Friday 5 May 2017

FIA WEC 2017 - 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps: Friday Free Practice 3

There was still no rain in the morning although there was quite a bit of fog in the Ardennes on the drive into the circuit. By the start of free practice 3 the mist had gone but the overcast sky remained.

After the Porsche Carrera Cup practice session there was a certain amount of repair work to be done to circuit barriers at Eau Rouge which delayed the start of FP3 from 10:25 until 10:45

Chandhok in the Tockwith Motorsports Ligier #34 was first out of pit exit but soon overtaken by Jani in Porsche #1. All cars were on track by 10:47. The first flying lap for Nakajima in Toyota #8 (1:55.233) was quicker than last year's pole time (1:55.793). Quickest in LMP2 at 10:50 was Mathias Beche in the Vaillante Rebellion #13 who posted the fastest thus far of the weekend in class (2:01.970). At 10:55 Fred Makowiecki in #91 Porsche also posted the quickest time of the event so far in GTE Pro with a lap of 2:16.123.

Lamy in #98 Aston Martin was quickest thus far in the session in GTE Am at 11:00 with a time not quite as quick as yesterday 2:16.603, but five minutes later Cairoli in the #77 Dempsey-Proton Porsche dislodged the Aston from the top spot in class with a time of 2:15.893 which was also faster than the best GTE Pro time at that point. At 11:02 Pla in Ford GT #66 displaced the time of the Porsche #91 at the top of GTE Pro with a lap of 2:15.981. 

Priaulx had a minor off-track excursion in #67 at Les Combes but no harm done. At the same time Senna in the #31 Vaillante Rebellion returned to the pits carring a load of grass that it had picked up somewhere on the circuit. Alex Lynn in the G-Drive #26 displaced the #13 from the top of LMP2 with a time of 2:01.708 at 11:12. Toyota seemed to be dominating FP3, occupying the top 3 places in LMP1 ahead of the Porsche #1 and #2 for almost the entire session.

From 11:17 until 11:20 there was a full course yellow (FCY) for debris removal at turn 13 (Fagnes), we guess that it might have been either bits of the #31 Vaillante Rebellion which spent 12 minutes in the pits before rejoining, or as a result of an incident between #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca and #61 Clearwater Racing Ferrari. Davide Rigon in the AF Corse Ferrari #71 recorded the top time in GTE Pro at 11:28 with a lap of 2:15.100, displacing the #66 Ford GT.

At 11:31 Rossiter in the #4 ByKolles Enso did the fastest lap for that car (2:03.936) then improved that to 2:03.886 (11th overall).

With a few minutes remaining in the session there was a black and white driving standards flag shown to the #61 Clearwater Racing Ferrari, #36 Signatech Alpine and #71 AF Corse Ferrari for persistent track limits abuse. Pier Guidi improved the best time #51 AF Corse Ferrari to 2:14.904, fastest in GTE Pro with just 5 minutes on the clock. G-Drive remained quickest in LMP2 thanks to that lap of Alex Lynn ahead of the #13 Valliante Rebellion and #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca. 

The #31 Vaillante Rebellion was reported to stewards for unsafe release at a pit stop.

The #37 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca was reported to stewards for crossing the pit entry white line.

Free Practice 3 results

Dave Davies.