Yifei Ye leads Ferrari 1-2 in first practice for WEC Imola

Yifei Ye leads Ferrari 1-2 in first practice for WEC Imola

Yifei Ye led a Ferrari 1-2 in the first FIA World Endurance Championship Free Practice session at Imola.

Ferrari emerged on top in the first practice session for the FIA WEC Imola, as the yellow #83 privately-funded 499P finished first, a full tenth ahead of the factory team’s #50 as track running for the Prancing Horse’s home event got underway.

Yifei Ye posted the fastest time in the ninety-minute run early in the session after he lapped the Italian circuit in 1:32.347. In the meantime, Antonio Fuoco recorded the fastest lap in the #50.

Meanwhile, Peugeot’s new 9X8 enjoyed a quick start right away in the WEC as Mikkel Jensen’s effort saw the #93 finish third and six-tenths off the benchmark, making it one of only three cars to post a time under 1:32.

However , Jean-Eric Vergne stalled on the track 34 minutes into the session, resulting in the only red flag of the practice. However, a Peugeot representative told Racetrackmasters that this was caused by “engine protection” that didn’t involve any major issues.

Lamborghini Iron Lynx performed exceptionally with the SC63 as well with Mirko Bortolotti recording a 1:32.015 to move up to fourth place as Antonio Giovanazzi’s #51 Ferrari 499P managed to sneak into the top five with a time of 1:32.065.

Porsche, the brand that won the Qatar Grand Prix, would also be featured in the top half of the classification as Proton’s 963 posted the best time of the quartet, a 1:32.253 to finish sixth and just faster than the two Porsche Penske Motorsport entries of Matt Campbell and Kevin Estre that finished seventh and eighth.

The top 10 was rounded out by Toyota’s GR010 HYBRIDs with Nyck de Vries in ninth 0.234 seconds ahead of tenth-placed Sebastien Buemi.

Isotta Fraschini showed improvement further down the order in 14th. The #38 JOTA Porsche, which finished just four laps, the two Alpines, the Cadillac, and a WRT BMW were all slower than the Tipo6-C.

In LMGT3, the two Corvette Z06 LMGT3.Rs that TF Sport tested at the circuit before the race, would set the early benchmark times finishing first and second with laps in the 1:42.

Daniel Juncadella was fastest in the #82 with a time of 1:42.112 while Charlie Eastwood drove the #81 to a 1:42.719. Davide Rigon finished third in the No. 54 Vista AF Corse Ferrari 296 GT3, ahead of the second Ferrari driven by Alessio Rovera and Maxime Martin’s No. 46 Team WRT BMW M4 GT3.

The Qatar race-winning Porsche from Manthey Pure Rxcing would come in 13th place further down the list after Joel Sturm recorded a best lap of 1:43.871.

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