Spa 6-Hours: Alonso fastest in first practice

Alonso, Toyota

Fernando Alonso has got his time in the FIA World Endurance Championship off to a strong start after the Spanish double Formula 1 World Champion set the fastest lap time in the first free practice session at Spa-Francorchamps. 

McLaren F1 driver Alonso posted a 1:58.392 lap in the #8 Toyota TS050-Hybrid, 0.2 seconds ahead of Mike Conway in the sister #7 Toyota Gazoo Racing TS050.

The fastest of the non-hybrid LMP1 entries was the #3 Rebellion Racing R13-Gibson of Thomas Laurent, the French driver setting a 1m58.629s lap, just 0.4 seconds behind the lead Toyota.

Ford led the way in the LMGTE Pro category with the #67 Ford GT of Andy Priaulx setting a 2m15.014 lap of the 7km Spa-Francorchamps track and just 0.2 seconds ahead of the #66 Ford GT of Olivier Pla.  Porsche were third and fourth quickest in the 90-minute session.

Pastor Maldonado set the fastest LMP2 time on his WEC debut with a 2m03.494s lap in No.31 DragonSpeed Oreca.  The Venezuelan’s lap was 0.6 seconds ahead of the rest of the LMP2 field, with 2016 champions Signatech Alpine in second and 2015 champions G-Drive Racing in third.

In LMGTE Am Matteo Cairoli was fastest in the #88 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche, with a 2m16.601 lap s best to outpace the #86 Gulf Racing UK 911 of Ben Barker by 1.4 seconds.  The second Dempsey-Proton Porsche was third quickest, with the #56 Team Project 1 911 in fourth, to give Porsche a 1-2-3-4 at the end of the session.