The No. 48 Murphy Prototypes Oreca 03R Nissan was quickest overall on the first day of European Le Mans Series testing at Paul Ricard.
Young French star Nathanaël Berthon put the car on top for the entire day in the very first session on Monday morning, posting a 1:48.155.
Following Berthon was the No. 41 Gibson 015S Nissan of Jon Lancaster, whose time of a 1:48.955 in the afternoon session was good enough to put him second on the board.
The night session saw Harry Tincknell, a recent signee to Nissan’s now belated LMP1 program, post a 1:48.967 in his No. 38 Gibson 015S Nissan for third place.
SMP Racing’s Mikhail Aleshin ended up fourth fastest in the No. 37 Oreca 03R Nissan, setting a 1:49.090 in the night session. The Russian squad’s BR01 chassis has yet to arrive on circuit.
The only LMP3 car at Paul Ricard was the No. 2 Team LNT Ginetta Nissan, with Michael Simpson setting the quickest time out of the five drivers on Monday with a 1:59.768.
Ferrari started at Paul Ricard where they left off at Estoril last year, with all five GTE wins going to the ‘Prancing Horse’. Alessandro Pier Guidi took the No. 56 AT Racing Ferrari F458 Italia to the top spot in class with a 1:56.980 in the afternoon session.
In second place, Adam Carroll was able to pedal his No. 86 Gulf Racing UK Porsche 911 RSR to a 1:57.926.
Rounding out the top three in GTE was Raffaele Giammaria, who put his No. 61 AF Corse Ferrari F458 Italia in third, courtesy of a strong 1:58.210 in the morning session.
AF Corse held a monopoly on GTC in the first day of ELMS testing, with the No. 62 Ferrari F458 Italia GT3 of Francesco Castellacci holding down the point with a 1:58.148, eclipsing the No. 63 of Giorgio Roda and the No. 64 of Mads Rasmussen by 0.064 and 0.065 seconds, respectively.
Testing will continue tomorrow with a four hour practice session beginning at 9 a.m., followed by a three hour session that will start at 2 p.m.