Buemi leads Toyota 1-2 in second practice at Fuji

Buemi leads Toyota 1-2 in second practice at Fuji

Sebastien Buemi posted the quickest time early in the session in the #8, as Toyota Gazoo Racing’s GR010 HYBRIDs finished 1-2 on the timesheets in the second Free Practice for the FIA WEC round at the Fuji Speedway this afternoon.

Toyota Gazoo Racing driver Sebastien Buemi was the first racer to breach the 90-second barrier as conditions continued to improve during Free Practice 2 for the 6 Hours of Fuji.

Buemi’s benchmark was six seconds faster than Antonio Fuoco’s top time in the first practice session since FP2 was held on a dry track after FP1 on a drying track.

The majority of cars ran at least 40 laps on the Friday afternoon session, with the No. 8 Toyota in the lead and the No. 51 Ferrari covering the most distance with 51 laps each.

Early in the 90-minute practice, the Swiss racer ran the No. 8 Toyota GR010 Hybrid to an official lap time of 1:29.523, edging Kamui Kobayashi in the sister No. 7 Hypercar by 0.597 seconds as the latter recorded a 1:30.120..

Kobayashi held onto second place all the way to the finish line and recorded two laps in the 1:30s during the first of his two driving stints before giving control of the car to co-drivers Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez.

Antonio Felix da Costa of Hertz Team JOTA placed third in the Hypercar classification with an effort of 1:30.584.

Ferrari AF Corse’s 499Ps finished fourth and sixth after finishing 1-2 in Free Practice 1, which was run on a wet track due to morning rain. The #51 was the faster of the two in the hands of Alessandro Pier Guidi, setting a time that was just over a second slower than the #8 Toyota.

Splitting the two 499Ps, the #5 Porsche Penske 963 took fifth position as the No. 93 Peugeot 9X8 driven by Jean-Eric Vergne finished seventh fastest.

The top five LMP2 competitors all posted times in the 1:33 range, confirming an extremely tight battle.

A 1:33.131 set by Louis Deletraz in the #41 Team WRT ORECA ultimately overcame Pietro Fittipaldi’s quickest lap in the #28 JOTA, which was good enough for second place. The third-place finisher was the #23 United ORECA.

In GTE Am AF Corse-driven Ferrari 488 GTE Evos finished 1-2-3 in the early afternoon session, with the #54 taking the lead with a time of 1:38.239 from Davide Rigon. The #83 Richard Mille-backed car came in third, trailing the #21 in the overall classification.

The best non-Ferrari was Julien Andlauer’s No. 77 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR-19, which finished six tenths off the class benchmark.

The #777 Vantage AMR from D’Station was the quickest of the Aston Martins in sixth. The title-winning Corvette Racing C8.R ended up 10th.

FP2 went mostly without a hitch, but there was a brief Full Course Yellow period as a result of debris at the pit exit.

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