5 June 2016
Porsches to the fore at half-time in test
Neel Jani posted the fastest time of the morning session to give the #2 Porsche LMP1 the edge at the official Le Mans 24Hrs test.
The factory Porsche sportscar team enjoyed a 1-2 position at the head of the times as the first four hours of the Le Mans 24 Hours test day took the chequered flag.
Neel Jani, at the wheel of the #2 Porsche 919 Hybrid, set the fastest time of the first half of the day at 3min 22.334secs, undercutting the #1 sister car at the top of the standings by a couple of tenths. Jani still has some way to go, however, before he can match the 3m 21.0s benchmark set by the #1 car's Brendon Hartley at last year's test.
With Porsche filling the top two spots on the timesheets, Audi had to make do with third and fourth, a further couple of tenths adrift of their German rivals as they evaluated a variety of set-up options on the latest R18.
"We have many things to be validated, so we try different settings on both cars to compare the data collected,” Loic Duval told the official race website, “We hope to have good conditions weather this afternoon.”
The two Toyota LMP1s were next up, with the faster of the two TS050s eight-tenths off the pace.
In LMP2, Nicolas Lapierre took the #36 Signatech Alpine A460 Nissan to the top of the times, ahead of the similarly-powered ORECAs of Eurasia Motorsport and Manor, The British newcomer set the pace for the majority of the session, but was eventually undone by Lapierre's 3m 37.397s effort.
"We took advantage of the dry conditions, which was important as my team-mates are beginners [at Le Mans],” Lapierre acknowledged, “I'm trying to share my experience with them because Le Mans is a special circuit and not easy to grasp but, for now, all signals are green."
Works Porsches also enjoyed a 1-2 in GTE-Pro, with the #92 and #91 991 RSRs posting the fastest laps of the morning to see off last year's race-winning #64 Corvette.
In GTE-Am, meanwhile, Matthew Griffin took top spot for Ferrari as he bettered the fastest class lap of 2015 with a 3m 58.869s effort in the AF Corse 458. Next up was American Townsend Bell in the similar Scuderia Corse car, with the works #98 Aston Martin Vantage of Dalla Lana/Lamy/Lauda in third spot.
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