Odd Le Mans practice session

It was a very odd practice prior to the 2019 edition of the 24 Hours race at Le Mans.

The practice started with damp asphalt, since there were showers throughout the day, but it didn’t take long before the track was dry enough for setting competitive laptimes.

United Autosports #22 had a problem with the oil pump, so the mechanics had to repair it.

Kamui Kobayashi in Toyota Gazoo Racing #7 had a shortcut run through the gravel in the Mulsanne Corner, which caused a short, local yellow flag before the Japanese could drive again.

Satoshi Hoshino in Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche #88 was also through the gravel in the same corner, but he had to be pulled free while there was a Full Course Yellow over the whole track.

Rebellion Racing #3
Photo: JJ Media

Tracy Krohn wasn’t so lucky, in Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche #99 with the den classic Krohn green colour. According to the team, Tracy was sent off the track in a high speed by an LMP2 car, shortly before the braking to the second chicane on the Mulsanne Straight. It caused a red flag, since there were debris over the track. Krohn said he had a bit of pain on his back, so he was immediately sent to the hospital. Other than that he was all right, but the car was very damaged. So it meant long hours ahead for the mechanics.

There were also some damages on the armco, and it took 45 minutes before the practice got resumed.

Under the red flag, there was a heavy shower, which set everything to a stop again. And it went over an hour before the laptimes started to improve.

When the practice got restarted the rain had stopped, so the cars slowly but surely dried out the track again.

Racing Team Nederland #29 with Frits van Eerd behind the wheel stopped just after the first chicane, due to a solo spin. It took a bit of time before the Jumbo driver could start again, but he didn’t hit anything so he could continue to drive.

Frits van Eerd had another spin before the end of the session, as did Kessel Racing Ferrari #60.

Rebellion Racing #3 with Gustavo Menezes was surprisingly the fastest car for a long time, ahead of Toyota Gazoo Racing #8 and Rebellion Racing #1.

Stoffel Vandoorne in SMP Racing #11 improved the time, before Kamui Kobayashi in Toyota Gazoo Racing #7 set the fastest time of everyone. It was exciting with three different cars in top three.

High Class Racing #20
Photo: JJ Media

IDEC Sport #48 was the fastest car in LMP2, but they finished the practice with Memo Rojas parking the car in the gravel in the Porsche Curves. DragonSpeed #31 was the second fastest LMP2 car, followed by G-Drive Racing #26.

Danish High Class Racing #20 was 14th fastest in the LMP2 class, with Dennis Andersen, Anders Fjordbach and Mathias Beche, while David Heinemeier Hansson, Ricky Taylor and Jordan King in Jackie Chan DC Racing #37 were tenth fastest.

Porsche #92
Photo: JJ Media

In the GTE Pro class, Porsche #92 with Michael Christensen behind the wheel was the quickest, followed by Porsche #94 and AF Corse Ferrari #71. Jan Magnussen, Antonio Garcia and Mike Rockenfeller in Corvette Racing #63 was tenth fastest in GTE Pro. Two positions behind them were Nicki Thiim, Marco Sørensen and Darren Turner in Aston Martin Racing #95.

There was not only bad news for Dempsey-Proton Racing, because Porsche #77 was the quickest car in GTE Am, in front of Spirit of Race Ferrari #54, and Aston Martin Racing #98.

Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche #77
Photo: JJ Media

Kessel Racing Ferrari #83 with Michelle Gatting, Rahel Frey and Manuela Gostner were P8 in GTE Am.

The first of the three qualifying sessions start Wednesday evening at 22.00 local time.

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