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Non-Hybrids Reduce Gap to Toyota in Prologue Session 3

Rebellion, Ginetta make inroads on Toyota at Prologue; Ferrari leads GTE-Pro again…

Photo: MPS Agency

The LMP1 non-hybrids edged closer to Toyota during the third session of the FIA World Endurance Championship Prologue test at Circuit de Catalunya.

After running 1.6 seconds off the outright pace in Tuesday’s first session, Rebellion Racing lowered its own bar to be within a second of the Toyota TS050 Hybrids in session two, before improving further during the day on Wednesday.

Gustavo Menezes posted a time of 1:30.110 behind the wheel of the No. 3 Rebellion R13 Gibson to fall within half a second of the session-leading Toyota time of 1:29.623.

Mike Conway paced the four-hour run and set a new Prologue overall best, while Brendon Hartley finished second-quickest in the Japanese manufacturer’s No. 8 car on a 1:29.719.

Rebellion’s No. 1 machine followed its teammate entry by three-tenths of a second, while the pair of Ginetta G60-LT-P1 entries also made notable improvements on their earlier times.

Charlie Robertson put the No. 5 car in fifth with a 1:31.006 that undercut the previous-best Team LNT effort by eight-tenths.

In the LMP2 class, Nyck de Vries put the Michelin-shod Racing Team Nederland Oreca 07 Gibson on top of the pile with a 1:32.941.

The Formula 2 points leader became the first driver to dip under the 1m 33s barrier, while second-quickest was Nico Lapierre on a 1:33.081 effort in the Cool Racing Oreca.

Session 3 was briefly red-flagged in the first half when the LMP2-class Cetilar Racing Dallara P217 Gibson nosed into the barriers at the sweeping Turn 4 right-hander.

Roberto Lacorte, who was at the wheel, reported to Sportscar365 that only minor right-front damage had been sustained in the solo accident.

The GTE-Pro pace was set by an AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE Evo for the third session in a row.

Miguel Molina topped the table with a 1:43.593 to beat the No. 92 Porsche 911 RSR-19 which registered a 1:43.651 in the hands of Kevin Estre.

The fastest Aston Martin Vantage GTE time was a 1:44.953.

In GTE-Am, Team Project 1 locked out the top two times with Matteo Cairoli setting both in the No. 57 and No. 56 Porsches.

Ben Barker completed a Porsche 1-2-3 lock-out in the Gulf Racing 911 RSR.

RESULTS: Test Session 3

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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