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Ye Leads Ferrari 1-2 in Imola FP1

AF Corse entries set the pace as track action for FIA WEC’s first visit to Imola starts…

Photo: MPS Agency

Yifei Ye set the pace in the opening FIA World Endurance Championship Free Practice session at Imola, leading a Ferrari 1-2 as track running for the Prancing Horse’s home event got underway.

The Chinese driver steered the No. 83 AF Corse Ferrari 499P to a best time of 1:31.347, 0.156 seconds faster than the No. 50 car in the hands of Antonio Fuoco.

Mikkel Jensen slotted into third aboard the No. 93 Peugeot 9X8 a further 0.461 seconds back, securing a top three for the newly updated French Hypercar as it makes its debut in Italy.

The car did cause the session’s one and only red flag after 34 minutes when Jean-Eric Vergne stopped on track, although a Peugeot spokesperson told Sportscar365 that that did not come as the result of any significant issues but was instead caused by an “engine protection.”

An early flying lap for Mirko Bortolotti netted the No. 63 Lamborghini SC63 fourth ahead of the car’s European race debut on Sunday.

Bortolotti initially led the session with a 1:32.015 before dropping back as a result of improvements for the car ahead, but he still outpaced the No. 51 Ferrari as well as a trio of Porsche 963s.

The No. 99 Proton Competition-run example spearheaded the German contingent with Julien Andlauer at the wheel, leading the Porsche Penske Motorsport entries of Matt Campbell and Kevin Estre.

The pair of Toyota GR010 Hybrids completed the top ten, with Nyck de Vries in ninth 0.234 seconds ahead of tenth-placed Sebastien Buemi.

Daniel Juncadella led a TF Sport 1-2 in the LMGT3 class, reeling off a 1:42.113 aboard the No. 82 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 GT3.R to outpace stablemate Charlie Eastwood by 0.606 seconds.

Davide Rigon picked up third aboard the No. 54 Vista AF Corse Ferrari 296 GT3, ahead of Maxime Martin’s No. 46 Team WRT BMW M4 GT3 and the second Ferrari with Alessio Rovera at the wheel.

Track action at Imola continues with second Free Practice at 5:15 p.m. CEST (11:15 a.m. EDT).

RESULTS: Free Practice 1

Davey Euwema is Sportscar365's European Editor. Based in The Netherlands, Euwema covers the FIA World Endurance Championship, European Le Mans Series and Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS, among other series.

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