Toyota Gazoo Racing’s pair of GR010 HYBRIDs reclaimed the top spot on the timing screens as James Calado’s No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari 499P crashed during the third practice of the Prologue weekend at Sebring.
Mike Conway established the pace, once again placing Toyota Gazoo Racing 1-2 on the time sheets at Sebring International Raceway’s third session of the FIA World Endurance Championship Prologue preseason test.
Sebastien Buemi in the sister Toyota finished second, was 0.008 slower than the #7, which set the fastest time in yesterday’s opening session with a time of 1:48.473 set by Mike Conway. Once again, Toyota was able to get a lot of laps in during the three and a half hours on the track. The GR010 HYBRIDs collectively completed 164 laps.
Porsche’s #5 963 managed to set the fastest non-Toyota time for the first time this weekend. The Penske-driven car with Michael Christensen at the wheel finished third late in the session with a 1:48.957, but this time was surpassed by the best effort of the session from all six Toyota drivers.
Cadillac came third in the morning session after finishing first in session two yesterday, it was seven tenths slower than the best Toyota time as Alex Lynn posted the car’s fastest time.
The two Peugeots further back enjoyed a more productive session. The crew ran 122 laps in total, finishing sixth and seventh behind the second Porsche, with the #94 posting a time that was eight tenths slower than the fastest time and the #93 little over a second slower.
Ferrari’s practice session wasn’t successful, though. The #51 didn’t record a single competitive lap after James Calado’s off at the bumps on Turn 1 on his out lap while the #50 finished ninth. While Calado was unharmed, the car was unable to continue in the practice due to front-end and right-side damage. Dallara staff were also observed inspecting at the prototype’s floor.
Jacques Villeneuve was once again slower than all of the LMP2 drivers, but Tom Dillmann posted the fastest time, making it a more encouraging session for Vanwall. The Vandervell finished running tenth and was quicker than the entire LMP2 field for the first time. In the meantime, the Glickenhaus 007 was having trouble keeping up during the session and was behind the top five ORECA 07s.
In LMP2, United’s #22 ORECA once more posted the fastest time, with Filipe Albuquerque posting a 1:50.577. The #63 Prema Oreca driven by Doriane Pin and the #48 JOTA driven by Yifei Ye made up the top three.
Porsches took the top four spots in Am, with the Project 1 AO 911 clocking the quickest time. The Iron Lynx and Iron Dames Porsche, who have been fast throughout the weekend, had the fastest lap with a 1:59.170 from Matteo Cairoli.
The Kessel Racing 488, the fastest Ferrari, was in sixth place until Takeshi Kimura crashed, severely damaging the front-left corner of the car. The three Vantages that made up the bottom three positions in the 14-car class were another example of Aston Martin’s poor start to the season, with at least two of the vehicles experiencing dusty situations during the practice.
The fourth and final Prologue session is scheduled to begin at 2:30 PM ET and run for three hours.