FIA WEC 6 Hours of Spa: LMP2 Dominates First Practice

2 Mins read
#31 WRT in the pit lane, Spa-Francorchamps
Credit: Brecht Decancq

All eyes were on the LMP2 class during the first practice session of the FIA World Endurance Championship 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, as they locked out the top four on the timing board with a seventh of a second advantage on the Hypercars.

Setting an impressive time of 2:05.475 in his second lap of the session, Robin Frijns put the class reigning champions – WRT – into the top spot, a position that it would not lose during the 90 minutes of track time. Opening pace suggests that we’re looking at another WRT versus United Autosports for the race on Saturday as the three cars dictated the pace for the rest of the field. The Realtime by WRT wasn’t in the top four fight as it had been during the 1,000 Miles of Sebring, and had to settle for seventh.

The top three were covered by four tenths of a second, but there were only 0.06s splitting the #22 United Autosports from Frijns’ pace-setting time so the advantage was marginal for the WRT. Track conditions are due to stay similar to today tomorrow, which could give WRT the edge in qualifying.

Fourth went to the #38 JOTA which, setting a time only half a second slower than the WRT, suffered an issues at the end of the session and came to a stop at the exit of La Source. Antonio Felix Da Costa managed to get the car moving again and back to the pits, bringing out the only Full Course Yellow of the session. The only other disruption came at the very beginning where the FIA’s systems failed, postponing the start by 15 minutes.

Finishing just behind the fastest Toyota Gazoo Racing entry, the Algarve Pro Racing finished ninth overall as the fastest Pro/Am LMP2.

Only the Glickenhaus Racing was able to stay within a second of the leaders in P5, as second in the Hypercar class (#7 Toyota Gazoo Racing) was almost 1.5s off the pace. The BoP-affected Alpine Elf Team entry was the slowest of all the Hypercars, sitting 1.8s off the leading pace in overall 14th. However, André Negrão, Nicolas Lapierre and Matthieu Vaxiviere were only 0.020s off the second Toyota entry.

#92 Porsche GT Team on track at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
Credit: Porsche GT Team

Porsche GT Team stayed on top of the GTE Pro class, locking out the top two. Kevin Estre was out on usual form, setting the fastest GTE lap of the day, 2:14.583, three tenths up on the sister car. After receiving no BoP change ahead of this weekend, AF Corse outpaced the sole Corvette Racing machine to take third and fourth in class. Albeit 1.1 seconds off Estre’s pace, Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado took third, just over four tenths up on the Corvette (fifth in GTE Pro, sixth in GTE).

The leading GTE Am, #46 Team Project 1, managed to split the AF Corse from the Corvette setting a 2:15.983, four tenths up on second-placed TF Sport. Ben Barnicoat made it a Team Project 1 one-three 0.435s off the sister car.

GR Racing, making their first appearance of the season after missing the 1,000 Miles of Sebring, had a slow start to the session. They set only four laps in the first 40 minutes, not completing any to set a lap time. After their initial delay, however, they finished tenth in class thanks to a 2:17.332 set by Ben Barker.

Tomorrow marks for a busy day for the WEC grid with an early start; both remaining practice sessions and the two qualifying sessions get started at 08:05 BST.

547 posts

About author
The Checkered Flag’s correspondent for the FIA World Endurance Championship. Working in motorsport as a hobby and as a professional, Alice is a freelance digital communications manager, video editor and graphic designer at OrbitSphere. She also runs and manages her own YouTube channel - Circuit The World - with videos on gaming, travel, motorsports and reviews.
Related posts
24 Hours of Le MansFeaturesFIA WECIMSA

Lamborghini Announce 2024 LMDh Program

1 Mins read
Joining the ranks of Toyota, Peugeot, Ferrari and Porsche, Lamborghini have announced they will launch a LMDh car to join the grid in 2024.

FIA WEC 6 Hours of Spa: Toyota Win Rain and Caution-Filled Race

6 Mins read
Toyota Gazoo Racing and AF Corse reigned victorious at a turbulent FIA World Endurance Championship 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps.

FIA WEC 6 Hours of Spa: Glickenhaus Take First Pole Position

2 Mins read
Olivier Pla takes Sensational first pole position for Glickenhaus Racing at the FIA World Endurance Championship 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps.