Endurance Racing

SMP Racing split the two Toyotas in WEC FP3

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After a slightly shortened free practice session, Toyota still ran quickest, though SMP Racing stopped the Japanese team’s clean sweep.

Teams were greeted by a grey Silverstone this morning as free practice got underway. Toyota remained the fastest team on the circuit with the #8 car of Sebastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Fernando Alonso setting the pace. Alonso’s 1:37.677 lap time put the #8 crew almost two seconds ahead of their nearest rivals which, for a change, wasn’t a Toyota. Unlike yesterday’s sessions, the #7 Toyota finished FP3 fourth fastest, behind the two SMP Racing machines. Egor Orudzhev and Stephane Sarrazin stuck the #17 BR1 into second position with the #11 crew of Jenson Button, Mikhail Aleshin and Vitaly Petrov behind them in third. The #1 Rebellion and #4 ByKolles both took to the track this morning after skipping FP2 yesterday afternoon.

In LMP2, TDS Racing found themselves repeating their FP1 achievements, running fastest in the session. Loic Duval, Francois Perrodo and Mathieu Vaxivierre finished on a 1:44.247, six tenths ahead of the two Jackie Chan DC Racing Orecas – the Mighty 38 finishing ahead of the Fortune Cat 37.

It’s all about Ford once again in GTE Pro as the #67 and #66 finished quickest – the only GTE Pro cars in the 1:55s. Behind them in third was the #95 ‘Dane Train’ Aston Martin of Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorensen. It may only be practice, but it’s fantastic to see an Aston Martin running this far up the field. The #71 Ferrari of Sam Bird and Davide Rigon finished fourth fastest, a pretty good result for the Italian team. BMW appear to have some ground to make up, finishing 7th and 9th – though this is only practice, it could all change come qualifying!

Aston Martin’s GTE Am effort ended the session quickest, improving on their FP2 effort, thanks to a 1:58.460 from Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda. The #98 AMR finished ahead of Motoaki Ishikawa, Olivier Beretta and Eddie Cheever in the #70 MR Racing Ferrari, and the championship-leading #77 Dempsey Proton Porsche.

Qualifying for the GTE classes begins at 12.00.

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