Toyota Gazoo tops Sebring prologue as Cadillac finishes third

Toyota Gazoo tops Sebring prologue as Cadillac finishes third

Toyota GR010 HYBRID finished first and second overall in the four sessions of the official preseason test at Sebring, which served as the prologue for the World Endurance Championship.

With a total of 12 and a half hours of track time, three testing sessions, and Jose Maria Lopez’s 1m48.208s in the #7 entry during the first session on Saturday morning, the Japanese manufacturer was fastest during the entire event.

Brendon Hartley established a record for the #8 Le Mans Hypercar on Sunday afternoon with a time of 1m48.216s, which was just a fraction faster than that.

Mike Conway’s best time in the closing session, a 1m48.333s, was surpassed by Hartley’s best performance in the final session by just over a tenth.

The Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac V-Series.R finished third in the total times with Earl Bamber’s 1m48.429s, which topped the times on Saturday afternoon. In the last session, Richard Westbrook drove the Caddy LMDh and posted a time of 1m48.890s to lead the Toyota chase.

Michael Christensen’s time of 1m48.957s, posted on Sunday morning, helped Porsche move up to fourth place. With a 1m49.285s produced by Kevin Estre in the same session, he now had a three-tenths advantage over the sister Porsche 963 LMDh’s time.

In the last hour of the Prologue, the top-finishing Ferrari 499P LMH moved up to sixth in the overall standings. Nicklas Nielsen beat teammate Antonio Fuoco’s previous record by almost exactly a tenth with a time of 1m49.300s, moving ahead of the #93 Peugeot LMH. Just two thousandths of a second separated Nielsen from Nico Muller, who set a 1m49.302s on Sunday morning taking seventh place.

The Swiss driver’s pace was an additional tenth and a half faster than Mikkel Jensen’s, who ran the second 9X8 in the same session and posted a time of 1m49.568s.

With James Calado’s accident on Sunday morning, the other Ferrari did not participate in the final session and finished ninth overall in the Prologue with a time of 1m49.573s from Antonio Giovinazzi.

Vanwall outperformed Glickenhaus marking the final hypercar entries, with Tom Dillmann’s 1m50.038s for the German-based marque beating Ryan Briscoe’s 1m51.173s for the American competitor by more than a second.

With its #22 ORECA-Gibson 07, United Autosports dominated LMP2 after setting the benchmark time in three sessions. More than two tenths faster than WRT driver Robert Kubica’s 1m50.827 time achieved in the last session, Filipe Albuquerque’s 1m50.577s from Sunday morning stood as the best P2 of the weekend.

Doriane Pin posted a time of 1m50.860s in session three to finish third in class for the Prema team on her maiden competitive outing in a P2 car. Both Yifei Ye and Pierto Fittipaldi recorded 1m51.000s in their respective Jota ORECAs on Sunday morning, with the Chinese driver claiming fourth place.

In GTE Am, Porsche dominated the top spots, with Project 1’s Matteo Cairoli setting the pace with a time of 1m59.170s.

Michelle Gatting, driving the Iron Dames entry operated by Iron Lynx, was the second fastest of the Porsche 911 RSR flotilla. Ben Barker, driving the GR Racing Porsche, finished first in session four with a time of 1m59.253, which was close to Gatting’s best time of 1m59.201s.

The Sebring 1000 Miles, the first round of the 2023 WEC, had its prologue before race week. The Sebring 12 Hours round of the IMSA SportsCar Championship gets underway with practice on Wednesday before the race on Friday.

Leave a Reply