Fuoco puts Ferrari on top in the opening practice at Fuji

Fuoco puts Ferrari on top in the opening practice at Fuji

Ferrari AF Corse’s #50 499P piloted by Antonio Fuoco topped the opening practice session of the FIA WEC’s 6 Hours of Fuji, which took place on a drying track following a period of intense rain throughout the morning.

Antonio Fuoco led a Ferrari AF Corse 1-2 in the first Free Practice for the 6 Hours of Fuji FIA World Endurance Championship round.

Fuoco established himself as the fastest of the Hypercar drivers, clocking a 1:35.649. This secured Ferrari a 1-2 ranking in the timesheets as well, giving the Italian team, which is making its maiden trip to Japan with the 499P, a promising start to the event.

Although there were sporadic showers from the leftovers of Typhoon Yun-yeung, which was reduced to a tropical storm late Thursday, the practice, which began in fully wet circumstances, eventually dried up.

The #51 Ferrari 499p finished second in the overall rankings with a lap time of 1:38.258 in the hands of Antonio Giovanazzi.

The #94 Peugeot TotalEnergies 9X8, which finished the 90-minute run in 1:38.693, placing third marking an impressive start to the weekend. The top five was rounded out by the two Penske Porsche 963s, with the #6 finishing ahead of the #5.

Toyota Gazoo Racing’s pair of GR010 HYBRIDs finished sixth and seventh, both finishing 3.6 seconds slower than Fuoco’s best performance.

The No. 93 Peugeot finished in eighth, while the No. 2 Chip Ganassi Racing-run Cadillac V-Series.R and the No. 99 Proton Competition Porsche, rounded out the top-ten.

In LMP2, JOTA’s #28 ORECA was fastest and noticeably outperformed two of the Hypercar entries including the team’s Porsche 963 and Vanwall to finish 11th overall.

See also  Toyota to start on the front row for the 6 Hours of Fuji

Rasmussen led the No. 9 Prema and No. 23 United Autosports Orecas, who finished second and third in class, by more than a second.

Mikkel Pedersen’s No. 77 Dempsey Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR-19 finished first in GTE-Am, beating the No. 54 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE Evo and the No. 56 Project 1 – AO Porsche, which is running this weekend in “Rexy” dinosaur livery.

Local team D’Station Racing emerged as the fastest Aston Martin team, with a 1:47.493 to go fifth, a fraction off the #83 Richard Mille AF Corse Ferrari that was top early in the session before falling to fourth.

Considering the challenging conditions, it is remarkable that there were no notable incidents over the 90-minute track session.

Typhoon alerts were issued locally yesterday, and the weather has been a topic of conversation currently in the paddock. The weather outlook for the rest of the weekend is still a bit ambiguous.

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