GRAFF Lockout 1-2 in Afternoon Test Session


The FIA-promoted European Le Mans Series hosts its first 2017 test days at the Autodromo National Monza in Italy - Credit: Michael Fox Photography

In a display of how close the field is looking to be, the order from the afternoon session is completely mixed from this morning’s final order. GRAFF lead the way this afternoon, with a fastest lap time of 1:36.944.

After having a poor start in this morning’s session, it was the second GRAFF car that took second place. After being over 17 seconds off the pace in this morning’s session, the second-place #40 Gibson-powered Oreca 07 was only 0.618 seconds slower than their team-mates.

The fastest lap in the LMP3 class was set by M.RACING YMR, whilst TF Sport remained fastest of the LMGTE field.

The lap times fell slightly since this morning, with the track temperature heating up in the afternoon sun. The fastest lap of this afternoon’s session was 0.890 seconds fastest than this morning’s. It is expected that the evening session will produce slower lap times as track temperature gets cooler. The field was collectively closer, with the entire lap board covered by 14.902 seconds.

The 13 LMP2 cars filled the top 13 spots on the time board. Morning session’s pace-setter – DragonSpeed – found themselves down in eighth place 1.896 seconds off the pace. But the top three appeared to be hard to break into; fourth-place onwards was over a second off the pace of #39 GRAFF.

IDEC SPORT RACING took the third fastest lap with a 1:37.910, 0.966 seconds slower than the fastest lap. The closest lap times were seen between fourth and tenth, with those six positions covered by half a second. The slowest LMP2 time was set by Arc Bratislava, who sat 3.520 seconds off the pace.

M.RACING YMR echoed the performance of the LMP2 GRAFF team by also locking out the top two positions in class with their two cars. Just 0.035 seconds split the #18 M.RACING YMR Nissan-powered Ligier JS P3 from the sister #19 M.RACING YMR Nissan-powered Norma M 30 LMP3, with third-fastest #6 360 Racing three-tenths off of the leading pair.

AT Racing, who lead the LMP3 class in the morning session, where 1.599 seconds off the pace of the GRAFF team. The LMP3 class was closer this session, with the whole class covered by 8.722 seconds. Only three cars failed to finish above the LMGTE class: #33 IBRAN PARDO JAVIER, #26 UNITED AUTOSPORTS, and #10 OREGON TEAM.

OREGON TEAM was the only LMP3 car to not set any laps at all in the LMP3 class, with the #88 Proton Competition Porsche 911 RSR continuing to have a woeful day as they too did not manage to get out on track. The day is slipping away from the #88 as this is the second session they have failed to appear in.

TF Sport retained their fastest in class position as the chequered flag fell on the afternoon session, but the second Aston Martin based team could not help the manufacturer lock out the first two positions. Duncan CameronMatt Griffin and, Aaron Scott put the #55 SPIRIT OF RACE Ferrari F488 GTE second fastest in class, but it was still a lap time that was over a second slower than that set by TF Sport in the #90 Aston Martin V8 Vantage. The #99 Beechdean AMR finished third fastest in class, 1.300 seconds off the sister Aston Martin’s fastest time.

One more session remains today to complete the first day of pre-season testing. The evening session will start 18:00 BST and will be two hours long.