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Toyota Ends Test Day on Top; Corvette Leads GTE-Pro

Sebastien Buemi improves on his morning marker to keep Toyota on top at Le Mans…

Photo: MPS Agency

Toyota continued to dominate the times during the 24 Hours of Le Mans pre-event Test Day, with Sebastien Buemi setting the fastest lap overall on Sunday afternoon.

The Swiss diver’s time of 3:19.440 put the No. 8 Toyota TS050 Hybrid eight tenths clear of its No. 7 sister car, and almost two seconds ahead of the best non-hybrid LMP1 contender.

It was enough for Buemi to improve on his benchmark from the four-hour stretch of morning track activity which resulted in a time of 3:21.875.

However, it wasn’t quick enough to eclipse the quickest time from last year’s Test Day; a 3:19.066 set by Fernando Alonso.

Kamui Kobayashi’s 3:20.586 behind the wheel of the Japanese manufacturer’s sister car was enough for second in the afternoon, ahead of the No. 1 Rebellion Racing R13 Gibson with Andre Lotterer at the wheel.

Three-time Le Mans winner Lotterer produced a 3:21.323 late in the afternoon session to partially bridge the gap between the privateers and the factory cars.

The margin had stood at around 2.7 seconds for much of the running until Lotterer popped up with the best non-hybrid number of the day.

All non-hybrid cars improved on their morning times, with Stoffel Vandoorne coming through in fifth with the No. 11 SMP Racing BR Engineering BR1 AER on a 3:22.061.

Rebellion’s sister R13 Gibson rounded out the top five, ahead of the second SMP Racing BR1 and the BR1 of DragonSpeed, which registered a 3:25.211.

Rockenfeller Puts Corvette on Top in GTE-Pro

Corvette Racing continued to lead the way in GTE-Pro with the American manufacturer’s No. 63 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R going fastest.

Mike Rockenfeller posted a time of 3:54.001 to improve on his co-driver Antonio Garcia’s table-topping effort from earlier in the day.

The top three cars in the class, which included the No. 67 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT and the No. 64 Corvette, were covered by less than a tenth of a second, while the next five entries including the FIA World Endurance Championship entries from Porsche and Ferrari also lapped in the low 3-minute 54s.

In LMP2, Jackie Chan DC Racing’s No. 38 Oreca 07 Gibson fronted the class courtesy of Ho-Pin Tung, who lapped three tenths clear of Pastor Maldonado in the Oreca entered by DragonSpeed.

The No. 62 WeatherTech Racing Ferrari 488 GTE paced the GTE-Am pack, meanwhile.

No red flag periods were thrown in the afternoon after a stoppage for the No. 37 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca brought the morning session to a halt.

There was, however, an incident for the High Class Racing Oreca, which brought out the safety car after the Danish-entered machine sustained damage to its front-end in an impact with the Porsche Curve barriers.

RESULTS: Combined Test

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365 and e-racing365, with a focus on the FIA World Endurance Championship and various electric racing series.

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