Porsche Penske tops 24 Hours of Le Mans test day

Porsche Penske tops 24 Hours of Le Mans test day

Porsche Penske topped the final three-hour session held as part of the official test day for the 62-car field entered in this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.

It was a Porsche Penske 1-2 both in the afternoon session, and in the overall times to round out the Test Day for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, with Kevin Estre in the #6 leading Felipe Nasr in the #4 Porsche 963 at the end of the day.

Estre set his lap early in the session, dropping the marker down to a 3:26.907, to be the fastest time of the day. It bettered last year’s best Test Day time which was set by the AF Corse No. 51 Ferrari 499P Hypercar by over three seconds.

Second fastest today was the No. 4 Porsche Penske entry, 0.473s quicker than the No. 8 Toyota GR010 Hybrid Hypercar. They were followed by the No. 5 Porsche 963 and rounding out the top five was the AF Corse No. 50 Ferrari 499P.

During the morning session, the No. 7 Toyota GR010 Hybrid fielded by Toyota Gazoo Racing put in the best lap time [3:28.467]. Porsche Penske and BMW M Team WRT ranked second and third with the No. 6 Porsche 963 on 03:29.270 and the No. 20 BMW M Hybrid V8 clocking 03:29.433.

Today was the first running for the new-for-2024 LMGT3 class at Le Mans comprising of manufacturers Aston Martin, BMW, Corvette, Ferrari, Ford, Lamborghini, Lexus, McLaren and Porsche.

The No. 82 TF Sport entry was fastest overall – the Corvette Z06 LMGT3.R setting a time of 3:59.883. The top three LMGT3 cars were incredibly close, the second and third fastest crews – Heart of Racing and Team WRT – posting the same lap time [3:59.520].

This morning, the Akkodis ASP Team No. 78 Lexus RC F LMGT3 was the fastest to lap the 13.6km circuit, clocking 04:00.106.

Out of the LMP2 crews, it was the No. 22 United Autosports entry that topped the clocks with a lap time of 3:34.704. The closest challenger was the #25 Algarve Pro Racing car; Olli Caldwell setting a 3:35.981, then James Allen in the #30 Duqueine Team car, in third, and topping Pro-Am.

Of note, most cars logged significant laps, with the most laps done by the #20 WRT BMW, which clocked up 40 laps.

Of the morning’s issues, the #37 Cool Racing Oreca managed to get the car back out on track, and they tallied 25 laps, while the #15 WRT BMW Hypercar, that completed a full engine change after their issue in Session 1, was back out on track with an hour remaining, and managed to get 11 laps completed.

Of the other runners, the lowest number of laps was by the #99 Proton Competition Porsche 963, who only elected to do 12 laps, and only 20 laps with the #88 Ford Mustang. When DSC checked in with the team, a very cool and relaxed Christian Ried reported no particular problem behind the lack of running fr the #99.

The session wasn’t without incident, unfortunately. The first interruption was to recover the #10 Vector Sport Oreca, who was seen on the CCTV parked up on the entry of Indianapolis, on driver’s right, which brought out a red flag.

Curiously, the Vector Sport car had damage on the front left of the car and the floor, which didn’t match it’s resting point on the inside of the circuit.

It’s another rough blow to the team who have suffered a difficult week, after an accident in testing at Spa last week wrote off a chassis, requiring a full rebuild of a new car in the week leading into Le Mans. They were only able to complete 9 laps in the session, which was the least of any car.

During the red flag, the #19 Iron Lynx Lamborghini was noted as ‘stopped’ on the live timing tracker, in the section of the track just after the recovery for the #10 Vector Sport car.

A message indicating that Matteo Cairoli in the #19 was under investigation for ‘Behaviour under the red flag at MP 27’ [Arnage exit] flashed on the timing screen, but at this point, no result of that investigation has been given.

The red flag lasted 14 minutes, being removed with 2 hours left, and the session ran almost fully green until the call for a Slow Zone, then a Safety Car with 36 minutes remaining.

Like the morning running, the afternoon session ended marginally early under red flag after a late incident for the #7 Toyota Gazoo Racing GR010, with Kamui Kobayashi running wide at Indianapolis and nosing into the barriers with only 7 minutes left. While the damage looked cosmetic, the need for recovery brought an early end to the session.

The next Hypercar and LMGT3 track action at Le Mans will take place on Wednesday (12 June) with Free Practice 1 at 14h00.

Leave a Reply