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European Le Mans Series

AVF Dallara Leads Day 1 of Paul Ricard Test

ELMS rookie Chaves tops opening day of pre-season running…

Photo: Olivier Beroud

The AVF by Adrian Valles Dallara P217 Gibson led the opening day of European Le Mans Series testing at Paul Ricard.

Henrique Chaves turned in the fastest lap of 1:41.018 during Monday’s third and final session.

The 21-year-old from Portugal, who is making his sports car debut this year, is sharing the Spanish squad’s Dallara with fellow endurance rookie Konstantin Tereschenko.

Chaves’ time was 0.353 seconds quicker than Ben Hanley, who was behind the wheel of the DragonSpeed-entered Oreca 07 Gibson.

Hanley’s team-mate Nicolas Lapierre set the benchmark during the second session with a 1:42.071 that he subsequently improved on later in the day.

Third in the timesheets at the end of day one was the No. 24 Racing Engineering Oreca driven by ex-Formula 2 racer Norman Nato, while the No. 28 IDEC Sport Racing Oreca of Paul Lafargue was fourth.

Jean-Eric Vergne rounded out the top five in the Oreca entered by G-Drive Racing.

Rainy conditions in the morning prevented most cars from clocking their fastest laps until the circuit dried up in the afternoon.

Fastest in the rain-affected opening practice was Tristan Gommendy in the No. 39 Graff Oreca with a time of 1:44.012.

During the wet-weather spell, Alex Toril (No. 8 DKR Engineering Norma M30 Nissan) and Fabio Babini (No. 80 Ebimotors Porsche 911 RSR) both had off-track moments that brought out the red flags.

After repairs, the DKR Norma returned to action and posted the best time in the LMP3 category – a 1:51.363 – during the evening run.

GTE was headed by the No. 88 Proton Competition Porsche 911 RSR with Gianluca Roda at the controls.

Two more  sessions are booked for the final day of testing tomorrow, with the first starting at 09 a.m. local time.

RESULTS: Session 1
RESULTS: Session 2
RESULTS: Session 3

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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