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WEC Sebring: Late Kazuki Nakajima lap puts Toyota top in practice

Toyota WEC Sebring 2019

Kazuki Nakajima went fastest right at the end of opening free practice for this week's Sebring World Endurance Championship race, as Toyota dominated the times.

The Japanese driver posted a 1m41.957s lap with only a couple of minutes left on the clock of aboard the #8 Toyota TS050 HYBRID to better the 1m42.506s set by Jose Maria Lopez early on.

Lopez and Sebastien Buemi did the lion's share of the running in the two Toyotas after missing last weekend's official pre-race test because they were on ABB FIA Formula E duty in Hong Kong.

Nakajima's lap compared with the 1m41.152s with which Mike Conway topped the times during the two days of testing at the weekend.

The two Rebellion-Gibson R-13s ended up third and fourth in the times.

Gustavo Menezes initially led the chase of the Toyotas with a 1m43.664s in the team's #3 entry, before Mathias Beche bettered it with 1m43.552s with 20 minutes remaining.

SMP Racing took fifth and sixth in the times with its pair of BR Engineering BR1s, team newcomer Brendon Hartley leading the way with a 1m43.483s lap.

Racing Team Nederland's Dallara-Gibson P217, pictured below, was quickest in LMP2 courtesy of a 1m47.835s from Nyck de Vries.

The lap put him half a second up on Andre Negrao's 1m48.346s time in the Signatech Alpine ORECA-Gibson 07.

That gave Michelin a one-two in the session after Signatech's switch from Dunlop tyres for this race.

Matthieu Vaxiviere was third fastest in the TDS Racing ORECA on Dunlops with a 1m48.786s.

Racing Team Nederland WEC Sebring 2019

Maxime Martin set the pace for Aston Martin in the GTE Pro class.

The Belgian posted a 1m58.044s in his Aston Martin Vantage GTE to go faster than Harry Tincknell's 1m58.356s set aboard the best of the Ganassi Ford GTs early in the session.

The two factory Porsche 911 RSRs ended up third and fourth fastest in the hands of Richard Lietz and Kevin Estre respectively.

Lietz's 1m58.577s was less than two hundredths quicker than Estre managed in the sister car.

Marco Sorensen took fifth in the second Aston ahead of Ford's Stefan Mucke and the two MTEK BMW GTEs.

Pedro Lamy was fastest in GTE Am for Aston Martin with a time just nine thousandths quicker than Dempsey-Proton Porsche driver Matteo Cairoli.

A red flag was thrown with a little over half an hour remaining, for what was believed to be a crash involving Dempsey-Proton driver Gianluca Roda.

However, it turned out Roda had requested medical assistance from the car after an off-track moment, leading race control to stop the session unnecessarily.

The Project 1 GTE Am team took delivery this morning of a new Porsche 911 RSR to replace the car seriously damaged by fire in the test, but did not take to the track in FP1.

The US round of the WEC round takes place on Friday evening ahead of Saturday's Sebring 12 Hours IMSA SportsCar Championship event.

Free practice one result

PosClassDriverTeamTimeGapLaps
1LMP1S.Buemi, K.Nakajima, F.AlonsoToyota Gazoo Racing1m41.957ss1m41.957s41
2LMP1M.Conway, K.Kobayashi, J.M.LopezToyota Gazoo Racing1m42.506ss0.549s47
3LMP1N.Jani, M.Beche, B.SennaRebellion Racing1m43.552ss1.595s21
4LMP1N.Berthon, T.Laurent, G.MenezesRebellion Racing1m43.664ss1.707s34
5LMP1M.Aleshin, V.Petrov, B.HartleySMP Racing1m43.843ss1.886s33
6LMP1S.Sarrazin, E.Orudzhev, S.SirotkinSMP Racing1m44.300ss2.343s33
7LMP1H.Hedman, B.Hanley, R.van der ZandeDragonSpeed1m45.965ss4.008s17
8LMP2F.van Eerd, G.van der Garde, N.de VriesRacing Team Nederland1m47.835ss5.878s36
9LMP2N.Lapierre, A.Negrao, P.ThirietSignatech Alpine Matmut1m48.346ss6.389s37
10LMP2F.Perrodo, M.Vaxiviere, L.DuvalTDS Racing1m48.786ss6.829s32
11LMP2D.H.Hansson, J.King, W.StevensJackie Chan DC Racing1m49.374ss7.417s32
12LMP2H-Pin Tung, G.Aubry, S.RichelmiJackie Chan DC Racing1m49.506ss7.549s35
13LMP2R.Gonzalez, P.Maldonado, A.DavidsonDragonSpeed1m49.625ss7.668s37
14LMP2E.Creed, R.Ricci, G.JeannetteLarbre Competition1m51.844ss9.887s31
15GTE ProA.Lynn, M.MartinAston Martin Racing1m58.044ss16.087s30
16GTE ProA.Priaulx, H.Tincknell, J.BomaritoFord Chip Ganassi Team UK1m58.356ss16.399s28
17GTE ProR.Lietz, G.BruniPorsche GT Team1m58.577ss16.620s11
18GTE ProM.Christensen, K.EstrePorsche GT Team1m58.594ss16.637s3
19GTE ProM.Sorensen, N.Thiim, D.TurnerAston Martin Racing1m58.631ss16.674s31
20GTE ProS.Mucke, O.Pla, B.JohnsonFord Chip Ganassi Team UK1m58.682ss16.725s30
21GTE ProA.Farfus, A.F.da Costa, B.SpenglerBMW Team MTEK1m58.757ss16.800s34
22GTE ProM.Tomczyk, N.Catsburg, A.SimsBMW Team MTEK1m58.823ss16.866s27
23GTE ProA.P.Guidi, J.Calado, D.SerraAF Corse1m58.823ss16.866s31
24GTE ProJ.Magnussen, A.Garcia, M.RockenfellerCorvette Racing1m58.937ss16.980s23
25GTE ProD.Rigon, S.Bird, M.MolinaAF Corse1m59.448ss17.491s36
26GTE AmP.D.Lana, P.Lamy, M.LaudaAston Martin Racing2m00.043ss18.086s35
27GTE AmG.Roda, G.Roda, M.CairoliDempsey-Proton Racing2m00.052ss18.095s32
28GTE AmC.Ried, J.Andlauer, M.CampbellDempsey-Proton Racing2m00.079ss18.122s36
29GTE AmL.P.-Companc, M.Cressoni, M.GriffinClearwater Racing2m00.082ss18.125s32
30GTE AmS.Yoluc, J.Adam, C.EastwoodTF Sport2m00.088ss18.131s36
31GTE AmT.Flohr, F.Castellacci, G.FisichellaSpirit of Race2m00.256ss18.299s37
32GTE AmM.Ishikawa, O.Beretta, E.CheeverMR Racing2m00.314ss18.357s33
33GTE AmM.Wainwright, B.Barker, T.PreiningGulf Racing2m00.702ss18.745s33
34GTE AmJ.Bergmeister, P.Lindsey, E.PerfettiTeam Project 1--0
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