LMP1 passed without incident, all six entries circulating and posting more than installation times, times somewhat indicative of a race pace. Though no competition at this stage, best times were nevertheless traded between Porsche and Toyota, the latter of which ending up on top as first Kamui Kobayashi and then Kazuki Nakajima went quickest.
Both the #7 and #8 recorded times in the 3:18’s, this in itself a sturdy notice of intent, Nakajima’s time in the #8 a 3:18.30.
Saturday morning warm-up has shown itself historically as an opportunity for drivers to present their pit crews with panic strewn repair challenge before the race start.
Today’s torch bearer of tradition was the #17 IDEC Sport Ligier, Paul Lafargue getting a handful of oversteer going through the narrow part of the Porsche Curves, making barrier contact and ending up in the gravel trap. The car made it back under its own steam, but frontal damage means a busy Saturday morning for the IDEC crew.
Both the #23 Panis Barthez Ligier and the #39 Graff Oreca were seen circulating slowly, but both cars returned to their pits and continued their sessions.
Fastest LMP2 was the #26 G-Drive Oreca, 3:27.096 its time, followed by the #13 and #31 Vaillante Rebellions two seconds away.
Ford Ganassi USA went top of the times in GTE Pro, Scott Dixon managing to turn a 3:51.789 in the #69, The #92 Porsche finished second, with the #68 Ford rounding out the top three.
Andrea Bertolini topped Am in the #83 DH Racing Ferrari topped the times in GTE Am with a 3:55.575. The #86 Gulf UK Porsche finished second, with the #88 Proton Porsche coming in third.
All 60 cars made it out for the morning session, with the #33 Eurasia Motorsport Ligier JS P217 crucially being one of them, completing 10 laps. The car is a fresh tub, after its incident in Qualifying, it was rebuilt and re-scrutineered over the past two days.
Outside of the IDEC impact, there were two other incidents of note. The #39 Graff Ligier, on its out-lap with Enzo Guibbert at the wheel, crawled with a lack of power back to the pits and didn’t return to the circuit. And the Larbre Corvette had a moment, spinning at the Ford Chicanes.
The main race starts later today at 15:00 local time.