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Toyota Ends Sebring Test on Top as SMP Crashes

Toyota Gazoo Racing leads way in two-day Sebring WEC test…

Photo: Jamey Price/Toyota

Toyota Gazoo Racing has ended the FIA World Endurance Championship test at Sebring International Raceway on top, following two days of track action in preparation for Friday’s 1000 Miles of Sebring.

The No. 7 Toyota TS050 Hybrid of Mike Conway remained on top of the time charts, although it came with a marginal improvement from yesterday, with the Englishman lapping in a 1:41.152 in the afternoon.

Conway’s time was 0.052 seconds quicker than teammate Fernando Alonso in second.

Improvements were also seen by the LMP1 non-hybrids, with Sergey Sirotkin managing to put the No. 17 SMP Racing BR Engineering BR1 AER within 1.5 seconds of Conway’s best time.

LMP2 was led by the No. 29 Racing Team Nederland Dallara P217 Gibson of Nyck de Vries, thanks to a 1:47.086 lap set by the Dutchman on Sunday morning. 

De Vries edged out the No. 36 Signatech Alpine A470 Gibson of Nico Lapierre by 0.092 seconds, with the No. 28 TDS Racing Oreca 07 Gibson of Matthieu Vaxiviere third in the times after rebounding from an accident on Saturday.

Porsche’s Richard Lietz ended up quickest in GTE-Pro, laying down a 1:57.302 in his Manthey-run Porsche 911 RSR in Sunday’s afternoon session to topple the pair of Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GTs, which led the way in all three previous sessions. 

The No. 88 Dempsey Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR, meanwhile, was quickest GTE-Am thanks to Matteo Cairoli’s 1:58.707 lap time set on Sunday morning.

Project 1 Goes Up in Flames; SMP Crashes on Sunday

Sunday’s running was interrupted by three incidents, the first for a massive fire that engulfed the No. 56 Team Project 1 Porsche 911 RSR with Joerg Bergmeister at the wheel.

The team is set to revert to a spare chassis, which will be flown in from Porsche in Germany.

The No. 90 TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage GTE, meanwhile, stopped in the IMSA pit lane to bring out a second red in the afternoon session.

It was followed by a sizeable off for Vitaly Petrov in the No. 11 SMP BR1 in Turn 10, which resulted in front-end damage to the Russian prototype.

As was the case with Bergmeister earlier in the day, Petrov escaped unharmed.

Official WEC track action kicks off on Wednesday afternoon. 

Photo: John Dagys

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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