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Menezes Leads LMP1 Non-Hybrid Lockout in FP1

Late-session improvement by Rebellion denies Team LNT Ginetta 1-2 in FP1…

Photo: Adrenal Media/FIA WEC

A late-session charge by Gustavo Menezes has put Rebellion Racing on top in opening practice for Sunday’s 4 Hours of Shanghai, in a 1-2-3 sweep for non-hybrid LMP1 machinery.

The American driver reeled off a 1:48.761 to deny a 1-2 sweep for Team LNT, which had both of its Ginetta G60-LT-P1 AERs atop the time charts prior to the late improvement for the No. 1 Rebellion R13 Gibson.

Ben Hanley was relegated to second in the No. 5 Ginetta, which faced fuel pressure issues early in the session followed by reports of the car speeding in the pit lane.

The sister No. 6 Ginetta of Charlie Robertson was third quickest, thanks to a 1:49.234 in the British-built prototype, which was still nearly 1 second faster than the best of the Toyota TS050 Hybrids.

The No. 7 Toyota, which posted the fourth quickest time, was 1.324 seconds slower than Menezes.

As expected due to the latest Success Handicap adjustments for this weekend, the Toyotas have been unable to challenge on single-lap pace, with the No. 8 car even slotting behind the LMP2 pace-setting No. 42 Cool Racing Oreca 07 Gibson on the overall time sheets.

Times in LMP1 across the board are down by nearly four seconds from last year.

Nico Lapierre’s 1:50.338 lap time in the Cool entry led an Oreca sweep in the class.

GTE-Pro was led by the No. 91 Porsche 911 RSR of Gianmaria Bruni and Richard Lietz, thanks to a 2:01.389 lap time in the second-generation mid-engined GTE car.

It was 0.075 seconds quicker than the No. 95 Aston Martin Vantage GTE, which was second.

While the No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE was third quickest in class, the sister No. 71 car did not set a time due to a fuel leak.

The No. 56 Team Project 1 Porsche of Matteo Cairoli, meanwhile, was quickest in GTE-Am, with the top four in class all quicker than the GTE-Pro class No. 92 Porsche and No. 97 Aston Martin.

Free Practice 2 gets underway at 3:30 p.m. local time.

RESULTS: Free Practice 1

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

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