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GTE-Am Aston Martin Crashes in FP3 as Toyota Leads Again

Accident for No. 98 Aston before qualifying; Toyota sets the LMP1 pace in final practice…

Photo: MPS Agency

Toyota claimed another 1-2 in third practice for the FIA World Endurance Championship 1000 Miles of Sebring, while Aston Martin Racing’s GTE-Am car suffered a crash in the last session before qualifying.

Paul Dalla Lana was behind the wheel of the No. 98 Aston Martin Vantage GTE when it checked up behind one of the Ganassi-run Ford GTs and slid into the tire barriers on the outside of Turn 17.

The Canadian walked away from the shunt but the car sustained heavy left-side damage and leaves the AMR mechanics with four hours to repair the car in time for qualifying tonight.

At the front, Jose Maria Lopez set the fastest time in the No. 7 Toyota TS050 Hybrid with the Argentinian’s time of 1:41.488 around six tenths quicker than Fernando Alonso’s 1:42.101 in the sister No. 8 car.

Best of the LMP1 non-hybrids was the No. 10 DragonSpeed BR Engineering BR1 AER with Renger van der Zande at the helm to produce a late 1:44.156 time that put the American team’s car ahead of the two Rebellion R-13 Gibsons and AER-powered BR1s of SMP Racing.

In LMP2, Gabriel Aubry topped the timesheets in the No. 38 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca 07 Gibson, with Andre Negrao just 0.141 seconds behind the Signatech Alpine A470 Gibson.

Ford led Ferrari in GTE-Pro as Andry Priaulx posted the best number in the No. 67 Ford GT, ahead of Alessandro Pier Guidi in the No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE. They were followed by the two BMW M8 GTEs run by the MTEK squad.

The fifth-quickest GTE car was the GTE-Am Porsche 911 RSR driven by Matt Campbell, who set a time of 1:58.554 to go seven tenths clear of teammate Matteo Cairoli in the sister Dempsey-Proton Racing machine.

Beyond Dalla Lana’s accident, which produced a Full Course Yellow, there were off-track moments through the grass for the Spirit of Race GTE-Am Ferrari and the No. 37 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca, although neither car sustained noticeable damage.

Qualifying for the 1000 Miles of Sebring takes place at 9:30 p.m. ET (1:30 a.m. GMT).

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

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