WEC Prologue: Toyota maintains slim lead over Rebellion

Toyota concluded the FIA World Endurance Championship Prologue test at Barcelona fastest, but with only a slender advantage over top LMP1 privateer squad Rebellion.

WEC Prologue: Toyota maintains slim lead over Rebellion

Only 14 of the 30 cars entered took part in the final four-hour session of the two-day test, with many teams opting to call time on their running early - some in order to travel to the Spa 24 Hours ready for the first day of on-track action for the Belgian classic on Thursday.

All six LMP1 cars hit the track and improved on their previous times with Toyota's pair of TS050 Hybrids again locking out the top two positions.

Jose Maria Lopez set the pace in the #7 car with a 1m29.141s in the opening hour, an improvement of almost half a second on his Wednesday morning time, while Kazuki Nakajima set the best time in the #8 Toyota, a 1m29.187s, in the second hour.

The quickest of the two Gibson-powered R-13s, the #1 car, ended up only 0.267s off the pace in the hands of Gustavo Menezes, lowering the Swiss squad's best time of the week by six tenths.

Bruno Senna likewise dipped below the 90-second barrier in the #3 Rebellion, but found himself beaten by the best of the Ginetta G60-LT-P1s in the dying stages.

Both of the Team LNT-run cars made improvements in the closing minutes, Formula 2 racer Luca Ghiotto setting a time only 0.556s off the pace in the #6 machine to leapfrog the second Rebellion for fourth.

Charlie Robertson's effort in the sixth-placed #5 Ginetta was just over a second off the pace.

SMP Racing driver Egor Orudzhev finally got his first running of the week in this session, driving both Ginettas, but suffering an early spin at the chicane early on.

Only five of the eight LMP2 cars took part in the test, the fastest of which was the TDS-run Racing Team Nederland Oreca 07 thanks to a late effort of 1m31.659s by Nyck de Vries.

Read Also:

RTN has confirmed it will race Michelin tyres this season after spending time testing both the French rubber and rival brand Goodyear this week.

Paul di Resta put the United Autosports Oreca second-fastest ahead of the Signatech Alpine Oreca of Andre Negrao, giving Michelin a top-three lockout.

Both Jota Sport-run Orecas and the Cool Racing Oreca sat out the final session, as did the entire contingent of five GTE Pro cars.

Just three of the 11 GTE Am cars appeared, with Thomas Preining setting the fastest time in class of 1m44.523s early on in the #88 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR.

LMP1 test results:

Pos. # Car/Engine Drivers Day 1 Day 2
1 7 Toyota TS050 Hybrid

 Mike Conway

Japan Kamui Kobayashi

 Jose Maria Lopez

 Thomas Laurent

1m29.991s 1m29.141s
2 8 Toyota TS050 Hybrid

 Sebastien Buemi

Japan Kazuki Nakajima

New Zealand Brendon Hartley

 Thomas Laurent

1m30.114s 1m29.187s
3 1 Rebellion R-13-Gibson

 Felipe Nasr

 Norman Nato

United States Gustavo Menezes

 Bruno Senna

 Nathanel Berthon

1m31.401s 1m29.408s
4 6 Ginetta G60-LT-P1-AER

 Mike Simpson

 Stephane Sarrazin

 Guy Smith

 Luca Ghiotto

 Egor Orudzhev

1m31.831s 1m29.697s
5 3 Rebellion R-13-Gibson

United States Gustavo Menezes

 Bruno Senna

 Nathanael Berthon

1m31.073s 1m29.807s
6 5 Ginetta G60-LT-P1-AER

 Charlie Robertson

 Mathias Beche

Monaco Stephane Richelmi

 Egor Orudzhev

1m31.828s 1m30.239s

Driver in bold set fastest lap

shares
comments
Porsche dismisses 'new car' BoP fears with RSR-19

Previous article

Porsche dismisses 'new car' BoP fears with RSR-19

Next article

Toyota not surprised by reduced WEC LMP1 field

Toyota not surprised by reduced WEC LMP1 field
Load comments
Inside the Le Mans finish too barmy for Hollywood Prime

Inside the Le Mans finish too barmy for Hollywood

Team WRT has been at the forefront of GT racing for years and made a successful move to prototypes for 2021, capped by an LMP2 win on its Le Mans debut. It could've been even better had the race been one lap shorter, when its cars ran 1-2, but the stranger-than-fiction reality has spurred the team to reach greater heights.

Le Mans
Oct 16, 2021
Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked Prime

Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked

Toyota scored its fourth Le Mans 24 Hours victory and a 1-2, with the #7 car of Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez beating the #8. But although it looked straightforward from the outside, Toyota faced serious problem that had to be solved with some quick-thinking and ingenuity.

Le Mans
Aug 24, 2021
What we've learned from the Le Mans 24 Hours so far Prime

What we've learned from the Le Mans 24 Hours so far

The new dawn for the FIA World Endurance Championship has arrived at Le Mans, as Hypercars prepare to duel for victory in the world's oldest endurance race. Motorsport.com picks out the 10 things we have learned in the build up to the race.

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2021
Le Mans 2021: The team-by-team guide Prime

Le Mans 2021: The team-by-team guide

After a two-month delay due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 Le Mans 24 Hours is set to get underway with the start of the Hypercar era at the Circuit de la Sarthe.

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2021
Can Toyota's #7 crew break its Le Mans curse? Prime

Can Toyota's #7 crew break its Le Mans curse?

One Toyota, normally with the number 7 on the side, always seems to attract the bad luck in the Le Mans 24 Hours. Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez are hoping for a change in fortune this time around, but face significantly more unknowns than in recent years

Le Mans
Aug 19, 2021
Why Glickenhaus should be taken seriously on its Le Mans bow Prime

Why Glickenhaus should be taken seriously on its Le Mans bow

Many were quick to dismiss Glickenhaus when the boutique American sportscar firm's entry into the top class of the Le Mans 24 Hours was announced. It's all-new LMH racer, powered by an engine built by a rally specialist, goes in as the underdog against Toyota but the mathematical odds suggest that it has more than just a faint hope of success.

Le Mans
Aug 18, 2021
How 1971's benchmark Le Mans team lost with the best car Prime

How 1971's benchmark Le Mans team lost with the best car

The JW Automotive Engineering team won twice at the Le Mans 24 Hours with ageing Fords and was considered the heavy favourite to add more victories to its tally after partnering with Porsche. But despite being armed with the all-conquering 917, this formidable combination was never as successful in real life as on the big screen.

Le Mans
Aug 15, 2021
Why Jose Maria Lopez isn’t motivated by emulating Fangio Prime

Why Jose Maria Lopez isn’t motivated by emulating Fangio

Having twice missed out on Formula 1 and reinvented himself as a touring car driver, Jose Maria Lopez has had a rocky ride to becoming a four-time world champion. One more would put him level with his nation's favourite son, but there's another prize he would value far more than the honour of matching Juan Manuel Fangio's tally.

WEC
Aug 14, 2021