WEC - Sebring / FP1: Hirakawa fastest for Toyota; Prema 1-3 in LMP2
15 Mar. 2023 • 17:20
Reigning WEC Hypercar Champion Ryo Hirakawa set the best lap of the 60-minute Free Practice 1 session at Sebring International Raceway this morning.
The Japanese driver beat an early flyer from James Calado as Ferrari AF Corse continued to show impressive pace as they ready to make their WEC Hypercar debut. Prema took a 1-3 classification in LMP2, while the Iron Dames Porsche headed the times in the LMGTE Am category.
Below are the main headlines from FP1.
- The No. 8 Toyota Gazoo Racing GR010 Hybrid Hypercar driven byRyo Hirakawa sets the time with a late peak of 1m47.649s
- James Calado had set a rapid 1m47.935s lap in the No.51 Ferrari AF Corse Ferrari 499P to top the times for the majority the first official WEC session of the season before Hirakawa’s best lap.
- Calado’s best was 0.3s faster than the sister Ferrari 499P Hypercar as Miguel Molina completes a late lap to go third.
- The Cadillac Racing entry driven by Richard Westbrook, Alex Lynn and Earl Bamber is fourth as a 1m48.090s lap is set by Bamber in the new Cadillac V-Series.R
- No.7 Toyota sits fifth as Jose-Maria Lopez sets a 1m48.613 lap to just edge out the Porsche Penske pair of Porsche 963 Hypercars
- The twin-turbo V8 powered cars see Laurens Vanthoor and Frederic Makowiecki set the best times for the No.6 and No. 5 cars respectively.
- Peugeot TotalEnergies end the session in eighth and ninth positions in the striking Peugeot 9X8 Hypercars.
- Jean-Eric Vergne and Loic Duval set the fastest times for the French-based team
- Glickenhaus Racing round out the top ten with Olivier Pla setting a 1m50.663s
- Floyd Vanwall are the final Hypercar entry in 11th with Esteban Guerreri setting a 1m51.014 best.
- Mirko Bortolotti puts Prema top of LMP2 as he hits a peak time of 1m50.074s
- The Italian will share the No. 63 Oreca-Gibson with Doriane Pin and Daniil Kvyat this season.
- Robin Frijns returns from a recent serious hand injury to claim the second best lap in class on a 1m50.317s in the No.41 Team WRT entry.
- WRT sit in a Prema sandwich as the No.9 Prema car places third with Andrea Caldarelli lapping in a 1m50.338s best.
- Reigning Champions Hertz Team JOTA are fourth as Pietro Fittipaldi takes gold-liveries car to a best of 1m50.349
- The Iron Dames Porsche continued its impressive form at Sebring as Michelle Gatting led the 14-car category.
- Gatting clocked a 1m59.028s best time n the Porche 911 RSR 19 she shares with Rahel Frey and Sarah Bouvy
- Ferrari looked to have topped LMGTE Am as well as Hypercar as Francesco Castellacci put No.54 AF Corse Ferrari at head of times for most of session.
- Castellacci powers to a 1m59.053 quickest lap in car he shares with Thomas Flohr and Davide Rigon
- Corvette Racing stir up local excitement as Nicky Catsburg claims a best lap of 1m59.101s in No.33 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R
The second free practice session of the day takes place at 16.35 (local time).
Find full results HERE.
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