WEC Sebring: Late Kazuki Nakajima lap puts Toyota top in practice
|By Gary Watkins||Wednesday, March 13th 2019, 21:07 GMT|
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.
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
|1||LMP1||S.Buemi, K.Nakajima, F.Alonso||Toyota Gazoo Racing||1m41.957ss||1m41.957s||41|
|2||LMP1||M.Conway, K.Kobayashi, J.M.Lopez||Toyota Gazoo Racing||1m42.506ss||0.549s||47|
|3||LMP1||N.Jani, M.Beche, B.Senna||Rebellion Racing||1m43.552ss||1.595s||21|
|4||LMP1||N.Berthon, T.Laurent, G.Menezes||Rebellion Racing||1m43.664ss||1.707s||34|
|5||LMP1||M.Aleshin, V.Petrov, B.Hartley||SMP Racing||1m43.843ss||1.886s||33|
|6||LMP1||S.Sarrazin, E.Orudzhev, S.Sirotkin||SMP Racing||1m44.300ss||2.343s||33|
|7||LMP1||H.Hedman, B.Hanley, R.van der Zande||DragonSpeed||1m45.965ss||4.008s||17|
|8||LMP2||F.van Eerd, G.van der Garde, N.de Vries||Racing Team Nederland||1m47.835ss||5.878s||36|
|9||LMP2||N.Lapierre, A.Negrao, P.Thiriet||Signatech Alpine Matmut||1m48.346ss||6.389s||37|
|10||LMP2||F.Perrodo, M.Vaxiviere, L.Duval||TDS Racing||1m48.786ss||6.829s||32|
|11||LMP2||D.H.Hansson, J.King, W.Stevens||Jackie Chan DC Racing||1m49.374ss||7.417s||32|
|12||LMP2||H-Pin Tung, G.Aubry, S.Richelmi||Jackie Chan DC Racing||1m49.506ss||7.549s||35|
|13||LMP2||R.Gonzalez, P.Maldonado, A.Davidson||DragonSpeed||1m49.625ss||7.668s||37|
|14||LMP2||E.Creed, R.Ricci, G.Jeannette||Larbre Competition||1m51.844ss||9.887s||31|
|15||GTE Pro||A.Lynn, M.Martin||Aston Martin Racing||1m58.044ss||16.087s||30|
|16||GTE Pro||A.Priaulx, H.Tincknell, J.Bomarito||Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK||1m58.356ss||16.399s||28|
|17||GTE Pro||R.Lietz, G.Bruni||Porsche GT Team||1m58.577ss||16.620s||11|
|18||GTE Pro||M.Christensen, K.Estre||Porsche GT Team||1m58.594ss||16.637s||3|
|19||GTE Pro||M.Sorensen, N.Thiim, D.Turner||Aston Martin Racing||1m58.631ss||16.674s||31|
|20||GTE Pro||S.Mucke, O.Pla, B.Johnson||Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK||1m58.682ss||16.725s||30|
|21||GTE Pro||A.Farfus, A.F.da Costa, B.Spengler||BMW Team MTEK||1m58.757ss||16.800s||34|
|22||GTE Pro||M.Tomczyk, N.Catsburg, A.Sims||BMW Team MTEK||1m58.823ss||16.866s||27|
|23||GTE Pro||A.P.Guidi, J.Calado, D.Serra||AF Corse||1m58.823ss||16.866s||31|
|24||GTE Pro||J.Magnussen, A.Garcia, M.Rockenfeller||Corvette Racing||1m58.937ss||16.980s||23|
|25||GTE Pro||D.Rigon, S.Bird, M.Molina||AF Corse||1m59.448ss||17.491s||36|
|26||GTE Am||P.D.Lana, P.Lamy, M.Lauda||Aston Martin Racing||2m00.043ss||18.086s||35|
|27||GTE Am||G.Roda, G.Roda, M.Cairoli||Dempsey-Proton Racing||2m00.052ss||18.095s||32|
|28||GTE Am||C.Ried, J.Andlauer, M.Campbell||Dempsey-Proton Racing||2m00.079ss||18.122s||36|
|29||GTE Am||L.P.-Companc, M.Cressoni, M.Griffin||Clearwater Racing||2m00.082ss||18.125s||32|
|30||GTE Am||S.Yoluc, J.Adam, C.Eastwood||TF Sport||2m00.088ss||18.131s||36|
|31||GTE Am||T.Flohr, F.Castellacci, G.Fisichella||Spirit of Race||2m00.256ss||18.299s||37|
|32||GTE Am||M.Ishikawa, O.Beretta, E.Cheever||MR Racing||2m00.314ss||18.357s||33|
|33||GTE Am||M.Wainwright, B.Barker, T.Preining||Gulf Racing||2m00.702ss||18.745s||33|
|34||GTE Am||J.Bergmeister, P.Lindsey, E.Perfetti||Team Project 1||-||-||0|