Fernando Alonso set the fastest time to top the official Le Mans test day for Toyota on his first experience of the Circuit de la Sarthe. 

The two-time Formula 1 world champion topped the timesheets in both sessions aboard the #8 Toyota TS050 HYBRID he will share alongside Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima for the prestigious Le Mans 24 Hours on June 16-17. 

His best time of a 3m19.066s was nearly 0.7s quicker than the best-placed LMP1 privateer, the #3 Rebellion-Gibson R-13, and nearly a full second clear of teammate Kamui Kobayashi in the #7 Toyota entry. 

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"It was a good day for us, a great way to prepare for the big race in two weeks,” Alonso said. “The car was perfect from the outset. I familiarised myself with the circuit as I had only done it in a simulator, not in real life. 

“This circuit is wonderful, especially for this type of car. It’s even better than Spa which reminded me of F1. This car was definitely designed for the Le Mans circuit.”

Andre Lotterer was fourth-quickest with a 3m21.334s in the #1 Rebellion, ahead of both SMP Racing cars, including the #11 entry Jenson Button will drive on his Le Mans 24 Hours debut.

Following his first experience of the circuit, the former F1 driver and 2009 champion said: “The speed at which these cars can go into turns is impressive. You really need to have faith in your car. 

“The problem is there is a considerable amount of traffic and it’s difficult to overtake in certain corners. I would have liked to do even more laps.”

Nathanael Berthon put DragonSpeed to the top of the LMP2 times with a 3m27.228s in the squad’s #31 ORECA-Gibson 07. 

Porsche led the way over Ford in GTE Pro, with Patrick Pilet managing the marque’s best time in the #93 entry on a 3m52.551s, with the fastest Ford GT driven by Andy Priaulx 0.5s further back.

In GTE-Am, the Dempsey-Proton Porsche outfit ended quickest thanks to Julien Andlauer’s late improvement on a 3m55.970s to pip the #54 Spirit of Race Ferrari 488 GTE of Giancarlo Fisichella to top spot.

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