While the first free practice ahead of the 24 Hours of Le Mans was a relatively calm session, there was plenty of drama in FP2.
In FP1 it was Toyota Gazoo Racing #8 with Sebastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Brendon Hartley fastest, ahead of the sister car #7 with Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez, while Rebellion Racing #1 with Bruno Senna, Gustavo Menezes and Norman Nato were third fastest car.
Amongst the LMP2 cars, it was the Danish outfit High Class Racing #33 with Anders Fjordbach, Kenta Yamashita and Mark Patterson fastest, ahead of Racing Team Nederland #29 with Frits van Eerd, Giedo van der Garde and Nyck de Vries, while JOTA #38 with Anthony Davidson, Antonio Felix da Costa and Roberto Gonzalez was P3.
It was an Aston Martin 1-2 in GTE Pro, with #97 driven by Alexander Lynn, Maxime Martin and Harry Tincknell leading Nicki Thiim, Marco Sørensen and Richard Westbrook in #95. AF Corse #51 with Alessandro Pier Guidi, James Calado and Daniel Serra was P3.
Aston Martin was also fastest in GTE Am, where #98 with Paul Dalla Lana, Augusto Farfus and Ross Gunn was P1, ahead of Hub Auto Racing Ferrari #72 with Morris Chen, Tom Blomqvist and Marcos Gomes, and MR Racing Ferrari #70 with Takeshi Kimura, Kei Cozzolino and Vincent Abril in P3.
There was a single Red Flag, when Team Project 1 Porsche #89 has a spin towards Indianapolis. It wasn’t anything serious, but race director Eduardo Freitas preferred to red flag the sessions, rather than letting marshals work on one of the fastest areas of the circuit, even with a Slow Zone – plus the teams and drivers got the chance to see how the Red Flag procedure works. Other than that, it was a calm session.
And now onto FP2.
Rebellion Racing #1 only made it halfway around their first lap, before they had to park their car. Once the mechanics got the car back to the pits, they immediately started working in the engine bay. G-Drive Racing by Algarve #16 only made it onto their second lap, before Nick Tandy reported about braking issues, which took the rest of the session to fix.
The IDEC Sport mechanics had a much bigger task to solve. Paul Lafargue crashed heavily, leaving the second chicane. That resulted in a Red Flag, so the car could be removed, and the Armco be repaired. Thankfully nothing happened to Lafargue, but the mechanics will have to work really hard, to make that lump of carbon fibre, into a car once again.
And things got even worse for the team, when Dwight Merriman in the sister car #17 went off the track, shortly after it went green. The damaged didn’t look quite as bad on that car, but still would need a lot of hours, to make the car able to run again.
High Class Racing #33 was the car behind a Full Course Yellow, when Mark Patterson came to a stop.
Car Guy Ferrari #70 also had a stop on the circuit and had to be transported back on a flatbed.
Toyota Gazoo Racing #8 was fastest again, ahead of #7, while Rebellion Racing #3 with Romain Dumas, Nathanael Berthon and Louis Deletraz was P3.
Racing Team Nederland #29 was fastest in LMP2, ahead of Jackie Chan DC Racing #37 with Will Stevens, Gabriel Aubry and Ho-Pin Tung, and the JOTA #38.
Porsche #92 with Michael Christensen, Kevin Estre and Laurens Vanthoor was fastest in GTE Pro, ahead of AMR #97 and Porsche #91 with Richard Lietz, Fred Makowiecki and Gianmaria Bruni.
GTE Am was lead by Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche #77 with Christian Ried, Riccardo Pera and Matt Campbell fastest, ahead of Luzich Racing Ferrari #61 with Ozz Negri Jr, Come Ledogar and Francesco Piovanetti, while Gulf Racing Porsche #86 with Mike Wainwright, Ben Barker and Andrew Watson was P3.
The teams only have 15 minutes of break, before the qualifying session is on, which decides who goes into Hyperpole, and who will already know their starting positions after 18.00 today.