Sunday 2 June 2019

Le Mans: Test Day Afternoon Session

Test Session 2

The green flag for the second session came out on time at 14:00 after a 1 hour lunch break. Within the first few minutes Kobayashi had set the fastest time thus far in the day 3:21.030 in #7 Toyota Hybrid. Meanwhile Harry Tincknell set the fastest time of the day so far in GTE Pro 3:54.032.

There was a Safety Car period at 14:20 due to the LMGTE Pro Rizi Competizione #89 Ferrari 488 driven by Oliver Jarvis that had stopped at the second chicane on the Mulsanne Straight. The procedure meant that most cars went back to pitlane. By the time the Green flag came out at 14:35, the air temperature had risen to a toasty 30.6 Centigrade

At 14:40 Cairoli in the #88 Dempsey Proton Porsche went into the gravel at exit of Mulsanne corner bringing on a slow zone for a few minutes .

At 14:45 Alonso brought down the overall fastest time again with a lap of 3:20.881.

At 14:56 Fastest lap in GTE Am for Fisichella with 3:57.862 in #54 for spirit of race Ferrari. Meanwhile there was improvement for both Toyotas. 3:20.426 for Alonso in Toyota Hybrid #8 and 3:20.586 for Kamui Kobayashi in Toyota #7.

At 14:57 there was a short Full Course Yellow to allow marshals to retrieve debris from the track.

At 15:10 the fastest non-hybrid P1 time 3:23.064 was set by Vandoorne in #11 SMP.

At 15:12 Ruberti in the #4 ByKolles pulled over and stopped at Porsche Curves.

At 15:36 the ByKolles #4 was back in pitlane and was pushed back into the garage.

At 15:37 René Binder in the #23 Ligier JS P217-Gibson fielded by Panis Barthez Compétition ran into gravel at the first chicane on the Mulsanne Straight, bringing out a local slow zone.

At 15:40 Olivier Pla in #66 Ford GT hit the tyre barrier at Tertre Rouge causing a local slow zone.

At the two hour point Tereschenko in the ARC Bratislava #49 Ligier went off at Indianapolis, but managed to rejoin the track without outside intervention. Meanwhile Nico_Lapierre in the #36 Signatech Alpine set the fastest LMP2 time 2:29.829. At this halfway stage of the session, the #7 @Toyota_Hybrid TS050 driven by López, Kobayashi and Conway had covered 84 laps, two more than the #8 sister car at the top of the time sheets. 

Status at half way:
16:10 Track temp 34.4C - Air temp 31.2
P1: #8 Toyota TS050, Toyota Gazoo Racing  3:20.426
P2: #36 Alpine A470-Gibson, Signatech Alpine Matmut  3:29.829
GTE Pro: #67 Ford GT, Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK  3:54.032
GTE Am: #54 Ferrari 488 GTE, Spirit of Race  3:58.334 

At 16:14 Oliver Gavin in the #64 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R set a time of 3:54.838, moving him up to fourth in the LMGTE Pro time sheets, just behind the #63 car. The top six in class were within a second of each other.

At 16:25 Buemi improved the time for the Toyota #8, setting a lap time of 3:20.068. After a brief Full Course yellow at 16:32 there were two significant improvements, a time of 3:29.462 fastest in LMP2 for Richelmi in #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca and 3:56.682 fastest time in GTE Am for Vilander in #62 WeatherTech Ferrari. Then at 16:49 Rockenfeller set the fastest time in GTE Pro 3:54.001 in the #63 Corvette.

With 1 hour remaining the track temperature had continued to rise, reaching 36.7 Centigrade. The Safety Cars were launched at 16:56 to allow recovery of the High Class Racing #20 Oreca 07 that crashed out at the Porsche curves with Andersen at the wheel. The nose of the car looked damaged. The SC period also allowed the recovery of the #77 Dempsey Proton Porsche that had stopped on the Mulsanne Straight. The slow zone at Porsche curves remained in place for some time to allow for barrier repairs until 17:22. The #20 was repaired and was seen back on track in the final half hour.

At 17:31 with less than 30 minutes to go Buemi broke 3:20 for the first time today with a time of 3:19.440 on the 99th lap of the #8 Toyota Hybrid, this remained the fastest time of the day.

There was a slow zone at Mulsanne Corner in the closing minutes for Tracy Krohn who stopped with tyre failure in #99 Dempsey Proton Porsche. The slow zone was lifted at 17:49.

At 17:52 Lotterer took the Rebellion #1 to the top of non-hybrid LMP1 field with a time of 3:21.323. 

Final top times of Test Day:
LMP1: 1st #8 Toyota Hybrid 3:19.440 2nd #7 Toyota Hybrid 3rd #1 Rebellion  

LMP2: 1st #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing 3:28.504 2nd #31  DragonSpeed  3rd #36 Signatech Alpine 

GTE Pro: 1st #63 Corvette 3:54.001 2nd #67 Ford GT 3rd #64 Corvette

GTE Am: 1st #62 WeatherTech Ferrari 3:56.862 2nd #61 Clearwater Ferrari 3rd #54 Spirit of race Ferrari 
Dave Davies
Pictures: Kristof Vermeulen & JellyBaby.Media