Nicolas Lapierre and Alpine ELF Matmut starred in third free practice session for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, round four of FIA WEC.
The session was red flagged twice after accidents on entry to the Dunlop chicane, the final outing before Hyperpole.
The LMGTE Pro category was led by Porsche GT Team as Kevin Estre set the best lap, while Antonio Felix da Costa went top for JOTA in LMP2.
Meanwhile, Julien Andlauer was fastest for the Dempsey Proton Porsche squad in the LMGTE Am category.
Hypercar • Alpine Elf Matmut with Nicolas Lapierre driving set blistering pace with a late 3m26.594s lap with just five minutes of three-hour session remaining. • Lapierre survives spin on final laps of session to lead Alpine’s first session of the week. • Mike Conway had set the early pace with a 3m28.064s lap in the No.7 Toyota GR010-Hybrid Hypercar but has to settle for second. • No.8 Toyota GR010 Hybrid Hypercar takes third best time as Brendon Hartley posts 3m28.260s lap. • Kiwi’s teammate Sebastien Buemi has small lock-up and trip down escape road at Arnage midway through session. • More drama for No.8 car late in session as Kazuki Nakajima backs into wall at Indianapolis triggering Full Course Yellow period. • No.708 Glickenhaus Racing entry of Olivier Pla, Pipo Derani and Franck Mailleux place fourth with a 3m28.728s lap set by Pla. • No.709 Glickenhaus of Ryan Briscoe, Richard Westbrook and Roman Dumas is fifth but suffer an engine issue in final moments of session.
LMGTE Pro • WEC LMGTE Pro points leading No.92 Porsche tops the times as Kevin Estre sets a 3m48.126s as Porsche GT Team continues to work on race stint work ahead of Hyperpole. • Weathertech Porsche continues strong form at Le Mans as Earl Bamber sets a 3m49.435s to split the factory Porsche entries. • No.91 Porsche 911 RSR-19 car places third as 3m49.789s lap by Richard Lietz ensures Porsche 1-2-3 in session. • AF Corse Ferrari squad end session fourth and fifth with No.51 just shading No.52 by 0.068s.
LMP2 • Antonio Felix da Costa mirrors second session from Wednesday as he takes best LMP2 time with a 3m30.213s lap clinched in final moments of session. • Portuguese in No.38 JOTA beats his own best by 0.3s on very last lap of session to extend gap over United Autosports squad. • Fabio Scherer sets second fastest LMP2 time in No.22 United Autosports USA entry with a 3m30.660s lap. • Alex Lynn makes it a United Autosports USA 2-3 as he sets a 3m31.144s best in No.23 Oreca-Gibson. • Panis Racing’s James Allen peaks on a 3m31.358s lap to claim third place for home team. • Dramatic session for the Racing Team Nederland squad as first Giedo van der Garde has contact with No.48 IDEC car driven by Patrick Pilet and then Frits van Eerd has two gravelly incidents. • No. 17 IDEC Sport driven by Dwight Merriman suffers accident at Dunlop Chicane to trigger first red flag in first hour of session. • DragonSpeed entry causes second red flag of the session as Juan-Pablo Montoya crashes on entry to Dunlop chicane.
LMGTE Am • No.88 Dempsey Proton Racing Porsche’s 3m51.167s set by Julien Andlauer good enough for another best position. • Team Project 1 Porsche driven by Egidio Perfetti, Riccardo Pera and Matteo Cairoli second in bumper LMGTE Am category.
Hyperpole is next up, commencing at 21:00 local time.