Hartley secures Toyota’s practice sweep in FP3

Toyota continued to set the pace in third practice for the World Endurance Championship round at Portimao, although the two GR010 HYBRIDs were split by the lead Ferrari.

Brendon Hartley ensured a practice clean sweep for Toyota with a 1m31.795s lap of the Algarve International Circuit aboard the #8 machine, but was only 0.189s clear of James Calado in the #51 Ferrari 499P LMH.

The Briton’s 1m31.984s had briefly put his AF Corse-run entry 0.053s ahead of Hartley, before the three-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner responded to reinstate his advantage.

Kamui Kobayashi was 0.278s slower than Hartley in the sister #7 Toyota, but over half a second clear of the #94 Peugeot 9X8 LMH which managed a best time of 1m32.738s in Nico Muller’s hands.

The #94 machine was later embroiled in an incident at the Turn 5 hairpin when Gustavo Menezes dived inside Memo Rojas’s Signatech-run Alpine ORECA-Gibson 07 and tapped the Mexican into a spin.

Rojas suffered a left-rear puncture, which left him stranded on track and caused a red flag that was only lifted with 11 minutes remaining in the 60-minute session. Menezes was placed under investigation.

Shortly before the stoppage, Richard Westbrook had moved the Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac V-Series.R LMDh up to fifth with a 1m32.818s that demoted Tom Dillmann’s Vanwall Vandervell 680 LMH.

The #51 Ferrari of Antonio Fuoco languished 0.996s behind Calado in seventh, but slotted in ahead of the two Penske Porsche Motorsport 963 LMDhs.

#51 Ferrari AF Corse Ferrari 499P: Alessandro Pier Guidi, James Calado, Antonio Giovinazzi

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

A late effort following the red flag by Laurens Vanthoor lifted his #6 entry ahead of team-mate Fred Makowiecki.

Mikkel Jensen completed the top 10 aboard the #93 Peugeot as Romain Dumas in the Glickenhaus-Pipo 007 rounded out the Hypercar field, 2.105s in arrears.

In LMP2, Gabriel Aubry once again headed the times in the Vector Sport ORECA, the FP2 pace-setter usurping the two WRT entries that had previously occupied the top two positions.

His 1m34.265s lap was just 0.002s faster than Louis Deletraz’s #41 WRT entry, with Robin Frijns aboard the #31 car 0.232s behind in third.

Ahead of its final scheduled LMP2 outing before moving into the Hypercar class from Spa, Ye Yifei put the #48 Jota ORECA fourth while #22 United Autosports driver Phil Hanson pipped Mirko Bortolotti’s #63 Prema entry to fifth by 0.003s.

Meanwhile, Ferrari continued to lead the way in GTE Am as Davide Rigon put the #54 AF Corse 488 EVO GTE at the head of the pile on a 1m40.426s.

His closest challenger was stablemate Alessio Rovera in the #83 machine, which trailed by 0.364s.
Michelle Gatting was third-fastest in the best of the Porsches, the Dane whisking her Iron Dames 911 RSR-19 around 0.473s slower.

Full WEC Portimao FP3…

Read More: Hartley secures Toyota’s practice sweep in FP3 2023-04-15 11:30:31

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