Porsche topped the time charts in a wet and treacherous opening Free Practice at Spa-Francorchamps, a session that saw a heavy accident involving LMP1 cars from Audi and Toyota.
The No. 18 Porsche 919 Hybrid of Neel Jani, Marc Lieb and Romain Dumas recorded a best lap of 2:16.616 in the 90-minute scheduled session, which was extended by 20 minutes due a lengthy red for the two-car accident.
The Porsche was 0.501 seconds ahead than the No. 1 Toyota TS040 Hybrid of Kazuki Nakajima, which was second quickest but ended its session after colliding with Oliver Jarvis’ No. 8 Audi R18 e-tron quattro at Les Combes.
Reports indicate that Nakajima ran into the rear of the Audi, with considerable damage sustained to both cars. Nakajima was taken to the medical center for precautionary measures, with Jarvis also having escaped serious injury.
The two other Porsches completed the top-four, followed by the No. 9 Audi in fifth overall.
Strakka Racing (LMP2), Porsche Team Manthey (GTE-Pro) and Abu Dhabi Proton Racing (GTE-Am) all led their respective classes in the rain-soaked session.
It’s unclear if both LMP1 cars will be repaired in time for Free Practice 2 gets underway at 4:30 p.m. local.