WEC: Lopez leads second Shanghai practice for Toyota
Toyota continued its dominant form at the head of the LMP1 field in the second FIA WEC practice of the 6 Hours of Shanghai weekend. However, with the track conditions worse than in FP1 after more rain, the privateers were able to get a lot closer to the ultimate pace.
The fastest TS050 HYBRID was the No. 7 this time around, Jose Maria Lopez setting a late flyer to pip the No. 8 sister car to the top spot. His 2m02.259s — which was significantly slower than the best FP1 time (1m54.768s) — was just four tenths faster than the quickest non-hybrid challenger, which this time was the No. 3 Rebellion R-13.
Thomas Laurent set the No. 3’s best time, pushing the team’s No. 1 (which was six tenths off the fastest Toyota lap) example to fourth. For reference, in Free Practice 1, the fastest privateer was 4.1 seconds off the benchmark time.
Best of the rest in the session was SMP Racing’s No. 11 BR1, 1.3 seconds off, completing the top five.
LMP2 was topped by the No. 37 Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA once again. Jazeman Jaafar posted a 2m10.869s in the team’s 07, continuing its Silverstone and Fuji form into its home race. The time was just 0.069s faster than the championship-leading Signatech Alpine A470, which sat atop the class with a 2m10.869s from Andre Negrao until the final moments of the session. TDS Racing’s ORECA ended up third once again.
In the GTE ranks, Ferraris topped both classes. AF Corse’s No. 51 came to the fore in GTE Pro thanks to reigning world champion James Calado setting a 2m14.315s shortly before getting beached in the gravel after a spin at Turn 1 early in the session. The car did resume running after being recovered and managed to complete 26 laps.
Behind, the No. 82 MTEK BMW — which led the way in FP1 — finished the afternoon running second, six tenths off and just ahead of the No. 97 Aston Martin, which slotted in third with a 2m14.983s from Maxime Martin.
Spirit of Race’s No. 54 488 example topped GTE Am, leading a 1-2 for the Italian marque, ex-F1 man Giancarlo Fisichella setting the best time, a 2m16.835s. Clearwater Racing’s Ferrari took second in the classification.
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