Fuji WEC: Rebellion splits Toyotas in first practice

Toyota topped first practice for this weekend’s Fuji FIA World Endurance Championship round by just under three tenths of a second ahead of closest LMP1 rival Rebellion.

Sebastien Buemi took the top spot in a 90-minute session that began on a damp but rapidly drying track at the wheel of the #8 TS050 Hybrid.

Toyota was on course to lock out the top two spots for much of the session until Norman Nato set a 1m27.659s in the solo Rebellion R-13-Gibson to split the Japanese cars.

Kamui Kobayashi’s best effort of 1m27.790s in the Silverstone-winning #7 Toyota was only enough for third in the end, a little over a tenth slower than Nato.

Toyota’s #7 car is carrying the biggest handicap under the new system that is being implemented in LMP1 for the first time this weekend at Fuji, having been slowed by 1.4 seconds a lap compared to the so-called ‘reference car’, the #6 Ginetta G60-LT-P1.

The #8 Toyota, which finished second in last month’s season-opening round, has been slowed by only a second, reflected by the 0.4s gap between the cars in practice.

Ginetta’s pair of AER-powered cars propped up the order, with the #5 of Ben Hanley fourth – just over a second off the pace – and the #6 of Charlie Robertson fifth.

Toyota protege Kenta Yamashita put High Class Racing’s Oreca 07 on top of the times in LMP2 at his home track with a best time of 1m29.624s.

The SUPER GT points leader was seven tenths ahead of the second-placed Racing Team Nederland Oreca driven by new Formula 2 champion Nyck de Vries, while Nicolas Lapierre put the Cool Racing Oreca third, another half a second back.

Both Cool’s Alexander Coigny and JOTA Sport’s Anthony Davidson returned to action after being forced to skip the Silverstone opener due to injury.

Porsche swept the top two spots in GTE Pro with its new 911 RSR-19s, Gianmaria Bruni in the #91 car setting a 1m38.315s to beat Michael Christensen in the #92 car by 0.104s.

Miguel Molina was best of the rest in the #71 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE, four tenths off the pace, followed by the top Aston Martin Vantage GTE of Nicki Thiim.

Jonathan Adam put the TF Sport Aston on top in GTE Am with a 1m39.010s.

Session results:

18 Sébastien Buemi
Kazuki Nakajima
Brendon Hartley
Toyota TS050 HybridLMP1 1’27.373  
21 Bruno Senna
Gustavo Menezes
Norman Nato
Rebellion R13LMP1 1’27.659 0.286
37 Mike Conway
Kamui Kobayashi
Jose Maria Lopez
Toyota TS050 HybridLMP1 1’27.790 0.417
45 Luca Ghiotto
Ben Hanley
Egor Orudzhev
Ginetta G60-LT-P1LMP1 1’28.449 1.076
56 Charles Robertson
Michael Simpson
Guy Smith
Ginetta G60-LT-P1LMP1 1’28.712 1.339
633 Mark Patterson
Kenta Yamashita
Anders Fjordbach
Oreca 07LMP2 1’29.624 2.251
729 Frits van Eerd
Giedo van der Garde
Nyck de Vries
Oreca 07LMP2 1’30.382 3.009
842 Nicolas Lapierre
Antonin Borga
Alexandre Coigny
Oreca 07LMP2 1’30.814 3.441
936 Thomas Laurent
Andre Negrao
Pierre Ragues
Alpine A470LMP2 1’31.025 3.652
1038 Roberto Gonzalez
Antonio Felix da Costa
Anthony Davidson
Oreca 07LMP2 1’31.141 3.768
1122 Philip Hanson
Filipe Albuquerque
Oliver Jarvis
Oreca 07LMP2 1’31.398 4.025
1237 Ho-Pin Tung
Gabriel Aubry
Will Stevens
Oreca 07LMP2 1’31.805 4.432
1347 Roberto Lacorte
Andrea Belicchi
Giorgio Sernagiotto
Dallara P217LMP2 1’32.491 5.118
1491 Gianmaria Bruni
Richard Lietz
Porsche 911 RSR – 19LMGTE PRO 1’38.315 10.942
1592 Michael Christensen
Kevin Estre
Porsche 911 RSR – 19LMGTE PRO 1’38.419 11.046
1671 Davide Rigon
Miguel Molina
Ferrari 488 GTE EVOLMGTE PRO 1’38.707 11.334
1795 Marco Sorensen
Nicki Thiim
Aston Martin Vantage AMRLMGTE PRO 1’38.738 11.365
1851 James Calado
Alessandro Pier Guidi
Ferrari 488 GTE EVOLMGTE PRO 1’38.825 11.452
1990 Salih Yoluc
Charles Eastwood
Jonathan Adam
Aston Martin Vantage AMRLMGTE AM 1’39.010 11.637
2070 Motoaki Ishikawa
Olivier Beretta
Kei Cozzolino
Ferrari 488 GTE EVOLMGTE AM 1’39.039 11.666
2197 Alex Lynn
Maxime Martin
Aston Martin Vantage AMRLMGTE PRO 1’39.069 11.696
2286 Michael Wainwright
Andrew Watson
Benjamin Barker
Porsche 911 RSRLMGTE AM 1’39.351 11.978
2356 Egidio Perfetti
David Heinemeier Hansson
Matteo Cairoli
Porsche 911 RSRLMGTE AM 1’39.542 12.169
2488 Satoshi Hoshino
Adrien de Leener
Thomas Preining
Porsche 911 RSRLMGTE AM 1’39.576 12.203
2577 Christian Ried
Riccardo Pera
Matt Campbell
Porsche 911 RSRLMGTE AM 1’39.616 12.243
2654 Thomas Flohr
Francesco Castellacci
Giancarlo Fisichella
Ferrari 488 GTE EVOLMGTE AM 1’39.618 12.245
2783 François Perrodo
Emmanuel Collard
Nicklas Nielsen
Ferrari 488 GTE EVOLMGTE AM 1’39.663 12.290
2898 Paul Dalla Lana
Darren Turner
Ross Gunn
Aston Martin Vantage AMRLMGTE AM 1’39.761 12.388
2957 Ben Keating
Felipe Fraga
Jeroen Bleekemolen
Porsche 911 RSRLMGTE AM 1’39.942 12.569
3062 Bonamy Grimes
Johnny Mowlem
Charles Hollings
Ferrari 488 GTE EVOLMGTE AM 1’40.678 13.305

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