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Nato Paces Spa FP1 for Rebellion as Non-Hybrids Lead

Norman Nato quickest for Rebellion in Spa opening practice as ByKolles finishes second…

Photo: Marius Hecker/WEC

Rebellion Racing’s Norman Nato went quickest in Free Practice 1 for the Total 6 Hours of Spa as ByKolles finished second to complete a one-two for the non-hybrid LMP1 teams.

Nato posted a time of 2:02.469 early in the 90-minute session to set the pace in the No. 1 Rebellion R13 Gibson.

The Frenchman’s number stayed at the top of the leaderboard for the rest of the way and put Rebellion a second clear of the ByKolles ENSO CLM P1/01 Gibson of Oliver Webb.

Toyota Gazoo Racing’s best time came courtesy of Mike Conway who went third-fastest with a 2:03.632 that put the No. 7 car driver 1.163 seconds off the session benchmark.

Toyota’s No. 8 car finished fourth in the session in the hands of Kazuki Nakajima who produced a 2:03.824.

In the LMP2 class, Giedo van der Garde took the top spot in the No. 29 Racing Team Nederland Oreca 07 Gibson.

The Dutchman was just six-hundredths of a second off the pace of the No. 8 Toyota with his 2:03.888 flyer, while Anthony Davidson came through in second for Jota.

Third-fastest was United Autosports’ Phil Hanson, ahead of Signatech Alpine’s Andre Negrao and Antonin Borga from Cool Racing.

Porsche 911 RSR-19s finished first and third in GTE-Pro as Michael Christensen produced the best lap of the session – a 2:16.058 – aboard the manufacturer’s No. 92 car.

The Porsches sandwiched the No. 97 Aston Martin Vantage GTE of defending winners Maxime Martin and Alex Lynn, with Martin laying down a 2:16.308.

The two AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE Evos came through in fourth and fifth, while the points-leading No. 95 Aston Martin completed the class order in sixth.

Quickest in GTE-Am was Nicklas Nielsen in the No. 83 AF Corse Ferrari that the Danish driver shares with Francois Perrodo and Emmanuel Collard.

The Ferrari factory driver was the only competitor in GTE-Am to duck under the 1m 18s barrier, with his time of 2:17.853 edging out Augusto Farfus in the No. 98 Aston Martin Vantage GTE by around two-tenths.

Team Project 1’s No. 56 Porsche finished third in class, while the fellow 911 RSRs from Dempsey-Proton Racing and Gulf Racing completed the top five.

RESULTS: Free Practice 1

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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