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Thiriet by TDS Racing Quickest on Saturday at Imola

Thiriet by TDS Racing stays on top after Free Practice 2 in Imola…

Photo: V'Images / Fabre

Photo: V’Images / Fabre

Retaining its lead from a wet Free Practice 1, the No. 46 Thiriet by TDS Racing Oreca 05 Nissan topped the time charts in the second and final practice session of the day in Imola.

Not to be outdone by a hard-charging Filipe Albuquerque, the Pierre Thiriet, Ludovic Badey, and Tristan Gommendy pairing was able to set a 1:35.181 in Free Practice 2, usurping their previous efforts in mixed conditions earlier in the day.

Albuquerque, meanwhile, pedaled his No. 38 Jota Sport car to a 1:36.056, good enough for second place but still nearly a full second off the pace of the leading Oreca.

Rounding out the top three was the No. 48 Murphy Prototypes Oreca 03R Nissan, with Nathanaël Berthon, Michael Lyons, and Mark Patterson behind the wheel. Lyons, looking for redemption after a tough Silverstone outing, set a personal best 1:36.529 in Free Practice 2.

The No. 40 Krohn Racing car and the No. 41 Greaves Motorsport car were fourth and fifth, respectively, while SMP Racing’s brand-new BR01 Nissans improved to sixth and eighth.

It was once again Chris Hoy and Charlie Robertson leading LMP3, with the Brits pedaling their No. 3 Team LNT Ginetta-Nissan to a 1:43.593, once again beating their teammates of Michael Simpson and Gaëtan Paletou, the GT Academy graduate, in the No. 2 sister car.

Despite GTC cars triumphing over the GTE pack in wet conditions in Free Practice 1, the No. 60 Formula Racing Ferrari F458 Italia of Andrea Rizzoli and Danish drivers Johnny Laursen and Mikkel Mac was fastest of all GT cars in Free Practice 2, managing a 1:42.300.

The No. 55 BMW Team Marc VDS car of Andy Priaulx, Henry Hassid and Jesse Krohn, who was originally slated to drive in the 24 Hours Nürburgring, came in second with a 1:42.814. The No. 86 Gulf Racing UK Porsche rounded out the top three with drivers Adam Carroll, Michael Wainwright and Phil Keen.

In GTC, the No. 62 AF Corse Ferrari F458 Italia GT3 lead the charge with a 1:44.637 ahead of its sister car, the No. 63, in second place, with Gianluca Roda, Ilya Melkinov, and Marco Cioci setting a 1:44.705.

Qualifying will begin at 10:00 a.m. local time tomorrow.

Beck Duggleby (@BDuggleby) is a contributor to Sportscar365, focusing on coverage of the European Le Mans Series for 2015.

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