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Penske Porsche tops Test Day with 1-2

Text: Rick Kiewiet

Images: Porsche,


Penske Porsche has flexed its muscles, claiming the first two spots on the timing sheets of the Le Mans Test Day. Kevin Estre in the #6 noted the fastest time with a 3.26:907. Felipe Nasr was second in the #4 with a 3.27:142. Best of the rest was Brendon Hartley, who put the #8 Toyota GR010 on p3. United Autosports posted the fasted time in LMP2, while TF Sport led the LMGT3 field with their Corvette.



If we take a broader look at the timing sheets, there are a couple of encouraging results for teams that had a challenging season so far. Toyota topped the morning session for example. Kamui Kobayashi steered the #7 over 7 tenths clear of the #6 Porsche. In third and fourth were BMW (#15, Frijns) and Lamborghini (#63, Bortolotti), cars that we haven't seen this far up over the season. In session 2, they were also in the upper part of the charts, with p6 for the #20 BMW, followed by the #63 in p7.


Last years' winners Ferrari where in the mid-field. Miguel Molina classified the the #50 p5, Yifei Ye put the bright yellow #83 on p8 and the #51 ended up in p12 (Giovinazzi).


United Autosports showed good form with a p2 in the morning session and a fastest time in the afternoon, also the fastest of the day. Job van Uitert in the #28 IDEC Sports Oreca topped the charts in session 1, closely followed by Jarvis. The latter also responsible for the fastest time later in the day.



In LMGT3, Lexus claimed the first two spots in session 1 with their RC F GT3. Both Kelvin van der Linde and Esteban Masson stayed ahead of Sean Geleal in the #31 WRT BMW M4. The afternoon session was topped by TF Sport's #82 Corvette (Baud, 3.59:883), followed by the #27 Heart of Racing Aston Martin (Riberas) and the #31 WRT BMW (Farfus) who both drove a 3.59:920, 0.037s slower on the 8.4 mile track.


It remains questionable of course how relevant today's times are, considering we've seen some professional sand-bagging in previous test days. But what is noteworthy is that the entire Hypercar class is within 3 to 3.5 seconds (if you don't consider the Isotta Fraschini which was 6 seconds off the pace). If you convert this to a 'regular'-length race track, you could say the field is withing 1 to 1.5 seconds of each other. The GT's are even closer together. With lap times averaging just over 4 minutes, the field is within 2 seconds of each other.





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