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Alpine Leads from Toyota in Spa Second Practice

Hypercars first and second in Spa FP2 as Alpine leads from No. 8 Toyota…

Photo: MPS Agency

Hypercar entries finished first and second in Friday morning’s 90-minute practice session for the Total 6 Hours of Spa as Andre Negrao set the pace for Alpine Endurance Team.

Negrao turned in a time of 2:03.396 around 40 minutes into the session to move ahead of the earlier 2:03.431 target laid down by Toyota Gazoo Racing’s Brendon Hartley.

The gap between the Alpine A480 Gibson LMP1 car and the lead No. 8 Toyota GR010 Hybrid LMH was just 0.035 seconds at the end of Free Practice 2.

Negrao’s lap was the fastest of the Spa event so far, including the Prologue test held on Monday and Tuesday. FP2 also marked the first session to feature times under Spa’s 2m 4s threshold this week, and only the second session in six to have a Hypercar on top.

Toyota’s No. 7 hybrid LMH machine ended up seventh overall behind the top LMP2 entries on a time of 2:04.717 set by Jose Maria Lopez.

Third-quickest outright and fastest of the 14-car LMP2 contingent was the United Autosports Oreca 07 Gibson that led Thursday’s opening practice session overall.

FP1 pace-setter Filipe Albuquerque posted a 2:03.733 for United, which put the Portuguese driver three-tenths off Negrao’s pace.

Nyck de Vries finished fourth on a 2:03.979 for the Algarve Pro-supported G-Drive Racing squad, while Alex Brundle completed the top five with a 2:04.230 effort at the wheel of Inter Europol Competition’s Oreca.

Roberto Merhi placed seventh in the second G-Drive Oreca-based Aurus 01 Gibson, ahead of Lopez in the No. 7 Toyota Hypercar entry.

Ferrari set the GTE-Pro pace in second practice courtesy of James Calado, who submitted a 2:13.552 flyer on board the No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE Evo.

Gianmaria Bruni was second for the Manthey-supported Porsche works team on a 2:13.794, from Daniel Serra in the other factory Ferrari.

The No. 63 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R landed on a time of 2:15.152, putting Oliver Gavin and Antonio Garcia’s car 1.5 seconds off the class pace and behind the top six in GTE-Am.

Jaxon Evans was the pace-setter in the Am division as the New Zealander produced a 2:14.170 to narrowly beat Giancarlo Fisichella in an AF Corse Ferrari.

FP2 included a short Full Course Yellow period to enable the recovery of a car that spun at the top of the Eau Rouge/Raidillon hill.

RESULTS: Free Practice 2

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

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