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Audi Quickest in Wet Opening Practice at Spa

Loic Duval tops time charts in wet opening session at Spa…

Photo: Gerlach Delissen Photography

Photo: Gerlach Delissen Photography

Audi led the way in Friday’s rain-soaked opening practice session at Spa-Francorchamps.

A late flyer by Loic Duval saw the No. 1 Audi R18 e-tron quattro jump to the top of the time sheets, reeling off a 2:15.415 lap time in his diesel-powered LMP1-H car.

Duval edged out the No. 7 Toyota TS040 Hybrid of Kaz Nakajima by 0.272 seconds, with the No. 8 Toyota ending the two-hour wet-turned-damp session in third.

The top-five was completed by the No. 2 Audi and No. 14 Porsche 919 Hybrid. The No. 20 Porsche, meanwhile, was delayed in the first hour after it stalled at pit-in with Brendon Hartley at the wheel.

Both of the new Rebellion R-One Toyotas turned limited laps, with Nick Heidfeld posting a 2:28.451 lap time, which was more than 13 seconds slower than Duval’s best time.

It was a SMP Racing 1-2 in LMP2, with the No. 27 Oreca 03 Nissan of Nic Minassian quickest with a 2:25.960 in the Michelin-shod prototype.

The No. 38 Jota Sport Zytek Z11SN Nissan was third on the time charts with a 2:29.367 lap.

Topping the GTE-Am class, and quickest of all the GTE cars, was Matthieu Vaxiviere in the No. 75 ProSpeed Competition Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, thanks to a 2:34.281 lap.

The Frenchman’s time, set in a 2012-spec 997-based Porsche, came late in the session as conditions improved.

It was 0.267 seconds quicker than the GTE-Pro pace-setting No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari of Gianmaria Bruni and Toni Vilander.

The No. 92 Porsche Team Manthey Porsche 911 RSR of Fred Makowiecki was second quickest in GTE-Pro, followed by the No. 97 Aston Martin Vantage V8, which completed the top-three in class.

Paolo Ruberti, meanwhile, put the No. 90 8Star Motorsports Ferrari second quickest on the time sheets in GTE-Am.

Despite the changing conditions, no major incidents were reported. 

A second two-hour practice session is on tap for 2:15 p.m. local.

RESULTS: Practice 1

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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