Jani sets the pace for Porsche in first Le Mans free practice

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Track action at the 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans has begun today with the #1 Porsche 919 Hybrid of Neel Jani setting the pace in the first 4-hour Free Practice session. 

In hot conditions, with the sun beating down and temperatures at 30 degrees, Jani’s lap of 3m20.362 was 0.604seconds faster than the no7 Toyota TS050 Hybrid of Kamui Kobayashi, with the no2 Porsche of Earl Bamber third quickest with a lap time of 3m21.687 on the 13.6km track at La Sarthe.

Ferrari was the quickest of the four LMGTE manufacturers competing in the FIA GT World Endurance Championship with the no71 F488 of Sam Bird posting a 3m54.832 lap, 0.4 seconds ahead of the no97 Aston Martin of Darren Turner and 0.7 seconds ahead of the no51 Ferrari 488 of James Calado

The 25 strong LMP2 grid was headed by the no26 G-Drive Racing Oreca07-Gibson, with Alex Lynn setting a 3m30.363 lap, 1.3 seconds ahead of the no13 Vaillante Rebellion Oreca of Mathias Beche and the no31 Vaillante Rebellion of Bruno Senna just 0.083s behind his teammate.  The two Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca’s were 4th and 5th fastest with the no38 Oreca of Ho Pin Tung just 0.261s ahead of Tristan Gommendy in the no37 car.

The no98 Aston Martin was once again at the top of the LMGTE Am class with Pedro Lamy posting a 3m56.082, which was faster than seven of the LMGTE Pro class cars including all four Fords and both Porsches.  The no83 DH Racing Ferrari was second quickest with Andrea Bertolini setting a 3m57.540 lap, 1.5 seconds behind the lead Aston Martin.  The no84 JMW Motorsport Ferrari F488 was third quickest, 0.066s behind the DH Racing Ferrari and 0.183s ahead of the no60 Clearwater Racing Ferrari.

The first of three 2-hour qualifying sessions will get underway at 22h00later today, with Q2 and Q3 taking place tomorrow evening.

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