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WEC: Ferrari and Toyota atop Friday’s Fuji practice sessions


Antonio Fuoco led his Ferrari team-mate Antonio Giovinazzi in the opening practices session ahead of this weekend’s 6 Hours of Fuji, the penultimate round of the 2023 FIA World Endurance Championship. Toyota responded with a 1-2 in the second of today’s sessions through Sebastien Buemi setting the pace ahead of team-mate Kamui Kobayashi

Fuoco in the #50 Ferrari AF Corse took the top spot in Hypercar in the opening session of the weekend as he lapped wet but drying Fuji International Speedway in a 1:35.649.

The Italian set a flying lap as the track started to dry after the morning’s downpour, with his lap an impressive 2.6s faster than the sister Ferrari 499P driven by Antonio Giovinazzi. #94 TotalEnergies Peugeot was third as Gustavo Menezes got within 0.4s of the Ferraris.

Monza-winning #28 Jota entry was the fastest among Gibson-powered Orecas in the LMP2 class, courtesy of Oliver Rasmussen’s best lap of 1:40.781.

#77 Dempsey Proton Racing Porsche led the way in LMGTE Am as Mikkel Pedersen clocked the class-best lap of 1:43.538.

Swiss racer Buemi went fastest overall in the second of today’s sessions as fully dry running was completed for the first time.

The #8 Toyota Gazoo Racing GR010 Hypercar Hybrid lapped the circuit, setting the best time of 1:29.523, 0.597s ahead of its sister Toyota in the hands of local ace Kobayashi, who will be chasing his third WEC victory on home ground.

Hertz Team Jota was the best-placed non-Toyota as Antonio Felix da Costa recorded his best time of 1:30.584 in the gold-liveried Porsche 963.

FP1 pace-setting Ferrari AF Corse placed fourth and sixth on this occasion, with the #51 499P being the fastest of the two red Hypercars this time out.

Points-leading #41 WRT entry of Robert Kubica, Rui Andrade and Louis Deletraz went fastest in the LMP2 class, with a late 1:33.131 lap by Deletraz demoting the #28 Jota Oreca-Gibson as Pietro Fittipaldi had set the pace for most part of the session with his 1:33.620s best.

Davide Rigon led the way in LMGTE Am for the #54 AF Corse Ferrari squad.