United Autosports On Top of LMP2 at the end of Test Day One

by Alice Holloway
United Autosports Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya

Toyota Gazoo Racing was on top again at the end of the day, even though Team LNT gave them some competition early in the session. It was United Autosports, however, who kept up their good form, putting their new ORECA chassis to the test.

The Team LNT #6 briefly looked like it was going to challenge the Toyotas for the top two spots on the timing screen at the start of the session, but it didn’t take long for the Japanese duo to be back on it, this time led by the #8. Brendon Hartley set the initial quick time in the TS050 with a 1:30.669, but Kazuki Nakajima beat that time by half a second, setting a 1:30.114. It was slower than this morning’s fastest time by a couple of tenths, but enough to keep them ahead of the sister car by 0.066.

After the earlier delays to the car getting out on track due to having to rebuilt, the #5 Ginetta broke cover this afternoon. It has a solid session of testing, setting 39 laps and going faster than the sister car by 0.003. The two cars sat P5 and P6 in the class, but considering both cars were faster than all the LMP2s and both cars got some good mileage on track, it was a significant improvement and a step in the right direction for them.

Rebellion Racing are still working on a few minor details to perfect the car and get it in the optimal operating window, using the Prologue to try and get the set up correct. It was a fairly quiet session for them, but they finished a strong third and fourth, keeping the Ginettas behind them by over half a second and setting 127 laps between the two cars.

Toyota Gazoo Racing at Sunset, Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya
Credit: Race Photography

AF Corse were still the car setting the pace in GTE Pro, but Porsche GT Team set about shaking up the order. Splitting the Ferraris with both of their cars, the four were covered by just three tenths of a second during the session. This time it was the #71 that dictated the pace, with Miguel Molina and Davide Rigon setting a lap time of 1:43.814.

It was tight on who set more mileage between Porsche and Ferrari, with the Italian manufacturer just pipping the German one to more laps.

Aston Martin Racing had another fairly quiet session, with their sole car finishing fifth in class and 1.4 seconds off the pace of the leading Ferrari. The team also have less mileage than their competitors, but that is mainly due to the fact they are only running one car for this test session.

AF Corse at Sunset, Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya
Credit: Race Photography

United Autosports once again led the way in LMP2, finishing ahead of Sigantech Alpine and Jackie Chan DC Racing. The 1:33.110 was an impressive time, only 1.2 seconds off the slowest LMP1 car, but their competitors managed more laps than they did this afternoon.

The #37 Jackie Chan car was the highest placed Goodyear runner at the end of this session, but they managed to dwarf the number of laps set by others in the class. The only car to set more laps than them was the #29 Racing Team Nederland, which is also using Goodyear tyres.

Team Project 1 at Sunset, Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya
Credit: Race Photography

Team Project 1 made the Am class their own again, taking the fastest and second fastest lap times. But it wasn’t a Porsche lock-out like it was earlier in the day, as the third-placed car was the Ferrari 488 GTE AF Corse in the hands of Thomas Flohr, Francesco Castellacci and Giancarlo Fisichella. Their fastest lap time of a 1:45.145 was just three tenths off both Project Porsches.

The session was hit with an early delay as there was an issue with the kerbs at Turn 5. After losing just over an hour of track action for the repairs, the session was extended by half an hour.

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