Sebring WEC: Lopez keeps #7 Toyota ahead in FP3

Jamie Klein

After taking over the #7 TS050 Hybrid from Mike Conway, Lopez posted a best time of 1m41.448s in the 60-minute session, eclipsing his own best time set in Wednesday evening's second practice.

It remains however three tenths shy of Conway's unofficial record set last weekend in testing.

Fernando Alonso set the best time in the #8 Toyota, a 1m42.101s - 0.653s adrift of Lopez - as both Toyotas stretched their advantage over the non-hybrid LMP1 runners.

Best of the rest was DragonSpeed's Gibson-powered BR Engineering BR1 of Renger van der Zande, albeit the Dutchman's best time was 2.7s off the pace.

Rebellion Racing's two R13-Gibsons were fourth and fifth, with Neel Jani in the #1 managing a time a little more than a tenth quicker than Gustavo Menezes in the #3.

Both SMP Racing BR1s were some five seconds slower than the Toyotas, with Vitaly Petrov's best lap putting the #11 car ahead of the #17 machine of Egor Orudzhev.

Gabriel Aubry, who is on double WEC/IMSA duty this weekend at Sebring, recorded the best time in the LMP2 class in the #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca.

The Frenchman's late 1m48.353s effort was enough to eclipse Nicolas Lapierre in the #36 Signatech Alpine Oreca by 0.141s.

Racing Team Nederland's Dallara P217 was third-fastest in the hands of Formula 2 racer Nyck de Vries.

GTE Pro was led by Ford courtesy of a 1m57.730s effort from Andy Priaulx in the #67 car, slightly quicker than the class benchmark from Wednesday evening.

Porsche's pair of 911 RSRs filled the next two spots, Michael Christensen in the #92 narrowly shading Gianmaria Bruni in the #91 car, while Alessandro Pier Guidi put the best of the Ferrari 488 GTEs in fourth.

Aston Martin, which topped FP2, propped up the GTE Pro times in 10th and 11th, behind the sole Corvette Racing C7.R in ninth place.

The pacesetter in GTE Am and fifth-quickest of the GTE cars generally was Matt Campbell in the #77 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche, the Australian going seven tenths clear of the field.

Paul Dalla Lana prompted a full-course yellow period when he spun the #98 Aston Martin Vantage at Turn 17 a little over half an hour into the session and hit the tyre barriers backwards.

Practice times:

Pos. # Drivers Car Class Time Gap
1 7 Japan Jose Maria Lopez  Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 1'41.448  
2 8 Spain Sébastien Buemi  Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 1'42.101 0.653
3 10 Sweden Ben Hanley  BR Engineering BR1 LMP1 1'44.156 2.708
4 1 Brazil Mathias Beche  Rebellion R13 LMP1 1'44.554 3.106
5 3 France Gustavo Menezes  Rebellion R13 LMP1 1'44.707 3.259
6 11 Russian Federation Mikhail Aleshin  BR Engineering BR1 LMP1 1'46.399 4.951
7 17 Russian Federation Egor Orudzhev  BR Engineering BR1 LMP1 1'46.775 5.327
8 38 China Gabriel Aubry  Oreca 07 LMP2 1'48.353 6.905
9 36 France Andre Negrao  Alpine A470 LMP2 1'48.494 7.046
10 29 Netherlands Frits van Eerd  Dallara P217 LMP2 1'49.028 7.580
11 31 United Kingdom Roberto Gonzalez  Oreca 07 LMP2 1'49.061 7.613
12 28 France Matthieu Vaxiviere  Oreca 07 LMP2 1'49.333 7.885
13 37 United Kingdom Jordan King  Oreca 07 LMP2 1'49.353 7.905
14 50 United States Erwin Creed  Ligier JSP 217 LMP2 1'50.777 9.329
15 67 United Kingdom Andy Priaulx  Ford GT LMGTE PRO 1'57.730 16.282
16 92 Denmark Kevin Estre  Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE PRO 1'58.052 16.604
17 91 Italy Richard Lietz  Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE PRO 1'58.083 16.635
18 51 United Kingdom Daniel Serra  Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 1'58.365 16.917
19 77 Germany Julien Andlauer  Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 1'58.554 17.106
20 66 Germany Billy Johnson  Ford GT LMGTE PRO 1'58.595 17.147
21 71 United Kingdom Miguel Molina  Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 1'58.788 17.340
22 81 Netherlands Alexander Sims  BMW M8 GTE LMGTE PRO 1'58.864 17.416
23 82 Portugal Augusto Farfus  BMW M8 GTE LMGTE PRO 1'59.095 17.647
24 63 Denmark Mike Rockenfeller  Chevrolet Corvette C7R LMGTE PRO 1'59.130 17.682
25 88 Italy Giorgio Roda  Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 1'59.260 17.812
26 56 Germany Egidio Perfetti  Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 1'59.605 18.157
27 95 Denmark Darren Turner  Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE PRO 1'59.609 18.161
28 97 Belgium Alex Lynn  Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE PRO 1'59.661 18.213
29 54 Italy Thomas Flohr  Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE AM 1'59.699 18.251
30 90 United Kingdom Charles Eastwood  Aston Martin Vantage LMGTE AM 1'59.934 18.486
31 70 Monaco Motoaki Ishikawa  Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE AM 2'00.129 18.681
32 86 United Kingdom Thomas Preining  Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 2'00.429 18.981
33 61 Ireland Luis Perez Companc Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE AM 2'00.579 19.131
34 98 Portugal Mathias Lauda  Aston Martin Vantage LMGTE AM 2'01.607 20.159