It was the Porsches that set the initial pace in LMP1 for the third Free Practice session; just a tenth apart, the #1 919 Hybrid the better of the pair. The #8 Toyota crew were pushing hard though, Kazuki Nakajima getting very unsettled at one point under braking, before Anthony Davidson jumped aboard later in the session to put the #8 Toyota quickest with a 1:39.476.
The #7 Toyota had chosen to sit out the first half of the session before emerging and posting competitive laps just behind the Porsches. Jose Maria Lopez caught the attention of the stewards late in the session however, coming up against the class leading GTE-Am Aston Martin of Paul Dalla Lana heading into Becketts.
Lopez pursued an outside line on the exit of the first right hander, trying to execute a move on both the Aston Martin and the #54 Spirit Of Race GTE-Am Ferrari in its wake. Dalla Lana had rightful track position as the Toyota tagged the #98 car’s front left, the Canadian Am driver limping his resulting puncture to the pits. Despite an enquiry no subsequent action was taken by the stewards, Lopez apologising to the Aston Martin team for being rather too ambitious.
Matthieu Vaxiviere’s #28 TDS Racing car headed the list of Oreca 07’s in LMP2, a 1:44.105 holding station for the majority of the session. Pierre Thiriet’s best attempt to overhaul this posted a 1:44.4 for the #26 G-Drive entry, the #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca-Gibson third.
LMGTE-Pro was a Ford 1-2, the #67 car setting a 1:56.233, its sister entry a tenth shy. Best of the rest was the #51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE, half a second off the Ganassi UK cars. The new Porsche 911 RSR’s seemed to be settling in steadily, notable only for an incident involving Fred Makowiecki, who tangled with and pitched the #95 GTE-Pro Aston Martin into a spin.
Despite its late incident, the #98 Aston Martin Racing Vantage ended its session fastest in LMGTE-Am, a 1:58.691 half a second quicker than the Clearwater Racing and Spirit Of Race Ferrari 488’s, second and third.