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European Le Mans Series

Signatech Alpine Tops First Practice at Paul Ricard

Alpine leads the way in opening practice at Paul Ricard…

Photo: ELMS

Photo: ELMS

Signatech Alpine led the way in the opening practice at Paul Ricard, as European Le Mans Series teams prepare for Sunday’s four-hour race.

The No. 36 Alpine A450 Nissan of Red Bull Ring winners Oliver Webb, Paul Loup Chatin and Nelson Panciatici topped the time charts with the latter posting a lap of 1:50.117, outpacing the No. 46 Thiriet by TDS Racing Ligier JS P2 of Pierre Thiriet, Ludovic Badey and Tristan Gommendy by 0.203s.

The Newblood By Morand Racing Morgan Judd ended the session in third (+0.392s), followed by the Murphy Prototypes Oreca Nissan and Greaves Motorsport Zytek Nissan.

GTE was led by the No. 55 AF Corse Ferrari of Duncan Cameron, Matt Griffin and Michele Rugolo, with the Gulf Racing UK Aston Martin Vantage V8 the first non-Ferrari in third, while the team’s new Porsche 911 RSR put in the seventh fastest time.

SMP Racing dominated GTC with a 1-2-3 at the top of the time charts, with the No. 71 Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 of Luca Persiani posting the quickest time (1:59.140).

37 cars put in a time, as the Sebastien Loeb Racing Audi R8 LMS ultra did not run and still has no drivers listed. 

Saturday’s second and final practice session gets underway at 3 p.m. local time.

RESULTS: Free Practice 1

Vincent Wouters (@VinceWouters) is a Belgium-based sports car racing reporter, providing coverage primarily of the Blancpain GT Series.

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