Mike Conway improved on his unofficial record-breaking lap on Saturday morning to go even faster in the afternoon session at Sebring International Raceway, keeping Toyota Gazoo Racing on top in FIA World Endurance Championship testing.
The Englishman reeled off a best lap of 1:41.211 in the No. 7 Toyota TS050 Hybrid, leading a dominant 1-2 for the Japanese manufacturer at the end of the opening day of the two-day test on the airfield circuit.
Conway’s lap was more than two seconds faster than the current track lap record (1:43.886), held by Marcel Fassler in an Audi R18 e-tron quattro from 2013.
Fernando Alonso posted the second quickest time of the day in the No. 8 Toyota, with Thomas Laurent the best of the LMP1 Privateers at a 1:44.082, which was nearly three seconds adrift from Conway’s pace-setting time.
The No. 11 SMP Racing BR Engineering BR1 AER of Mikhail Aleshin was fourth in LMP1, followed by the sister No,. 17 entry of Stephane Sarrazin.
Loic Duval paced LMP2 in the No. 28 TDS Racing Oreca 07 Gibson, in a class that saw only four cars take to track for the the optional test.
Duval’s time came prior to an accident for the car, in the only notable incident of the day.
Bomarito Blitzes GTE-Pro Field in Ford 1-2
Ford Chip Ganassi Racing led the way in GTE-Pro, with the Multimatic-operated entries running 1-2, led by the No. 67 Ford GT of Jonathan Bomarito, in his official team debut.
The American recorded a 1:58.318 lap in the Ford to go 0.174 seconds quicker than Olivier Pla in the sister No. 66 entry.
The pair of factory Porsche 911 RSRs were third and fourth on the time charts, followed by the No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE of Alessandro Pier Guidi, who completed the top-five.
Pedro Lamy posted the quickest time in GTE-Am in the No. 98 Aston Martin Vantage GTE.
A total of 29 cars turned laps on Saturday, with an additional eight hours of testing on tap for Sunday, beginning at 9 a.m. ET.