Fernando Alonso surged to the head of the field during second practice for this weekend’s FIA World Endurance Championship 6 Hours of Fuji, finishing over a second clear of Toyota teammate Jose Maria Lopez.

McLaren Formula 1 racer Alonso returned to the wheel of his Le Mans-winning #8 Toyota TS050 Hybrid for the first time in six weeks on Friday at Fuji as co-driver Sebastien Buemi topped the timesheet in the opening practice session.

Alonso managed to beat Buemi’s lap by almost two seconds in FP2, turning in a best time of 1m23.973s as he went one second clear of the field.

Lopez was Alonso’s closest challenger, lapping 1.095 seconds slower to finish the session second in the #7 Toyota as the Japanese marque swept to another one-two finish.

Rebellion Racing finished as the leading privateer team in LMP1 as Thomas Laurent took P3, 1.7 seconds back from Alonso’s benchmark. Jenson Button was fourth-quickest in LMP1 for SMP Racing.

Andre Negrao managed to lead the way in LMP2 for Signatech Alpine Matmut after beating Jackie Chan DC Racing’s Ho-Pin Tung by four-tenths of a second. Weiron Tan was third in class in the sister DC Racing entry.

Aston Martin Racing rose to the head of the field in GTE-Pro thanks to Nicki Thiim in the #95 Aston Martin Vantage GTE. His lap of 1m37.659s saw him finish one-tenth of a second clear of Harry Tincknell in the #67 Ford GT.

GTE-Am was led by Matteo Cairoli in the #88 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR, beating the team’s sister #77 Porsche by two-tenths of a second.
As in FP1, a red flag was required in second practice at Fuji for track repairs, with two lengthy stoppages wiping around half an hour off the session running time.

Running will resume on Saturday at Fuji with Free Practice 3 taking place at 9:30am local time (1:30am BST).