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Toyota Leads Glickenhaus in Opening Practice

Brendon Hartley puts in late flyer to go fastest in opening practice at Le Mans…

Photo: Toyota

Brendon Hartley denied Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus a one-two in opening practice for the 24 Hours of Le Mans as the New Zealander topped the session with a flying lap within the final 20 minutes.

Hartley posted a 3:29.441 behind the wheel of the No. 8 Toyota GR010 Hybrid, thus dropping Glickenhaus driver Franck Mailleux to second place.

Mailleux had set the fastest lap of the three-hour session 25 minutes in, posting a 3:29.917 behind the wheel of the No. 709 Glickenhaus 007 Pipo.

Derani would move up to second place behind his teammate some 30 minutes later, setting a 3:30.102 in the No. 708 sister car.

The two American-flagged cars remained at the top of the timesheets for the vast remainder of the session, only for Hartley to leap up to the top spot late on.

This, in turn, also demoted Kamui Kobayashi to fourth in the No. 7 Toyota GR010 Hybrid.

Alpine was fifth in class but ended the session behind the top two running LMP2s and also spent some time in the garage after it was seen moving slowly on track with just over an hour left on the clock.

Alex Lynn led the LMP2 runners in fifth overall, posting a 3:30.238 in the closing minutes of practice behind the wheel of the No. 23 Oreca 07 Gibson.

A late improvement from Antonio Felix da Costa left JOTA’s No. 28 car second, with Prema’s Robert Kubica third.

 Team WRT’s Robin Frijns ended fourth, leading stablemate Norman Nato and his No. 41 Realteam by WRT Oreca in fifth.

Mathias Beche was sixth and leading Pro-Am for TDS Racing, ahead of Algarve Pro Racing’s James Allen.

The No. 45 Oreca, which Allen shares with Steven Thomas, was left in the barriers at the Motul Chicane in the closing minutes as Thomas crashed.

It was a number of incidents that occurred throughout, with Rolf Ineichen’s No. 32 Team WRT Oreca also finding the barriers at the Daytona chicane.

Elsewhere, Rodrigo Sales, Fred Poordad and Brendan Iribe found the gravel for Nielsen Racing, Dempsey-Proton Racing and Inception Racing, respectively.

Corvette Racing carried over its strong form from test day by topping the GTE-Pro pack, with Antonio Garcia leading teammate Tommy Milner.

Milner headed a significant portion of the session courtesy of a 3:53.360 behind the wheel of the No. 64 Corvette C8.R.

That was until Garcia improved upon that with a 3:53.250 driving the sister No. 63 car, which ended up leading the class.

Gianmaria Bruni was third in the No. 91 Porsche 911 RSR-19, leading the sister No. 92 car of Michael Christensen.

AF Corse’s No. 52 Ferrari 488 GTE Evo was fifth ahead of Riley Motorsports’ No. 74 car.

The second factory Ferrari spent a significant portion of the session in the garage having an engine change carried out, returning to the track in the hands of James Calado well into the last hour.

Porsche led GTE Am thanks to Julien Andlauer’s No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Porsche, who reeled off a best lap of 3:55.082.

The Frenchman was almost a second quicker than GR Racing’s Ben Barker, with Marco Sorensen third for TF Sport.

Track action at Le Mans continues with qualifying at 7 p.m. local time (1 p.m. ET).

RESULTS: Practice 1

Davey Euwema is a Sportscar365 reporter based in The Netherlands, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, DTM, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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