The fourth free practice for this year’s Le Mans was run Friday morning, and was extremely messy, when you consider that the teams already had 10 hours of practice yesterday, and this is the final practice for all the cars, prior to the 15 minutes Warm Up Saturday morning.
There were some positive stories since yesterday. IDEC Sport has built two new cars, after the double shunt yesterday. They have had to call up a replacement for Dwight Merriman, who isn’t fit to race.
Red River Sport Ferrari #62 was still being rebuild in the garage, after yesterday’s shunt, just prior to midnight. That leaves the team with just Warm-Up tomorrow to check if the car is running like it’s supposed to do.
There wasn’t much practice for Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche #99, where Lucas Legeret put the car into the gravel in the First Chicane. He thankfully didn’t hit the Armco, but only beached the car, and wasn’t able to resume the session.
That resulted in a Slow Zone, to remove the car.
Fifteen minutes later, there were problems again. Jan Magnussen had beached the JMW Motorsport Ferrari #66 in the Second Chicane gravel. A very uncharacteristic error from the experienced Dane. That also resulted in a Slow Zone, where the cars had to pass the scene with just 80 kph. Once Magnussen had been lifted out of the gravel, he slowly made his way back to the pits.
Eurointernational #11 clipped the Armco down towards Tertre Rouge, ripping off a few commercial banners. But thankfully only minimal damage to the car.
A Full Course Yellow was needed, when a bollard was rolling around, in the middle of the circuit. It could probably have been dealt with under a Slow Zone, but race direction decided to try out the FCY function.
Racing Team Nederland #29 had a gravelly moment, but Frits van Eerd was pulled back on the tarmac under just a local yellow.
ByKolles Racing Team #4 continued to have problems. The car had an accident in FP3 yesterday, where they lost the front of the car. They didn’t run after that, and they even had problems leaving the pitlane in FP4. So they were pushed back to the garage again, with the same thing repeating itself when they tried to go on the track the next time.
Inter Europol Competition #34 had a Rallycross moment, going towards Tertre Rouge, but thankfully avoided the barrier.
But the 60 minutes of running was completed without red flag, with Rebellion Racing #1 with Gustavo Menezes, Norman Nato and Bruno Senna fastest, ahead of Toyota Gazoo Racing #7 with Jose Maria Lopez, Kamui Kobayashi and Mike Conway, and Rebellion Racing #3 with Louis Deletraz, Romain Dumas and Nathanael Berthon in P3.
LMP2 had United Autosports #22 with Paul Di Resta, Filipe Albuquerque and Phil Hanson fastest, ahead of G-Drive Racing #26 with Mikkel Jensen, Roman Rusinov and Jean-Eric Vergne on P2, and JOTA #38 with Anthony Davidson, Antonio Felix da Costa and Roberto Gonzalez in third.
Porsche #92 with Laurens Vanthoor, Kevin Estre and Michael Christensen was fastest in GTE Pro, ahead of AF Corse Ferrari #71 with Sam Bird, Miguel Molina and Davide Rigon, while the sister car #51 with James Calado, Alessandro Pier Guidi and Daniel Serra was third.
Team Project 1 Porsche #56 was fastest in GTE Am, with Matteo Cairoli, Egidio Perfetti and Larry ten Voorte behind the wheel, while Luzich Racing Ferrari #61 continued their fast pace from yesterday with Francesco Piovanetti, Ozz Negri Jr and Come Ledogar, and TF Sport Aston Martin #90 with Charlie Eastwood, Salih Yoluc and Jonny Adam in P3.
23 of the cars will soon be back on track, since they will participate in the Hyperpole session at 11.30 local French time, to decide top-6 in each of the categories.