The Thiriet by TDS Racing ORECA 05 of Tristan Gommendy set the fastest lap of the second day at the Paul Ricard European Le Mans Series (ELMS) test.
The Frenchman’s 1.48.432 was just 0.277 seconds adrift of Nathanaël Berthon’s quickest lap from yesterday’s session.
Algarve Pro Racing’s Andrea Roda claimed the quickest time of the afternoon stint with a 1.51.487 in the ex-Thiriet by TDS Racing Ligier JS P2 Nissan.
Wet conditions in the afternoon meant that few teams were able to improve on their best lap times set yesterday.
SMP Racing’s Anton Ladygin finished the day as the second fastest driver, setting a 1.49.943 in the morning session. The Russian team once again used its older ORECA 03 chassis, although the brand new Paolo Cantone-designed BR01 LMP2 coupe was revealed for the first time in the pit garage, suggesting that it is on course to make its race debut at the 4 Hours of Silverstone next month.
Murphy Prototypes spent the morning focusing on Michael Lyons’ set-up, with the Irish squad’s latest signing completing 43 laps in the morning session. Berthon then took over for the afternoon’s running, but was only able to perform four flying laps.
Krohn Racing returned to action after missing the opening day of testing. The American team, which had just returned from the weekend’s 12 Hours of Sebring, opted to run a reserve Onroak chassis on its Ligier JS P2 (complete with pink and black livery), in the hands of Tracy Krohn and Nic Jonsson. Jonsson was the fastest of the pair, setting a 1.51.489 in the morning.
The Team LNT Ginetta-Nissan LMP3 was once again in action, with Laurence Tomlinson and co. accumulating as much data as possible to aid the development of the new car. Mike Simpson drove the majority of the 65 laps, setting a fastest time of 1.57.932 that was almost two seconds quicker than the previous day’s best.
Andy Priaulx’s 1.58.376 was enough to put the Englishman atop the LMGTE standings, six tenths ahead of Matt Griffin in the #55 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia. Priaulx, who had just returned from Sebring, accrued over 40 laps in the recently upgraded BMW Z4 GTE that he will pilot in all five rounds of the ELMS this season for BMW Team Marc VDS.
The GTC class was once again the closest of the four categories, with the gap between first and second in the morning session coming down to just three tenths of a second. SMP Racing’s Luca Persiani went quickest, clocking a 1.57.747 in the #57 car, while AF Corse’s Francesco Castellacci (#62) followed closely with a 1.58.020.
The only incident of the day involved the #64 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 of Mads Rasmussen, which briefly caught fire during the morning session. The Danish driver exited the car untroubled, while the team was able to make the necessary repairs in time for a brief outing in the afternoon.
The ELMS returns to action next month, with the 4 Hours of Silverstone on April 11.
[table id=10 /]