Toyota 1-2-3 in official Le Mans test

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Toyota Gazoo Racing head into the 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans with a 1-2-3 ahead Porsche in the official test at La Sarthe today.  The final 4-hour session was red flagged with 5-minutes remaining after the no25 CEFC Manor TRS Racing Oreca-Gibson stopped on track leaking oil and the session was brought to an end.

Kamui Kobayashi set the fastest lap in the no7 Toyota TS050, lapping the 13.6km circuit in a time of 3m18.132, well inside the fastest lap time of 3m21.375 set during last year’s test by the no8 Audi R18 and and 1.6 seconds quicker than last year’s pole position time of 3m19.733.

The no8 Toyota TS050 was second fastest, with championship leader Sebastien Buemi setting a time1.158 seconds behind the lead car and 2.2 seconds ahead of the no9 Toyota of Jose Maria Lopez.  The two Porsche 919s were fourth and fifth fastest with the no2 car finishing 3.380 seconds behind the lead Toyota with the no1 Porsche another six tenths further back.

In LMGTE Pro the no91 Porsche 911 was the quickest of the WEC contenders with Fred Makowiecki posting a 3m54.996, but the French driver was only second quickest in the class with the no64 Chevrolet Corvette of Oliver Gavin posting the best class time of 3m54.701.  The no92 Porsche was third quickest just 0.003 behind the sister car with the no63 Corvette in 4th place.  The two Aston Martins were 5th and 6thfollowed by the two Ferraris.

In LMP2 the no35 Signatech Alpine A470-Gibson led the way in the 25 car class, with Nelson Panciatici setting a 3m28.146 lap, 0.7 seconds ahead of the no24 CEFC Manor TRS Racing Oreca-Gibson of Jean Eric Vergne and the no37 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca-Gibson of Alex Brundle in third place.

Aston Martin leave the official test as the fastest car in the LMGTE Am class with the no98 Vantage of Pedro Lamy setting a time of 3m58.250, just 0.052 ahead of the no50 Larbre Competition Corvette of Fernando Rees and 0.2 seconds ahead of the no77 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche 911 of Matteo Cairoli.

The teams will now gather in Le Mans in one week’s time in the Place de la Republique for le Pesage on Sunday 11 June, which kicks off a week of motor sport celebrations, culminating in the start of 85th edition of the 24 Heures du Mans at 15h00 on Saturday 17 June.