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Buemi Quickest in FP2 As Both IDEC Sport Orecas Crash

Sebastien Buemi breaks 3:20 barrier in incident-filled Free Practice 2 at Le Mans…

Photo: Toyota

Sebastien Buemi led the way in the second Free Practice for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, as times tumbled and several LMP2 cars hit trouble.

Buemi was the first driver to break the 3:20 barrier this week, having reeled off a 3:19.719 in his No. 8 Toyota TS050 Hybrid in the three-hour scheduled session, which saw two lengthy red flag periods for accidents.

The Swiss driver was 1.360 seconds quicker than the sister No. 7 Toyota, which was unable to get a clean lap late in the stages with Jose Maria Lopez at the wheel.

The No. 3 Rebellion R13 Gibson ended up third quickest, more than three seconds adrift than the pace-setting Toyotas, while the No. 1 Rebellion did not set a time after undergoing an engine change.

A heavy crash by the No. 28 IDEC Sport Oreca 07 Gibson of Paul Lafargue, who went off at the exit of the second Mulsanne chicane, resulted in a 20-minute red flag period at the end of the opening hour.

The team’s sister No. 17 entry, in the hands of Dwight Merriman, meanwhile, made contact with the barriers near the entrance to pit lane with 1 hour and 20 minutes to go, just as the French squad’s damaged No.28 Oreca was brought back to the garage.

The accidents totaled 45 minutes of downtime, with both cars unlikely to be repaired in time for qualifying.

LMP2 was led by the No. 29 Racing Team Nederland Oreca of Nyck De Vries, who set a 3:27.125 lap time early in the session.

It was good enough to be fourth quickest overall, ahead of the No. 4 Team ByKolles ENSO CLM P1/01 Gibson.

Porsche showed improved pace in FP2, with a 3:52.783 lap time by the No. 92 Porsche 911 RSR-19 of Michael Christensen pipping the No. 97 Aston Martin Vantage GTE of Alex Lynn, which led the opening session.

GTE-Am was also paced by Porsche with factory driver Matt Campbell laying down a 3:53.961 in the previous-generation No. 77 Dempsey Proton Racing entry to split the GTE-Pro field.

Campbell’s time put him fifth quickest amongst the GTE-Pro cars.

Qualifying is set to get underway at 5:15 p.m. CEST (11:15 a.m. EST).

RESULTS: Free Practice 2

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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