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Buemi Leads Final Session; LMP2 Fastest at Prologue

LMP2 leads overall as No. 8 Toyota Hypercar leads final session of 2021 Prologue test…

Photo: Toyota Gazoo Racing

Sebastien Buemi put the No. 8 Toyota GR010 Hybrid on top of the timing charts in the final session of the FIA World Endurance Championship Prologue test at Spa while the fastest overall lap of the two days went to the G-Drive Racing LMP2 squad.

After falling behind the fastest LMP2 competitors in the two sessions on Monday and on Tuesday morning, Toyota’s new Le Mans Hypercar emerged at the head of the field near the end of the three-hour testing run on Tuesday afternoon.

Buemi posted a time of 2:04.669 – the best Toyota lap of the Prologue – to beat Filipe Albuquerque in the United Autosports Oreca 07 Gibson LMP2 by two-tenths of a second.

However, an LMP2 car still came away with the top outright time following Toyota LMH reserve driver Nyck de Vries’ standout 2:04.168 from Monday morning aboard the No. 26 Algarve Pro-run G-Drive Racing Aurus 01 Gibson.

Matthieu Vaxiviere placed third in the Alpine A480 Gibson non-hybrid LMP1 which is competing against Toyota’s hybrid LMH vehicle in the Hypercar category this season.

Vaxiviere’s time of 2:05.339 put Alpine Endurance Team 0.670 seconds off the outright pace in the final track session. The Frenchman’s 2:05.230 Monday afternoon bid stood as Alpine’s benchmark from across the two days.

The three Hypercar machines signed up for the Prologue and this weekend’s Total 6 Hours of Spa WEC season-opener finished in the overall top four on Tuesday afternoon as the No. 7 Toyota came through on a 2:05.624 to end up fourth.

PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports’ Oreca completed the top five, ahead of the Orecas from Team WRT, Inter Europol Competition and Realteam Racing.

Porsche completed a sweep of the GTE-Pro times as Richard Lietz led the final session in the No. 91 Porsche 911 RSR-19 with a time of 2:14.244.

The Austrian, who followed on from Kevin Estre’s table-topping exploits in the first three sessions, was just under a tenth quicker than James Calado in the second-placed Ferrari 488 GTE Evo. The sister No. 52 AF Corse Ferrari finished third in the class order.

Porsche’s No. 92 machine was fourth from the sole Chevrolet Corvette C8.R from the Pratt & Miller factory team.

After bouncing back from a chassis-damaging accident at Raidillon on Monday, TF Sport led the GTE-Am order courtesy of Dylan Pereira’s 2:14.969 marker in the No. 33 Aston Martin Vantage GTE.

The Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup race winner narrowly beat Matt Campbell in the No. 77 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche to the top spot.

Team Project 1’s No. 56 Porsche was third, ahead of a train of Ferrari entries fronted by the No. 60 Iron Lynx entry.

The Cetilar Racing GTE-Am Ferrari was involved in an accident that brought out a Full Course Yellow period.

Iron Lynx’s No. 85 Ferrari and the Racing Team Nederland Oreca did not take part in the final session after sustaining damage in a crash during the morning run.

RESULTS: Session 4 / Drivers Combined

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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