Spa WEC: Toyota almost 3s clear of privateers in FP3

Jamie Klein

At the wheel of the #7 Toyota TS050 Hybrid, Kamui Kobayashi pumped in a 1m54.105s with 36 minutes left on the clock, beating last year's quickest qualifying time by three tenths.

That was enough to best the early-session benchmark laid down by Kazuki Nakajima in the #8 car, a 1m56.351s, by a full 2.2s.

Nakajima coasted back to the pits on electrical power only shortly after that, as Toyota simulated running out of fuel.

SMP Racing, which topped Thursday's running, cemented itself as the non-hybrid LMP1 squad to beat by locking out third and fourth positions behind the Toyotas.

Egor Orudzhev recorded the Russian squad's best time in the #17 BR Engineering BR1-AER, which was repaired overnight after Stephane Sarrazin's crash in FP2, a 1m56.842s.

WEC newcomer Stoffel Vandoorne posted the best time in the #11 car, a further six tenths back, ahead of the two Rebellion R-13 Gibsons.

Bruno Senna recorded the Swiss outfit's best time of 1m57.816s in the #1 car to go 1.8s up on the #3 machine of Nathanael Berthon.

Read Also:

Rebellion gets "no benefit" from Spa EoT change

G-Drive Racing was best of the LMP2 runners and seventh overall, thanks to a time of 2m01.143s by Jean-Eric Vergne in the team's Aurus-branded Oreca.

Will Stevens was seventh tenths down in the newly-reliveried #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca, while Gabriel Aubry was third fastest in the sister #37 car.

The ByKolles LMP1 ended up slower than the entire LMP2 field, as Paolo Ruberti spent the majority of the hour-long session at the wheel of the Gibson-powered ENSO CLM P1/01.

Porsche and Ford locked out the top four positions in GTE Pro between them.

Gianmaria Bruni left it late to set the class benchmark of 2m13.945s in the #91 Porsche 911 RSR, beating Harry Tincknell's best effort in the #67 Ford GT by a little over two tenths.

The points-leading #92 Porsche, driven by Kevin Estre, was third ahead of Olivier Pla's #66 Ford and the two AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTEs.

Aston Martin could only manage seventh and ninth with its pair of Vantage GTEs despite leading the class early on, sandwiching the quicker of the BMW M8 GTEs.

Matteo Cairoli set the best time in GTE Am, a 2m15.190s, to beat Proton Porsche teammate Matt Campbell by 0.190s.

Third practice results:

Cla # Drivers Car Class Time
1 7 United Kingdom Mike Conway
Japan Kamui Kobayashi
Argentina Jose Maria Lopez
Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 1'54.105
2 8 Switzerland Sébastien Buemi
Japan Kazuki Nakajima
Spain Fernando Alonso
Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 1'56.351
3 17 France Stéphane Sarrazin
Russian Federation Egor Orudzhev
Russian Federation Sergey Sirotkin
BR Engineering BR1 LMP1 1'56.842
4 11 Russian Federation Mikhail Aleshin
Russian Federation Vitaly Petrov
Belgium Stoffel Vandoorne
BR Engineering BR1 LMP1 1'57.475
5 1 Switzerland Neel Jani
Germany Andre Lotterer
Brazil Bruno Senna
Rebellion R13 LMP1 1'57.816
6 3 France Nathanael Berthon
France Thomas Laurent
United States Gustavo Menezes
Rebellion R13 LMP1 1'59.664
7 26 Russian Federation Roman Rusinov
Netherlands Job Van Uitert
France Jean-Eric Vergne
Aurus 01 LMP2 2'01.143
8 37 Denmark David Heinemeier Hansson
United Kingdom Jordan King
United Kingdom Will Stevens
Oreca 07 LMP2 2'01.826
9 38 China Ho-Pin Tung
France Gabriel Aubry
Monaco Stéphane Richelmi
Oreca 07 LMP2 2'02.830
10 31 Mexico Roberto Gonzalez
Venezuela Pastor Maldonado
United Kingdom Anthony Davidson
Oreca 07 LMP2 2'02.969
11 28 France François Perrodo
France Matthieu Vaxiviere
France Norman Nato
Oreca 07 LMP2 2'03.073
12 29 Netherlands Frits van Eerd
Netherlands Giedo van der Garde
Netherlands Nyck de Vries
Dallara P217 LMP2 2'03.400
13 36 France Nicolas Lapierre
Brazil Andre Negrao
France Pierre Thiriet
Alpine A470 LMP2 2'03.866
14 50 France Erwin Creed
France Romano Ricci
United States Nicholas Boulle
Ligier JSP 217 LMP2 2'05.587
15 4 France Tom Dillmann
United Kingdom Oliver Webb
Italy Paolo Ruberti
ENSO CLM P1/01 LMP1 2'05.697
16 91 Austria Richard Lietz
Italy Gianmaria Bruni
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE PRO 2'13.722
17 67 Guernsey Andy Priaulx
United Kingdom Harry Tincknell
Ford GT LMGTE PRO 2'13.945
18 92 Denmark Michael Christensen
France Kevin Estre
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE PRO 2'14.264
19 66 Germany Stefan Mücke
France Olivier Pla
Ford GT LMGTE PRO 2'14.480
20 71 Italy Davide Rigon
United Kingdom Sam Bird
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 2'14.526
21 51 Italy Alessandro Pier Guidi
United Kingdom James Calado
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 2'14.617
22 97 United Kingdom Alex Lynn
Belgium Maxime Martin
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE PRO 2'14.695
23 82 Brazil Augusto Farfus
Portugal Antonio Felix da Costa
24 95 Denmark Marco Sorensen
Denmark Nicki Thiim
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE PRO 2'15.149
25 88 Italy Gianluca Roda
Italy Giorgio Roda
Italy Matteo Cairoli
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 2'15.190
26 77 Germany Christian Ried
Italy Riccardo Pera
Australia Matt Campbell
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 2'15.380
27 81 Germany Martin Tomczyk
Netherlands Nick Catsburg
28 56 Germany Jörg Bergmeister
United States Patrick Lindsey
Norway Egidio Perfetti
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 2'15.595
29 90 Turkey Salih Yoluc
United Kingdom Euan Hankey
Ireland Charles Eastwood
Aston Martin Vantage LMGTE AM 2'16.273
30 98 Canada Paul Dalla Lana
Portugal Pedro Lamy
Austria Mathias Lauda
Aston Martin Vantage LMGTE AM 2'16.316
31 70 Japan Motoaki Ishikawa
Monaco Olivier Beretta
Italy Eddie Cheever III
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE AM 2'16.829
32 54 Switzerland Thomas Flohr
Italy Francesco Castellacci
Italy Giancarlo Fisichella
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE AM 2'16.843
33 61 Argentina Luis Perez Companc
Italy Matteo Cressoni
Ireland Matthew Griffin
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE AM 2'16.946
34 86 United Kingdom Michael Wainwright
United Kingdom Benjamin Barker
Germany Thomas Preining
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 2'18.157
View full results