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United Leads FP3 at Portimao as Glickenhaus Pace Improves

Di Resta maintains United’s Saturday practice pace; Glickenhaus LMH brings pace…

Photo: MPS Agency

Paul di Resta went quickest overall for United Autosports in third practice for the 8 Hours of Portimao as Alpine led Hypercar from newcomer Glickenhaus and both Toyota entries.

Di Resta delivered a time of 1:31.628 to plant the LMP2-class No. 22 United Autosports Oreca 07 Gibson on top of the standings for the second session in a row on Saturday.

The 2022 Peugeot LMH driver ended up 0.024 seconds ahead of Hypercar pace-setter Nicolas Lapierre in the second-placed Alpine Endurance Team A480 Gibson grandfathered LMP1 car, and three-tenths faster than his own benchmark time from FP2. 

Lapierre made the first of a string of Hypercar improvements in the final quarter of the 60-minute session.

The Frenchman, who jumped to third before gaining another place on his next and fastest lap with 13 minutes to go, was replied to by Richard Westbrook who put Glickenhaus Racing’s SCG 007 LMH non-hybrid prototype ahead of the two Toyota GR010 Hybrids.

Westbrook improved to a 1:31.961 with one minute remaining, putting him second in class and fourth overall and taking almost two seconds off the previous Glickenhaus best.

Sebastien Buemi breached the top-five at roughly the same time in the 6 Hours of Spa-winning No. 8 Toyota, but the Swiss fell 0.058 seconds short of beating Westbrook.

Lapierre was buffered by the No. 38 JOTA Oreca LMP2 of Antonio Felix da Costa, who finished third-quickest outright on a 1:31.765 in front of Westbrook and Buemi.

The No. 7 Toyota GR010 Hybrid ran a lowly ninth in the overall classification after Mike Conway posted a 1:32.310 late on.

The three LMP2 cars that landed between the Toyotas in sixth to eighth were the Orecas from Inter Europol Competition, Racing Team Nederland and Team WRT.

Ben Hanley completed the top ten in DragonSpeed’s No. 21 Oreca.

Porsche locked out the top two positions ahead of Ferrari in GTE-Pro, as Kevin Estre grabbed first place for the German manufacturer in the final practice session before qualifying.

Estre steered the No. 92 Porsche 911 RSR-19 to its best time of 1:38.082 around 20 minutes into the session, beating Gianmaria Bruni in the No. 91 Porsche by a couple of tenths.

The nearest Ferrari 488 GTE Evo was the No. 52 machine which took third with a time of 1:38.953 courtesy of Daniel Serra.

Matteo Cairoli paced the GTE-Am category for the second session in a row aboard Team Project 1’s sole customer Porsche.

RESULTS: Free Practice 3

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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