Saturday 7 April 2018

FIA WEC: Five hours to the end of the Prologue

As the 2018 Prologue has now gone into its final five hours of the 30 hour test, the #8 Toyota TS050 Hybrid continues to top the timing sheets with a 1:32.662 fastest time set by Mike Conway, just under two seconds (1.993s) behind the sister car which has completed 690 laps running the low downforce aero kit.

The fastest of the non-hybrid LMP1s is the #11 SMP Racing BR1 which is a massive 4.372s behind the leading Le Mans-spec Toyota; but closed the gap to the #7 TS050 down to 2.4 seconds overnight. Rebellion Racing’s #1 R-13 is one hundredth of a second behind the BR1 with the sister #17 BR1 a further half a second behind the Rebellion. 

Perhaps against speculation the Bykolles Racing Team’s CLM continues to put in a good show holding fourth in the non-hybrid cars with a best lap of 1:37.795 after completing 230 laps. Seventh overall is Dragonspeed with the Gibson engined BR1 with the two CEFC TRSM Racing Ginetta G60-LT-P1s closing out the final two LMP1 spots. 

With no LMP2 teams choosing to run overnight the overall standings remain as last night with the cars returning to the track just 15 minutes ago. Dragonspeed remain the fastest with their Oreca 07 which has ex-Formula 1 pilot Pastor Maldanado back behind the wheel after setting the fastest time for the class (1:40.771). Larbre Competition continue to languish at the bottom of the class times with the Ligier JSP217 showing no signs of improved overall performance following the ‘off-season’ revisions. 

GTE Pro remains dominated by Porsche and Ford with the 911 RSRs of the factory Porsche team maintaining first (#91, 1:51.332) and second (#92, 1:51.837) spots followed by the number #66 and #67 Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK Ford GTs. Fifth in class is still the #51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE despite no longer running due to an engine fire breaking out in the pitlane yesterday evening. The #82 BMW Team MTEK is in sixth place having pounded around through the night for 569 laps with the #97 Aston Martin Racing Vantage AMR 0.055s behind. 

The Gulf Racing UK 911 RSR continues to top the GTE Am timing sheets with a 1:53.133 lap putting them square in the middle of the GTE Pro times. WEC debutants Team Project 1’s 911 RSR continues to hold second place, also up with the Pro cars with the #88 Dempsey – Proton Racing RSR in third. The older model Vantages of Aston Martin Racing (#98) and TF Sport (#90), setting lap times of 1:54.201 and 1:54.291 respectively remain ahead of the Ferrari 488s of Clearwater Racing (1:54.326), Spirit of Race (1:54.357) and MR Racing (1:54.384).

Kristof Vermeulen
This report originally was published at
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