Jon Lancaster registered the fastest lap during second practice for the Estoril round of the European Le Mans Series, as the championship-contending cars all put in strong times.
Driving the Greaves Motorsport Gibson 015S Nissan, Lancaster set a 1:32.346s marker at the end of the session to lead the LMP2 order at the chequered flag.
The Briton was just 0.269s quicker than Nicolas Lapierre in the Thiriet by TDS Racing ORECA 05, while AF Racing’s Mikhail Aleshin split the three title contenders by edging out Jota Sport’s Harry Tincknell.
Fifth overall was the Eurasia Motorsport entry of Nick Pieter de Bruijn, who ended the session nine tenths in arrears to Lancaster’s effort, while James Winslow ended up sixth in the Algarve Pro Racing Ligier after setting the benchmark pace early on.
Following the deluge that forced race control to halt the opening practice session after an hour of running, the afternoon heralded brighter skies and warmer track temperatures, although grip was still at a premium. The race directors extended the second session to two hours, in order to make up for the time lost earlier in the day.
LMP3 was largely dominated by the Team LNT Ginettas, although the Ligier JS P3 interloper did split the factory and customer entries. Gaetan Paletou was the quickest of the bunch, recording a 1:39.712s best in the #2 LNT machine.
The Frenchman managed to take the top spot after squeezing out #3 LNT’s Charlie Robertson by less than a tenth of a second. Graff concluded another promising test by finishing third in class with the solitary Ligier, although its lap times better resembled that of the customer Ginetta entries rather than the front-running ‘works’ cars.
James Calado proved his worth as a guest to the JMW Motorsport line-up by delivering the fastest time of the day in the LMGTE class. The British driver’s 1:40.231s effort was 0.146s quicker than Andy Priaulx in the Marc VDS BMW Z4 GTE, while Richard Lietz continued Proton Competition’s impressive run this weekend with third in the category.
Raffaele Gianmaria submitted the fourth fastest time in the #51 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia, while Jonny Adam made it four different manufacturers in the top five places after setting a 1:41.039s lap aboard the Beechdean liveried #99 Aston Martin.
Fastest in GTC went to the championship-chasing #62 AF Corse Ferrari, driven by Francesco Castellacci. The Italian registered a 1:40.929s benchmark to place him within the LMGTE field, but only 0.075s ahead of the second best GTC entry – Marco Cioci in the #64 AF Corse Ferrari. Completing the leading trio in class was the TDS Racing BMW Z4 GT3 that had surged through the timesheets during first practice.
Qualifying for the ELMS 4 Hours of Estoril will take place tomorrow morning (October 18) at 09:00. The GT cars will run for 20 minutes, with one driver, before the Le Mans Prototypes take to the track for their session at 09:30.