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24H Le Mans

Lopez Sweeps Le Mans Test Day for Toyota

Jose Maria Lopez tops two out of two sessions at test day for Toyota Gazoo Racing…

Photo: MPS Agency

Jose Maria Lopez set the quickest time in the afternoon test day session ahead of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, completing a sweep of both sessions.

The Argentinean reeled off a lap of 3:29.986 behind the wheel of the No. 7 Toyota GR010 Hybrid, setting the quickest lap of the day in the process.

It was an improvement of an earlier time set by the No. 708 Glickenhaus 007 Pipo driven by Romain Dumas.

The car, with Lopez at the wheel, was involved in a safety exercise gone awry at the Mulsanne corner in the closing minutes of the session causing a red flag, although the car did not suffer any damage.

Dumas had posted a 3:30.104 roughly half an hour into the four-hour session, which remained fastest until Lopez topped it with just over an hour of running left on the clock.

The sister No. 8 Toyota, driven by Ryo Hirakawa, completed the top three ahead of Ryan Briscoe’s second Glickenhaus.

Both Toyotas posted flying laps early in the session, which was in sharp contrast to the first session where it nearly took them two hours to post a representative lap.

The No. 36 Alpine A480 Gibson rounded out the class, with the Signatech-run car falling behind the two fastest LMP2 runners.

Filipe Albuquerque was the quickest of the LMP2 runners, setting a 3:32.099 behind the wheel of the No. 22 United Autosports Oreca 07 Gibson.

The Portuguese driver completed his first laps behind the wheel of the car after flying in from the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship round at Belle Isle overnight.

He outpaced JOTA’s Antonio Felix da Costa, who similarly traveled in from the Formula E round in Jakarta to turn his first laps at the Circuit de la Sarthe.

Alex Lynn was third in the second United Oreca, followed by the WRT pairing of Norman Nato and Rene Rast, who completed the top five.

In GTE-Pro, Corvette Racing once again led the way with Alexander Sims setting the quickest time behind the wheel of the No. 64 Corvette C8.R.

The Briton, also having flown in from Jakarta, set a 3:54.001 which was 0.026 seconds clear of the No. 52 Ferrari 488 GTE Evo of Davide Rigon.

The No. 91 Porsche 911 RSR-19 of Fred Makowiecki made it three different brands in the top three, ahead of Alessandro Pier Guidi and Riley Motorsports’ Sam Bird.

Mikkel Jensen led a Ferrari one-two in GTE-Am, with the No. 57 Kessel Racing Ferrari setting a 3:54.827 to lead JMW Motorsport’s Renger van der Zande by 0.414 seconds.

The second of two four-hour sessions saw a number of incidents, including a stoppage for D’station Racing’s Charlie Fagg as well as off-track moments for the AF Corse Ferrari of Simon Mann and Jan Heylen’s No. 88 Dempsey-Proton Porsche.

Track action for the 24 Hours of Le Mans starts with the first free practice session on Wednesday June 8 at 2 p.m. CEST (8 a.m. ET).

RESULTS: Afternoon Session

Davey Euwema is a Sportscar365 reporter based in The Netherlands, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, DTM, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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