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Toyota 1-2-3 in Morning Test Session at Le Mans

Toyota sweeps top three positions in morning test session at Le Mans…

Photo: John Dagys

Toyota Gazoo Racing has shown the early pace, with the three Toyota TS050 Hybrids topping the time charts in the opening session at the Le Mans Test Day.

Kazuki Nakajima led the way, having reeled off a 3:20.778 lap time in the No. 8 Toyota late in the four-hour session.

It was 0.672 seconds quicker than Kamui Kobayashi in the No. 7 Toyota, with the No. 9 entry, featuring Yuji Kunimoto, Jose Maria Lopez and Nico Lapierre, a further second back in third.

Both Le Mans rookies Lopez and Kunimoto completed their ten rookie laps early, with the Argentinean setting the car’s fastest time.

The pair of Porsches have yet to record representative laps, ending up more than two seconds adrift from the Toyotas, and having faced minor dramas.

It included the No. 2 Porsche 919 Hybrid of Earl Bamber grounding to a halt on track in the final hour of the session, before restarting.

Prior to that, the car underwent a nose and floor change from damage sustained after Brendon Hartley hit a cone at Karting.

The No. 36 Signatech Alpine Matmut Alpine A470 Gibson was quickest in LMP2, thanks to a 3:29.809 lap time by Andre Negrao, who was the only driver to so far break the 3:30 barrier.

Negrao led a top-13 sweep of Oreca 07 Gibsons, which has clearly shown the upper edge over the Gibson-powered Ligier, Dallara and Riley cars.

GTE-Pro saw the No. 63 Corvette Racing C7.R of Jan Magnussen lead the way with a 3:55.726 lap time, ahead of Patrick Pilet’s No. 91 Porsche 911 RSR in second and the sister No. 64 Corvette third.

The pre-event favorite Ferrari 488 GTEs have yet to feature, with the No. 71 AF Corse car the quickest in seventh in class, with all four Ford GTs outside of the top-seven.

Dempsey Proton Racing, meanwhile, was quickest in GTE-Am, with its 2015-spec Porsche 911 RSR setting a 3:59.117 lap time in the hands of Matteo Cairoli.

Andrea Bertolini in the No. 83 DH Racing Ferrari 488 GTE ended the session second after a late flyer, followed by the sister No. 88 Proton Porsche in third.

There were no major incidents in the session, with testing set to resume at 2 p.m. for four additional hours. 

RESULTS: Morning Test Session

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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