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Lapierre Sets Pace; Milesi Quickest Rookie in Bahrain Test

Charles Milesi impresses in Le Mans Hypercar debut in Bahrain Rookie Test…

Photo: Jose Bispo

Nico Lapierre set the quickest time in Sunday’s FIA World Endurance Championship post-season test at Bahrain International Circuit.

The Signatech Alpine driver topped the overall time charts in both of the day’s sessions, which was largely focused for rookie drivers.

Lapierre’s 1:48.697 in the No. 36 Alpine A480 Gibson from the morning stood as the quickest of the day.

It compared to his 1:48.875 lap time set in the closing stages of the three-hour afternoon session, which bumped the No. 8 Toyota GR010 Hybrid from the top of the time charts.

Newly crowned LMP2 world champion Charles Milesi came within eight-tenths of Conway’s benchmark time in the Frenchman’s debut at the wheel of a Le Mans Hypercar and ended the day-long test as the quickest rookie. 

Seven-time World Rally champion Sebastien Ogier was nearly two seconds slower of the outright best time of the day and 1.782 seconds of Toyota Gazoo Racing driver Mike Conway in the No. 7 Toyota.

Sophia Floersch led the way in LMP2 in the No. 31 Team WRT Oreca 07 Gibson, thanks to a 1:50.870 lap time from the afternoon session.

It was 0.441 seconds quicker than Jazeman Jaafar in the No. 28 JOTA Oreca in second, with Sebastian Montoya also improving in the afternoon to set a 1:52.245 lap in the No. 21 DragonSpeed entry.

Among the other rookies testing in LMP2 included W Series champion Jamie Chadwick and Lilou Wadoux-Ducellier, who shared the No. 1 Richard Mille Racing entry.

Alice Powell, who was slated to test today, did not turn any laps.

Kevin Estre set the quickest time in GTE-Pro once Porsche returned to the track in the afternoon session. 

Estre edged out the No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE Evo of Alessandro Pier Guidi by 0.052 seconds, thanks to a 1:57.583 lap time in the No. 92 Porsche 911 RSR-19.

Simon Mann and Christoph Ulrich turned laps in the No. 52 AF Corse Ferrari, meanwhile.

Andrew Watson’s benchmark laps in all three Aston Martin Vantage GTEs remained the quickest in GTE-Am. 

The No. 60 Iron Lynx Ferrari of last-minute addition Robert Kubica was quickest amongst the ‘rookies’ to the class, ahead of the No. 98 Aston Martin of David Pittard and Florian Latorre in the No. 33 TF Sport entry.

Roman De Angelis was quickest of the North American contingent of drivers in the class with a 1:59.604 lap in the No. 98 AMR entry followed by Kenton Koch at 1:59.735  in the No. 777 D’Station Racing Aston.

Scott Huffaker recorded a best lap of 2:00.244 in the TF entry with Dylan Murry at a 2:00.666 in the D’Station car.

Other rookies of note to take part in GTE-Am included WEC-selected driver Laurents Horr, who turned laps in both AF Corse Ferraris, as well as Aston Martin Junior Valentin  Hasse-Clot, who was in the D’Station entry.

RESULTS: Bahrain Rookie Test (Combined)

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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