The #1 Porsche of Neel Jani, André Lotterer and Nick Tandy clocked the fastest lap of the opening session of the Monza Prologue, with a 1:32.008 from Jani. The fastest Toyota finished up second with #8 of Anthony Davidson, Kazuki Nakajima and Nicolas Lapiere running only two tenths behind after 65 laps of running in the Italian sunshine.
Both LMP1 works team encountered issues during this first session though. On two occasions, the Porsche #1 – driven at the time by Brendon Hartley, was spotted running slowly. Mike Conway on Toyota #7 also had a hiccup, the TS050 stopping on track temporarily.
The second Toyota, #7 of Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Yuji Kunimoto, finished the morning third, ahead of the second Porsche, the #2 of Timo Bernhard, Earl Bamber and Brendon Hartley. The CLM P1/01 #4 of Robert Kubica and Oliver Webb did not leave the pits.
As a mean of comparison, the fastest LMP1 car in this session was 2.9 seconds quicker than the last LMP1 pole time set at Monza in 2008 by Nicolas Minassian in the #8 Peugeot 908.
The fastest LMP2 prototype was four seconds slower than the fastest LMP1 hybrid car. That is a year-on-year pace improvement of approximately four to six seconds per lap.
The #31 Vaillante Rebellion of Bruno Senna and Julien Canal ended on top of the time sheets with a lap time of 1:36.094, six tenths quicker than the sister #13 Rebellion Oreca and seven faster than the #26 G-Drive Racing 07. Senna set the class-leading time for the Swiss-flagged team in its first ever competitive WEC session in the LMP2 class.
That time is four tenths faster than the fastest LMP2 running in the ELMS Prologue earlier on this week. Sister car # 13 of Beche and Heinemeier Hansson finished second of the session (1 :36.736).
Down in the LMGTE ranks, it was Porsche which ran fastest with its new 911 RSR. In the Pro category, #92 Porsche of Michael Christensen and Kevin Estre led most of the session with a fastest lap of 1:47.379 set by the Dane.
The best from the Stuttgart-based brand headed the two Fords from Chip Ganassi Team UK – the #67 leading the #66. The best time from the GTs was a 1:45.539 set by Andy Priaulx.
In Am it was really tight. Porsche also ended fastest, but in this instance 1-2 atop the timing screens with the Gulf Racing #86 of Mike Wainwright, Ben Barker and Nick Foster fastest with a 1:50.315 from Barker. Just under two tenths off was the Dempsey Proton’s #77 911 ahead of the #54 Spirit of Race Ferrari which rounded out the top three, a further tenth off.
Aside from the aforementioned stoppages and ByKolles failing to set a time, there were no other notable incidents during the three-hours of track time.
The second session is set to begin at 14:00 local time in Italy.