After three hours of driving, the first free practice at Le Mans delivered its verdict on Wednesday on the 24 Hours circuit. And after a somewhat difficult Test Day for Toyota, the GR010s regained form, setting the best times in these EL1s. The n°8 (Buemi – Hartley – Hirakawa) finished in 3’27″742, a time still three seconds slower than last year’s pole, ahead of the n°7 (Conway – Kobayashi – Lopez), at only a tenth.
The drivers accelerated at the end of the session, which allowed the best time to go down and changed the hierarchy. The Peugeot 9X8s, which occupied second and third places behind a Toyota, thus finished the session 6th and 7th, at 64 hundredths for the n°94 (Duval – Menezes – Müller) and 79 hundredths for the n°93 (Di Resta – Jensen – Vergne).
The 8th and 12th Ferraris
The Hypercar closest to the GR010s is the Cadillac n°2 (Bamber – Lynn – Westbrook), at 19 hundredths, ahead of two Porsches, the n°75 (Nasr – Jaminet – Tandy) at 40 hundredths and the n°6 ( Estre – Lotterer – Vanthoor) to 42 hundredths. Slight disappointment for Ferrari, which had dominated the Test Day but only occupies 8th place in these free practices 1, with the n°50 (Fuoco – Molina – Nielsen), at 96 hundredths. It’s the last Hypercar in the same second as the #8 Toyota.
In LMP2, the fastest prototype is the JOTA n°28 (Heinemeier Hansson – Rasmussen – Fittipaldi) with a time of 3’34″579. In GTE Am, it’s an Aston Martin, the n°55 of GMB Motorsport , who dominated the proceedings, in 3’55″020. Note that the Chevrolet Camaro Nascar from Garage 56 set a better time of 3’49″475.
The session was interrupted for the first time after less than thirty minutes following a spectacular accident between an LMP2 and a GTE Am, the n°13 of Tower Motorsports and the Aston Martin n°777 of D’Station Racing. A break of 35 minutes in total. And at the very end of the session, a new red flag stopped the session after the Corvette left the track at Tertre Rouge.