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Rebellion Leads Red Flag-Shortened Spa Third Practice

FP3 cut short due to red flag but only after Rebellion’s Menezes set a new weekend best…

Photo: MPS Agency

Rebellion broke the two-minute barrier to lead Free Practice 3 for the Total 6 Hours of Spa but the session only ran to around half its intended duration because of a red flag.

Gustavo Menezes set the quickest time of the weekend so far, with the American’s 1:59.605 effort the first instance of an LMP1 car lapping under 120 seconds this week.

The No. 1 Rebellion R13 Gibson continued its good form by leading FP3, after Norman Nato set the pace in Thursday practice and Menezes led FP2 on Friday morning.

Second-quickest in the third session was Mike Conway, whose 2:00.043 time aboard the No. 7 Toyota TS050 Hybrid came up 0.438 seconds short of the outright pace.

But any opportunities for Toyota’s low-downforce equipped cars to improve were hampered by a red flag just after the halfway mark of the 60-minute session.

The stoppage was called after a drain cover came loose on the green surface lining the curbs on the outside of the first Stavelot right-hander.

Toyota’s No. 8 car ended up third thanks to Kazuki Nakajima’s 2:00.089 as the ByKolles Racing ENSO CLM P1/01 Gibson finished three seconds off the pace.

The LMP2 pace was set by Giedo van der Garde in the Racing Team Nederland Oreca 07 Gibson.

As was the case in LMP1, the fastest lap of the weekend so far in the secondary prototype class came during the third practice session.

Van der Garde turned in a 2:03.170 to beat United Autosports’ Paul di Resta by just under half a second.

Nicolas Lapierre finished third ahead of Jota’s Anthony Davidson, while the Eurasia Motorsport Ligier JS P217 was brought into the top five courtesy of a 2:05.754 from ex-Formula 1 driver Roberto Merhi.

The GTE-Pro pace was set by the Porsche 911 RSR of reigning world champions Kevin Estre and Michael Christensen.

Christensen was behind the wheel when that car produced its best time of 2:14.558 which put the No. 92 Porsche almost a second clear over the rest of the field.

Alessandro Pier Guidi went second-quickest in the No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE Evo, followed by his teammate Davide Rigon in the No. 71 red machine.

In GTE-Am, Ferrari factory driver Nicklas Nielsen put the points-leading No. 83 AF Corse 488 GTE Evo on top of the pile, ahead of the TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage GTE and the No. 88 Porsche from Dempsey-Proton Racing.

RESULTS: Free Practice 3

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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