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Habsburg Tops LMP2-Led Sunday Morning Session

LMP2 entries from WRT, United Autosports outpace leading Hypercar…

Photo: MPS Agency

Ferdinand Habsburg put Realteam by WRT on top in Sunday morning’s Prologue session, which saw the top three LMP2 runners outpace the leading Hypercar class entry.

Habsburg led the way with a best time of 1:48:049 in the No. 41 Oreca 07 Gibson, setting the fastest time of the weekend thus far. WRT stablemate Rene Rast was second fastest, 0.283 seconds down. Will Owen took third overall for United Autosports.

Conditions at Sebring International Raceway were colder compared to the two previous sessions held on Saturday, although it remain sunny throughout.

Behind the three LMP2 cars, Matthieu Vaxiviere slotted in fourth overall as the fastest Hypercar. The Frenchman reeled off a time of 1:48:707 not long after the two-hour mark to jump up in the No. 36 Alpine A480 Gibson.

Toyota Gazoo Racing’s Brendon Hartley was the second-quickest Hypercar driver, but the two drivers were separated by LMP2 entries from Team Penske, Prema, Richard Mille Racing Team and the second United Autosports car.

Olivier Pla rounded out the top three for the class, less than half a tenth down on Hartley for Glickenhaus Racing.

Porsche’s Michael Christensen posted the quickest GTE-Pro time in the No. 92 Porsche 911 RSR-19, although it was far from a trouble free morning for the German manufacturer.

After Christensen had topped the leaderboard by posting a 1:55:315, he handed the car over to co-driver Kevin Estre. The Frenchman then caused one of four red flags when he brought the car to a halt with a driveshaft issue.

The other red flags were caused by a stoppage for ARC Bratislava’s Tijmen van der Helm, a crash for the No. 71 Spirit of Race Ferrari 488 GTE Evo driven by Franck Dezoteux and a spin for United Autosports driver Josh Pierson.

Despite completing no further running, Estre and Christensen remained at the top of the timesheets, over one-second clear of the No. 64 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R driven by Tommy Milner.

The sister Porsche ended the session third, ahead of the two AF Corse Ferraris.

Porsche also took the top two spots in GTE-Am, with drivers Seb Priaulx and Matteo Cairoli notably setting the exact same lap time.

Priaulx first posted a 1:57:573 in the No. 77 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche, only for Cairoli’s No. 46 Team Project 1 car to match it later on.

Memo Gidley also completed laps behind the wheel of the Proton-run Porsche. After 15 laps, he ended up with a best time of 02:01:511.

A fourth and final session for the Prologue is set to get underway at 2:50 p.m. ET and will run for three hours.

RESULTS: Session 3

Davey Euwema is Sportscar365's European Editor. Based in The Netherlands, Euwema covers the FIA World Endurance Championship, European Le Mans Series and Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS, among other series.

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