Fuji WEC: Rebellion splits Toyotas in first practice

Toyota topped first practice for this weekend's Fuji FIA World Endurance Championship round by just under three tenths of a second ahead of closest LMP1 rival Rebellion.

Fuji WEC: Rebellion splits Toyotas in first practice

Sebastien Buemi took the top spot in a 90-minute session that began on a damp but rapidly drying track at the wheel of the #8 TS050 Hybrid.

Toyota was on course to lock out the top two spots for much of the session until Norman Nato set a 1m27.659s in the solo Rebellion R-13-Gibson to split the Japanese cars.

Kamui Kobayashi's best effort of 1m27.790s in the Silverstone-winning #7 Toyota was only enough for third in the end, a little over a tenth slower than Nato.

Toyota's #7 car is carrying the biggest handicap under the new system that is being implemented in LMP1 for the first time this weekend at Fuji, having been slowed by 1.4 seconds a lap compared to the so-called 'reference car', the #6 Ginetta G60-LT-P1.

The #8 Toyota, which finished second in last month's season-opening round, has been slowed by only a second, reflected by the 0.4s gap between the cars in practice.

Ginetta's pair of AER-powered cars propped up the order, with the #5 of Ben Hanley fourth - just over a second off the pace - and the #6 of Charlie Robertson fifth.

Toyota protege Kenta Yamashita put High Class Racing's Oreca 07 on top of the times in LMP2 at his home track with a best time of 1m29.624s.

The SUPER GT points leader was seven tenths ahead of the second-placed Racing Team Nederland Oreca driven by new Formula 2 champion Nyck de Vries, while Nicolas Lapierre put the Cool Racing Oreca third, another half a second back.

Both Cool's Alexander Coigny and JOTA Sport's Anthony Davidson returned to action after being forced to skip the Silverstone opener due to injury.

Porsche swept the top two spots in GTE Pro with its new 911 RSR-19s, Gianmaria Bruni in the #91 car setting a 1m38.315s to beat Michael Christensen in the #92 car by 0.104s.

Miguel Molina was best of the rest in the #71 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE, four tenths off the pace, followed by the top Aston Martin Vantage GTE of Nicki Thiim.

Jonathan Adam put the TF Sport Aston on top in GTE Am with a 1m39.010s.

Session results:

Cla # Drivers Car Class Time Gap
1 8 Switzerland Sébastien Buemi
Japan Kazuki Nakajima
New Zealand Brendon Hartley
Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 1'27.373
2 1 Brazil Bruno Senna
United States Gustavo Menezes
France Norman Nato
Rebellion R13 LMP1 1'27.659 0.286
3 7 United Kingdom Mike Conway
Japan Kamui Kobayashi
Argentina Jose Maria Lopez
Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 1'27.790 0.417
4 5 Italy Luca Ghiotto
United Kingdom Ben Hanley
Russian Federation Egor Orudzhev
Ginetta G60-LT-P1 LMP1 1'28.449 1.076
5 6 United Kingdom Charles Robertson
United Kingdom Michael Simpson
United Kingdom Guy Smith
Ginetta G60-LT-P1 LMP1 1'28.712 1.339
6 33 United States Mark Patterson
Japan Kenta Yamashita
Denmark Anders Fjordbach
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'29.624 2.251
7 29 Netherlands Frits van Eerd
Netherlands Giedo van der Garde
Netherlands Nyck de Vries
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'30.382 3.009
8 42 France Nicolas Lapierre
Switzerland Antonin Borga
Switzerland Alexandre Coigny
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'30.814 3.441
9 36 France Thomas Laurent
Brazil Andre Negrao
France Pierre Ragues
Alpine A470 LMP2 1'31.025 3.652
10 38 Mexico Roberto Gonzalez
Portugal Antonio Felix da Costa
United Kingdom Anthony Davidson
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'31.141 3.768
11 22 United Kingdom Philip Hanson
Portugal Filipe Albuquerque
United Kingdom Oliver Jarvis
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'31.398 4.025
12 37 China Ho-Pin Tung
France Gabriel Aubry
United Kingdom Will Stevens
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'31.805 4.432
13 47 Italy Roberto Lacorte
Italy Andrea Belicchi
Italy Giorgio Sernagiotto
Dallara P217 LMP2 1'32.491 5.118
14 91 Italy Gianmaria Bruni
Austria Richard Lietz
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 LMGTE PRO 1'38.315 10.942
15 92 Denmark Michael Christensen
France Kevin Estre
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 LMGTE PRO 1'38.419 11.046
16 71 Italy Davide Rigon
Spain Miguel Molina
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 1'38.707 11.334
17 95 Denmark Marco Sorensen
Denmark Nicki Thiim
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE PRO 1'38.738 11.365
18 51 United Kingdom James Calado
Italy Alessandro Pier Guidi
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 1'38.825 11.452
19 90 Turkey Salih Yoluc
Ireland Charles Eastwood
United Kingdom Jonathan Adam
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE AM 1'39.010 11.637
20 70 Japan Motoaki Ishikawa
Monaco Olivier Beretta
Japan Kei Cozzolino
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 1'39.039 11.666
21 97 United Kingdom Alex Lynn
Belgium Maxime Martin
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE PRO 1'39.069 11.696
22 86 United Kingdom Michael Wainwright
United Kingdom Andrew Watson
United Kingdom Benjamin Barker
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 1'39.351 11.978
23 56 Norway Egidio Perfetti
Denmark David Heinemeier Hansson
Italy Matteo Cairoli
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 1'39.542 12.169
24 88 Japan Satoshi Hoshino
Belgium Adrien de Leener
Austria Thomas Preining
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 1'39.576 12.203
25 77 Germany Christian Ried
Italy Riccardo Pera
Australia Matt Campbell
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 1'39.616 12.243
26 54 Switzerland Thomas Flohr
Italy Francesco Castellacci
Italy Giancarlo Fisichella
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 1'39.618 12.245
27 83 France François Perrodo
France Emmanuel Collard
Denmark Nicklas Nielsen
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 1'39.663 12.290
28 98 Canada Paul Dalla Lana
United Kingdom Darren Turner
United Kingdom Ross Gunn
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE AM 1'39.761 12.388
29 57 United States Ben Keating
Brazil Felipe Fraga
Netherlands Jeroen Bleekemolen
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 1'39.942 12.569
30 62 United Kingdom Bonamy Grimes
United Kingdom Johnny Mowlem
United Kingdom Charles Hollings
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 1'40.678 13.305
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