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Lopez Quickest Again for Toyota in Monza FP2

Toyota’s Jose Maria Lopez improves on FP1 time during second practice at Monza…

Photo: James Moy/Toyota

Jose Maria Lopez continued his Monza form by leading the second Free Practice session for this weekend’s FIA World Endurance Championship round at the Italian circuit.

Lopez topped the FP2 leaderboard with a time of 1:36.864 in the No. 7 Toyota GR010 Hybrid that he shares with Mike Conway and Kamui Kobayashi.

The Argentine driver ended up seven-tenths of a second clear of Nicolas Lapierre, who produced the second-fastest lap in the Alpine Endurance Team A480 Gibson LMP1.

It also marked an improvement of 1.5 seconds on the previous best time of the weekend that Lopez posted on Friday afternoon. However, the No. 7 Toyota encountered a right-rear puncture in FP2 which forced Conway to limp his car back to the pits.

Lapierre’s 1:37.591 attempt in the Alpine ensured the Frenchman was narrowly quicker than Olivier Pla in the No. 708 Glickenhaus SCG 007 LMH non-hybrid.

After securing a one-two result in FP1, Toyota settled for first and fourth at the end of FP2 as Brendon Hartley slotted in behind Alpine and SCG’s top car with a 1:37.738 lap.

The No. 709 Glickenhaus completed the Hypercar order and the overall top five.

Nyck de Vries led the LMP2 class with a time of 1:38.545 that would have put the Racing Team Nederland driver less than two-tenths off the outright pace during FP1.

De Vries beat United Autosports’ Filipe Albuquerque to the top spot by just 0.075 seconds, while Anthony Davidson slotted into third for JOTA.

Kevin Estre set the GTE-Pro pace aboard the No. 92 Porsche 911 RSR-19 that the Frenchman shares with Neel Jani.

Estre’s 1:45.590 effort marked a new fastest lap for the category so far this weekend after Ferrari’s Miguel Molina went quickest on Friday.

A gap of six-tenths existed to Alessandro Pier Guidi at the end of the session, as the Portimao-winning No. 51 Ferrari 488 GTE Evo came through in second, ahead of the No. 52 Ferraria and the No. 91 Porsche.

Francesco Castellacci led GTE-Am after the Italian’s AF Corse co-driver Giancarlo Fisichella placed second in the opening session of the team’s home WEC event.

Castellacci steered the Vistajet-backed No. 54 Ferrari to a time of 1:46.737, beating Antonio Fuoco in the repaired Cetilar Racing Ferrari by a fine margin. Ferraris occupied the top four places as the No. 83 AF Corse and No. 85 Iron Lynx cars followed closely.

Incidents included a Full Course Yellow after half an hour following an off for Inception Racing’s Brendan Iribe at Ascari.

There was also a three-car collision on the final lap before the checkered flag when the No. 60 Iron Lynx Ferrari ploughed into the back of the Alpine LMP1, which in turn struck the DragonSpeed LMP2.

This caused a red flag, while the Ferrari sustained significant front-end damage. The Alpine and the DragonSpeed Oreca were bth deemed repairable for FP3.

RESULTS: Free Practice 2

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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