Glickenhaus Racing driver Romain Dumas went quickest in the opening Free Practice session for the 1000 Miles of Sebring as three different Hypercar brands occupied the top three positions overall.
Dumas led the way with a time of 1:49.738 which put the No. 708 Glickenhaus 007 Pipo half a second clear at the top of the timing leaderboard, beating the Hypercar competition from Alpine Elf Team and Toyota Gazoo Racing.
The Frenchman scaled the 36-car order approximately 22 minutes into the session, followed a couple of minutes later by Matthieu Vaxiviere who posted the second-fastest lap in the No. 36 Alpine A480 Gibson.
The quickest of the two Toyota GR010 Hybrids ranked third, courtesy of a 1:50.267 from Sebastien Buemi in the No. 8 car.
LMP2 pacesetter Ferdinand Habsburg, who topped last weekend’s pre-season Prologue test, took fourth overall ahead of the No. 7 Toyota driven by Jose Maria Lopez.
Habsburg submitted a 1:50.477 behind the wheel of the No. 41 Realteam by WRT Oreca 07 Gibson.
His nearest category rival, Prema Orlen Team’s Louis Deletraz, delivered a 1:51.068 to take sixth overall.
Deletraz, who won last year’s European Le Mans Series title with WRT, finished directly ahead of United Autosports’ Paul di Resta, WRT driver Rene Rast and Algarve Pro Racing’s James Allen.
The 60-minute session was interrupted by rain showers that forced almost all cars back to their pit boxes with 20 minutes remaining.
The weather eased for a 10-minute blast to the checkered flag, however no notable improvements were made.
Porsche GT Team claimed a one-two result in GTE-Pro led by Kevin Estre in the No. 92 Porsche 911 RSR-19.
Estre clocked in at 1:58.827 while his teammate Gianmmaria Bruni in the sister No. 91 car came through less than a tenth of a second behind.
The two GTE-Pro Porsches were closely followed by GTE-Am leader Matteo Cairoli who out-paced the Pro entries from Corvette Racing and AF Corse aboard the No. 46 Team Project 1 Porsche.
Cairoli laid down a 1.58.906, while the third-best Pro time and fourth-best outright GTE effort came from Tommy Milner who produced a 1:59.893 in the factory-operated No. 64 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R.
Neither of the factory AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE Evos undercut the two-minute barrier as four GTE-Am competitors set lap times that were faster.
Behind Cairoli in the Am order sat the No. 88 Dempsey-Proton Porsche, the NorthWest AMR Aston Martin Vantage GTE and the Inception-backed Project 1 Porsche which is a borrowed GR Racing chassis after the original was crashed out during the Prologue.
The second 60-minute Free Practice session ahead of the WEC season-opener starts at 4:35 p.m. ET this afternoon.
RESULTS: Free Practice 1