Friday 6 April 2018

FIA WEC: Toyota on top after four hours at the Prologue

We're 4 hours in on the FIA WEC Prologue at Paul Ricard, the final test before the 2018/2019 Super season kicks off at Spa-Francorchamps in a few weeks time. 

Toyota is on top of the timetables, with the #8 TS050 Hybrid of S├ębastien Buemi & Mike Conway leading the #7 sister car of Jose Maria Lopez and Anthony Davidson. The fastest lap of the #8 car was 1.34.151, over a second faster than the #7. 

The first of the non-hybrid LMP1's after 4 hours is the #6 CEFC TRSM Racing Ginetta of Oliver Rowland, Alex Brundell and Leo Roussel already 4.77 seconds behind the lead Toyota. Next up is the #4 BR Engineering BR1 (AER) of SMP Racing with Dragonspeed in the Gibson powered BR1 following on.  At this time, the Ginetta has a margin of 0.34 seconds over the first BR Engineering BR1.

The rejuvenated ByKolles ENSO CLM P1/01 – Nismo sits in sixth after Olly Webb set a new personal best lap of 1:40.220. Closing out the LMP1 class is the second SMP Racing BR1 with the Rebellion TVR R13 half a second behind.  One car hasn't been out yet: the #5 CEFC TRSM Manor Ginetta of Charlie Robertson, Dean Stoneman and Leo Roussel. 

In the LMP2 Class the top five positions are held by the Oreca 07 chassis with Dragonspeed leading the pack, Signatech Alpine in second, TDS Racing third followed by the two Jacky Chan DC Racing cars #37 and #38. The first non-Oreca is the #29 Racing Team Nederland Dallara with the Ligier of Labre Competition closing out the class. LMP2 is very close so far with the first 6 cars within a second. 

Porsche just took over the lead in the GTE Pro class from both Ford GT"s.  Richard Lietz in the #91 Porsche leads the pack ahead of the #66 and #67 Fords. The gap between the leading Porsche and the first Ford now down to less than 0.14 seconds. The #92 Porsche 911 RSR of Michael Christensen and Kevin Estre is fourth with the first of the AF Corse Ferrari's in fifth (#51). 

The #82 BMW M8 GTE is holding sixth place from the #71 AF Corse Ferrari 488. The second of the AF Corse Ferraris (#71) is in seventh ahead of the second BMW. The two new Aston Martin Vantage AMRs are lapping towards the back of the pack in nith and 10th place. 

The GTE Am cars are showing well with the first being the 911 RSR of Gulf Racing, being trailed by the #90 TF Sport "old" Aston Martin Vantage GTE.  Third is the #88 Dempsey-Proton RSR with the  #56 Team Project 1 and the #77 Dempsey Proton RSRs behind.  The first two cars in GTE Am are setting laptimes will into the range of the Pro cars, sitting between 6th and 7th place in the Pro class. 

Kristof Vermeulen.
Part of this article was orginally published at