30
23GTE ProD.Rigon, S.BirdAF CorseFerrari2m00.271s20.167s39
24GTE AmM.Wainwright, B.Barker, N.FosterGulf RacingPorsche2m00.275s20.171s33
25GTE AmC.Ried, M.Cairoli, M.DienstDempsey-Proton RacingPorsche2m00.402s20.298s30
26GTE AmMok W.S., K.Sawa, M.GriffinClearwater RacingFerrari2m02.271s22.167s37
27GTE AmT.Flohr, F.Castellacci, M.MolinaSpirit of RaceFerrari2m02.310s22.206s36

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