Yifei Ye led the way in the opening day of pre-season testing for European Le Mans Series competitors at Paul Ricard, ahead of this weekend’s season-opening race in Le Castellet.
The Chinese driver took his No. 37 Cool Racing Oreca 07 Gibson to a best lap of 1:43.856 in Monday’s afternoon session, outpacing the No. 43 Inter Europol Competition Oreca of Fabio Scherer, whose pace-setting time from the night session was good enough for second quickest overall on the day.
It was followed by the No. 28 IDEC Sport entry of Paul Loup Chatin, who was quickest in the morning session and third best overall.
United Autosports’ Tom Gamble and the LMP2 Pro-Am class-leading No. 40 Graff Racing Oreca of David Droux completed the top-five on Day 1 of testing.
Cool Racing also led the way in LMP3, thanks to Malthe Jakobsen’s 1:50.106 lap time set in the Swiss team’s Ligier JSP320 Nissan.
The top two times in LMP3 were set in the opening session, including Alex Kapadia’s 1:50.720 aboard his RLR MSport Ligier.
GTE was paced by Davide Rigon in the No. 60 Iron Lynx Ferrari 488 GTE Evo, thanks to a 1:54.201 lap time by the Ferrari factory driver that narrowly edged out Gianmaria Bruni’s No. 77 Proton Competition Porsche 911 RSR-19 by 0.026 seconds.
Only ten of the 42 cars entered turned laps in the two-hour long night session this evening, owing to the fact that Sunday’s 4 Hours of Le Castellet will not see any running in the darkness.
Two additional official test sessions are on tap for tomorrow.