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24H Le Mans

Buemi Quickest in Test Day Morning Session

Toyota two and a half seconds clear of LMP1 opposition after four hours of testing…

Photo: MPS Agency

Toyota Gazoo Racing’s Sebastien Buemi set the fastest lap during the morning portion of the 24 Hours of Le Mans pre-event Test Day.

The Swiss driver set a time of 3:21.875 behind the wheel of the No. 8 Toyota TS050 Hybrid as the Japanese manufacturer’s pair of LMP1 cars lapped more than two seconds quicker than the rest of the field.

Buemi’s teammate Jose Maria Lopez set the second-best time of 3:22.027 in the No. 7 Toyota, while the quickest non-hybrid effort came courtesy of Gustavo Menezes in the No. 3 Rebellion Racing R13 Gibson.

Menezes’ 3:23.926 number, which came in the final two minutes of the four-hour session, ended up being 2.051 seconds off the overall pace.

Behind the Rebellion driver in fourth was the No. 11 SMP Racing BR Engineering BR1 AER of Vitaly Petrov on a 3:24.389, and Stephane Sarrazin in the Russian squad’s sister car.

In GTE-Pro, Antonio Garcia set Corvette Racing on top of the pile with a purple lap of 3:55.704 right at the end of the track activity window.

Garcia’s late surge in the No. 63 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R edged the American squad’s car ahead of the No. 66 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT of Billy Johnson and the No.91 Porsche 911 RSR of Gianmaria Bruni, while the two AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE Evos ran fourth and fifth.

Filipe Albuquerque set the fastest lap in LMP2, with the United Autosports driver taking the No. 22 Ligier JS P217 Gibson to a time of 3:32.242.

This put the United machine two thousandths of a second clear of Pastor Maldonado in the No. 31 DragonSpeed Oreca 07 Gibson, while the Graff Oreca ran third.

Francesco Castellacci topped the charts in GTE-Am with the Spirit of Race Ferrari 488 GTE Evo, ahead of Jeff Segal in the Ferrari entered by JMW Motorsport.

The opening stanza of the two-part Test Day was truncated by a red flag period lasting 12 minutes, after the No. 37 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca stopped in sector three.

IDEC Sport’s Oreca LMP2 conteder brought out a Full Course Yellow after Paul-Loup Chatin, who paced the LMP2 field in the early stages, nosed into the barriers at Indianapolis.

Track action is set to resume at 2 p.m. local time for another four-hour spell of running.

RESULTS: Test Day Morning Session

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

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