WEC - Alonso Sets Quickest Time at 24 Hours of Le Mans Test


Official test at Le Mans - Report 

Fernando Alonso got his first 24 Hours of Le Mans off to a great start by setting the fastest lap of the day at the official test day ahead of the race on the 16/17 June. 

The Spaniard set a 3m19.066 lap around the 13.6km La Sarthe circuit in the Toyota TS050 Hybrid, finishing the day 0.6 seconds ahead of the nearest LMP1 rival.  The two Toyotas were split with the no3 Rebellion Racing R13-Gibson finishing second quickest, with Mathias Beche setting a 3m19.680, 0.328s ahead of the no7 Toyota.

The LMGTE Pro category was hard fought with Ford leading the way at the end of the morning session. However it was Porsche who came out on top at the end of the day with Patrick Pilet posting a 3m52.551 just before the session ended with a red flag less than two minutes before the chequered flag was due to be waved.  The no93 Porsche 911 of Pilet was just 0.096s ahead of the sister car, the no91 911 of Gianmaria Bruni, which was the quickest of the cars racing in the WEC and fighting for the FIA world title. 

The four Ford GTs filled the next four slots on the time sheets with the no67 Ford GT third quickest with Andy Priaulx setting a 3m53.008 lap. 

In LMP2 it was the no31 Dragonspeed Oreca which topped the timesheets with Nathanael Berthon who set the 3m55.970 lap to put the American team ahead of the 19 other rivals on the grid.  The second placed car, the no48 IDEC Sport Oreca of Paul Loup Chatin, was just 0.024s behind, with the no26 G-Drive Racing Oreca in third.

The LMGTE Am category was also headed by a Porsche, with the no77 Dempsey-Proton Racing 911 posting a 3m55.970 lap with Julien Andlauer at the wheel, 0.299s ahead of the no54 Spirit of Race Ferrari of Giancarlo Fisichella.

The two test sessions was interrupted by the red flag several times. Some cars were damaged and the safety barriers had to be repaired. Fortunately none of the drivers were injured.

The teams now have one week before the 86th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans gets underway with Le Pesage in the centre of Le Mans on Sunday 10th and Monday 11th June.  Track action begins on Wednesday 13th June with the race beginning at 15h00 on Saturday 16th June.