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Lopez Leads Toyota 1-2 in Monza Opening Practice

No. 7 Toyota beats sister car to top spot in first Free Practice session at Monza…

Photo: MPS Agency

Jose Maria Lopez set the fastest lap and led a one-two for Toyota in the opening practice session for this weekend’s FIA World Endurance Championship round at Monza.

Lopez paced the 90-minute session with a time of 1:38.401 in the No. 7 Toyota GR010 Hybrid that the Argentine driver shares with Mike Conway and Kamui Kobayashi.

Brendon Hartley completed a Toyota one-two in the sister No. 8 machine with a 1:38.535 bid.

The grandfathered Alpine A480 Gibson LMP1 car came up less than two-tenths of a second short after Nicolas Lapierre produced 1:38.553 effort, while the two Glickenhaus SCG 007 LMHs ran six-tenths off the outright pace in fourth and fifth.

Little separated the Glickenhaus non-hybrids, as Romain Dumas set a time of 1:39.042 in the No. 709 car against Olivier Pla’s 1:39.085 marker.

Filipe Albuquerque set the quickest time in LMP2 for United Autosports, on his return to the WEC after missing the previous round at Portimao due to an IMSA clash.

Albuquerque banked a 1:39.373 which put United’s No. 22 Oreca 07 Gibson just under a second off the overall pace and almost half a second clear of his nearest LMP2 rival.

Nyck de Vries was second for Racing Team Nederland, ahead of DragonSpeed driver Ben Hanley and Team WRT’s Ferdinand Habsburg.

Ferrari finished first and second in the GTE-Pro category as Miguel Molina led from Alessandro Pier Guidi at the AF Corse-run factory team’s home circuit.

Molina topped the four-car leaderboard with a time of 1:46.329 in the No. 52 Ferrari 488 GTE Evo that he shares with Daniel Serra.

Pier Guidi was second on a 1:46.700, while the fastest Porsche 911 RSR-19 lap came from Neel Jani.

The Swiss driver’s 1:46.895 attempt left the No. 92 Porsche GT Team crew with half a second to make up to the pace-defining Ferrari.

A Porsche led the way in the GTE-Am class after Riccardo Pera, who took the ELMS GTE pole at Monza in 2018, posted a time of 1:47.194 in the No. 56 Team Project 1 car.

Pera narrowly beat AF Corse Ferrari driver Giancarlo Fisichella to the top spot, while another Italian in Matteo Cressoni lapped third-quickest for the Iron Lynx squad.

Friday’s only Free Practice session was interrupted by a red flag period due to an incident for Roberto Lacorte in the Cetilar Racing Ferrari between the Lesmo corners.

There was also a Full Course Yellow in the final third of the session which came after the No. 709 Glickenhaus was reported as stopped.

The No. 8 Toyota had a run through the gravel but was able to continue without any significant drama.

RESULTS: Free Practice 1

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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