Glickenhaus takes Le Mans first night practice

Glickenhaus takes Le Mans first night practice

Glickenhaus Racing won the first night session of the week, affirming their status as Toyota Gazoo Racing’s ‘rivals’ for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Glickenhaus Racing finished the first night session of the week fastest, confirming their position as ‘rivals of Toyota Gazoo Racing’ for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Toyota finished second and third, with Brendon Hartley in the #8 car three tenths behind the leader Romain Dumas.

The Hypercars didn’t have the most exciting session, with Dumas posting the benchmark time of 3:28.900. Early in the session, he took the lead and was not challenged for the lead by the time the session came to an end.

Since it was the first night session of the week, teams and drivers concentrated on acquiring a feel for their vehicles in the cooler nighttime conditions and collecting crucial data that would help them navigate through the race’s middle seven hours.

Meanwhile, the Alpine Elf Team struggled to keep up with its fellow Hypercars, falling 3.6 seconds behind Dumas. Even in qualifying, it struggled to stay in contention at the front, as it fell behind Kamui Kobayashi in the #7 Toyota by 2.6 seconds. On current form, it appears like the contest for the top step of the podium will be a two-team affair.

Rene Rast continued the WRT dominance in LMP2 after his teammate Robin Frjins set the quickest qualifying lap in the class. Despite a sluggish start to the weekend, the team appears to be resuming their previous form and are in strong contention to be the side to beat on Saturday.

United Autosports was only two tenths behind the reigning class Le Mans winners with the fastest time produced by the #22 car.

Dries Vanthoor in the sister Team WRT LMP2 car ranked third, finishing just under a tenth faster than the Cool Racing trio. The #37 had been in third place for the majority of the two-hour session, but was defeated at the end and had to settle for fourth place. The #9 Prema Orlen Team finished fifth in class, with the top five cars separated by four tenths of a second.

Vector Sport made it out for the most of the night session, with all three drivers able to set Le Mans night laps, despite their engine problems that kept them out of qualifying. 

The #45 Algarve Pro Racing was unfortunately undergoing a complete rebuild, with only the monocoque appearing to have survived the first practice impact. While the crew works to repair, there’s a chance it’ll be back on the track in time for the race.

The race for fastest in GTE Pro began early in the session, with the top three fastest laps in the class set in the first 20 minutes of racing. Nick Catsburg of the #63 Corvette Racing team took the lead with a time of 3:53.492, two tenths faster than second-placed Frederic Makowieki of the #91 Porsche GT Team. 

Tommy Milner rounded out the top three, marking the second practice session of the 24 Hours of Le Mans in which two Corvettes finished in the top three.

AF Corse appeared to be struggling for speed, with both factory cars finishing in the bottom half of the class. Both cars were nearly a second slower than Catsburg, but the #74 Riley Motorsport finished fourth in class, ahead of the second Porsche, indicating that it is managing the Balance of Performance (BoP) adjustments better.

The three AF Corse Ferraris will be looking for some speed ahead of tomorrow’s Hyperpole, but it’s likely they’ll be hoping for another BoP shift before lights out on Saturday.

In GTE AM, the #46 Team Project 1 beat the #88 Dempsey-Proton Racing by a tenth of a second. The Iron Dames car was once again best of the Ferraris in fourth, with #98 Northwest Aston Martin Racing rounding off the top three.

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