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Estoril: Free Practice 2, Lapierre Tops Times on Drying Track

Super Hero slayer Cioci on top in GTE


The second free practice session started on a cold, wet but relatively drying track as the sun began, finally, to show its face at Estoril.

After it clocked the first significant fastest lap of the session, the #28 IDEC Sport Ligier Judd pitted the 5min stop and go penalty it was given yesterday for speeding under full course yellow.

Soon after, Harry Tincknell in #38 G-Drive Racing Gibson took the lead of the session with a 1’45’154. His team mate Giedo Van De Garde later on improved to a 1’44’180.

45 minutes into the session, Oreca #33 driven by Frederic Vervisch stopped on track after hitting the barriers [the car did not restart and returned to the pits on a flat bed with damaged front and back ends]. This event was followed by a short full course yellow episode.


Earlier in the session there had been a brush with the barriers for the Championship leading #46 Thiriet by TDS Oreca too.


Thirty minutes before the end of the session, fastest lap times improved rapidly as the track dried up and temperatures started to rise.

It was only in the final fifteen minutes that Lapierre in Dragonspeed Oreca #21 set fastest lap with 1’35’671 ahead of the G-Drive Gibson #38 with 1’36’341 and Julien Canal in Greaves Motorsport #41 Ligier with 1’37’942.

The Oreca #46 of Thiriet By TDS Racing was sixth of the session and unable to clock a significant fast lap as rain damped the track in the final minutes of the session.

In LMP3, Alexandre Cougnaud in the #18 Yvan Muller Racing JSP3 was fastest during the first hour of the session with a 1’48’733. 25 minutes before the end, Paul Petit in Graff Racing Ligier JSP3 #9 set a 1’47’188. This lap time was then improved repeatedly by the two Ligier JSP3s of United Autosport. Wayne Boyd in United Autosport #3 ultimately clocking the fastest lap of the session with a 1’41’442.


In LMGTE, at least five cars successively led the session. Again, it was in the final minutes of the session that Mario Cioci in the #51 AF Corse Ferrari F458 clocked the fastest lap with 1’45’976 ahead of Darren Turner in #99 Aston Martin Vantage with 1’46’332.


The Championship leading #66 JMW Motorsport Ferrari was a late addition to the session, Bertolini finally taking to the track with just 9 minutes of the session remaining, a brief trot down to the garage to enquire as to the reason for the non appearance of the car on track greeted with a variety of ‘helpful‘ suggestions ‘Ultimate fuel saving strategy’ (Bertolini) and ‘like all finely honed athletes we are conserving energy’ Smith, the DSC Editor made his excuses and left!