Toyota Gazoo Racing set the two best times in Friday’s second 90-minute free practice session for the Six Hours of Silverstone to lead the opening day of running.
Jose Maria Lopez topped the order with a 1:38.536 behind the wheel of the No. Toyota TS050 Hybrid, with the Argentinian lapping 1.3 seconds clear of Kazuki Nakajima in the sister No. 8 car.
Lopez, who shares driving duties with Kamui Kobayashi and Mike Conway, shaved down his British team-mate’s FP1 marker by just over a second to end Friday quickest.
As was the case in the day’s opening session, the hybrid Toyotas out-performed the non-hybrid LMP1 contingent, with the highest-placed independent car running 1.643 seconds off the pace.
That was the No. 17 SMP Racing BR Engineering BR1 AER driven by Egor Orudzhev, who improved on the weekend’s previous best non-hybrid time by nine-tenths.
Thomas Laurent made a late improvement in the No. 3 Rebellion Racing R13 Gibson, but the Frenchman could only split the two Russian-entered BR1s.
Fastest in LMP2 was Gabriel Aubry in the No. 38 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca 07 Gibson run by Jota Sport.
The silver-rated Frenchman registered a 1:45.311 early on and remained at the top of the timing sheets until the end.
A late challenge came from Nicolas Lapierre in the No. 37 Signatech Alpine A470 Gibson but the former Toyota LMP1 driver fell four-tenths shy of Aubry’s effort.
They were joined in the 1-minute 45 bracket by Matthieu Vaxiviere in the No. 26 TDS Racing Oreca, while Nabil Jeffri put the sister Jackie Chan car third.
Ford Pips Aston Martin in GTE-Pro
Ford Chip Ganassi Racing led the way in GTE-Pro with a late flyer from Harry Tincknell in the No. 67 Ford GT.
The Brit’s last-ditch 1:56.898 came in the final 10 minutes of the session and prevented Aston Martin’s new-generation Vantage from leading a WEC session for the first time.
Instead, Alex Lynn settled for second in the No. 97 Aston Martin with a 1:57.026, while a late improvement from Stefan Muecke saw the sister No. 66 Ford jump ahead of Marco Sorensen in the other Aston.
Quickest in GTE-Am was the No. 88 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche for the second straight session, courtesy of Matteo Cairoli’s 1:59.105.
Both the No. 1 Rebellion nor the No. 4 ByKolles ENSO CLM P1/01 Nismo sat out FP2 after separate red-flag incidents in first practice.
No major incidents were reported in the session, although the No. 17 SMP BR1 stopped on track to bring out a full course yellow before returning to the pits.
RESULTS: Free Practice 2