While Toyota topped the time charts in Free Practice 2, it was Porsche that led the way Thursday in the opening day of Free Practice for this weekend’s FIA WEC Six Hours of Spa.
Brendon Hartley’s 1:58.012 lap time from FP1 held as the quickest of the day, with the No. 1 Porsche 919 Hybrid outpacing the competition by more than a half-second after three hours of track time.
Hartley’s time was set in the cooler, early afternoon session. Stephane Sarrazin ended the day second quickest, thanks to the Frenchman’s 1:58.556 that led the way in FP2.
The No. 2 Porsche was third fastest on the day, thanks to Neel Jani’s 1:58.577, also set in the morning, followed by the No. 5 Toyota of Kazuki Nakajima, who made it a Toyota 1-2 in FP2.
The No. 7 Audi R18 of Marcel Fassler completed the top-five but was nearly two seconds off the pace, with the No. 8 Audi not even taking part in FP2 due to a front axle drivetrain failure.
Audi has debuted its low-downforce Le Mans aero package this weekend.
Manor was quickest in LMP2, with ex-F1 driver Roberto Merhi topping the time sheets in his No. 45 Oreca 05 Nissan.
Merhi’s 2:07.865 outpaced the No. 38 G-Drive Racing Gibson 015S of Giedo van der Garde, with Gustavo Menezes third in the No. 36 Signatech Alpine A460 Nissan.
All three pace-setting times were set in FP2, with Pipo Derani’s FP1 class-leading 2:08.974 in the No. 31 Tequila Patron ESM Ligier JS P2 Nissan only good enough for fifth quickest on the day.
AF Corse’s James Calado led the way in GTE-Pro, thanks to his 2:18.494 lap set in FP2 aboard the No. 51 Ferrari 488 GTE.
Calado outpaced FP1 pace-setter Richie Stanaway by nearly a half-second, with the No. 71 AF Corse Ferrari of Sam Bird ending the day third quickest in class.
Pedro Lamy’s 2:19.748 lap from FP1, meanwhile, held as quickest in GTE-Am for the Aston Martin Racing driver.
FP2 was red-flagged with less than 10 minutes remaining following an accident by the No. 50 Larbre Competition Corvette C7.R of Yutaka Yamagishi, who crashed at Stavelot.
A final 60-minute FP3 is on tap for Friday morning, followed by qualifying in the late afternoon.