Saturday 24 September 2016

European Le Mans Series - 4 Hours of Spa Francorchamps: Dragonspeed fastest again in FP2

"Indian Summer" at Spa today, with sunshine all over the track, a light breeze and temperatures rising well up above 20° C around noon.

In the second free practice session this morning, Nicolas Lapierre was outright fastest again in his #21 Dragonspeed Oreca05/Nissan. Lapierre drove a 2.07.856, which was 0.671 faster than Tristan Gommendy in the #33 Eurasia Oreca05. Paul Loup Chatin came out third fastest with a 2.08.709. It wasn't all sunshine though for the American team, when Lapierre went off at the final chicane & came back in with damage on the nose of the car.

A few minutes before the end of the session, the red flag came out when Alexander Wirth went off at Blanchimont and had contact with the barriers in his #32 SMP Racing BR01. Wirth made it back to the pitlane where the mechanics immediately started working on the damaged car.  The Belgian WRT car also had an outage in the gravel trap, keeping it in its box for while. 

LMP3 was dominated by United Autosports again. Matt Bell now slightly faster than Alex Brundle in the #2 Ligier with a 2.15.969. Brundle came 0.065 seconds short to beat Bell this morning. Enzo Guibbert set the third time in the #9 Graff Ligier, 0.262 seconds behind Bell. The first seven cars in class stayed within 0.6 seconds, calling out for a close race again tomorrow.

Matteo Cairoli in his #88 Proton Competition Porsche led the field in the GTE class, putting a 2.18.814 on the board. Marco Cioci ended up second fastest in the #51 AF Corse Ferrari, but already 0.441 seconds behind the Porsche. Darren Turner in the #99 Beachdean Aston Martin just missed the second spot with 0.028 seconds. 

Qualifying is set to start at 13.25 this afternoon. 

Kristof Vermeulen