Nicolas Lapierre set the pace once again in the second practice session at Paul Ricard for the ELMS runners this morning. Driving the #21 10Star DragonSpeed ORECA 07, the Frenchman set a 1:53.546 midway through the session to go seven tenths faster than he did to take the top spot in Free Practice 1 yesterday.
His time also bettered an early flyer from SMP Racing’s Matevos Issakyan in the #27 Dallara P217, which initially put the Russian atop the times. The SMP Dallara eventually finished up second, with the United Autosports Ligier third, seven tenths off DragonSpeed and three off SMP.
Completing the top five was the #39 GRAFF ORECA with a 1:54.493 from Enzo Guibbert to go fourth, and the #47 Cetilar Villorba Corse Dallara that finished fifth.
In LMP3, it was extremely tight, the top 11 in the class all within a second by the end of the 90-minute session.
The best of the bunch was the #3 United Autosports Ligier, after a 2:05.155 from Wayne Boyd, just half a tenth faster than the #19 M.Racing YMR Norma of Yann Erlacher, the Frenchman setting a 2:05.202 with 28 minutes remaining in the session. Third in the class was the #9 AT Racing Ligier.
In the GTE Ranks, Proton Competition’s Porsche topped the times with a 2:05.753 from Matteo Cairoli.
The #55 Spirit of Race Ferrari 488 took second spot towards the end of the session, courtesy of a 2:06.042 from Matt Griffin. His time was just under three tenths faster than Darren Turner’s 2:06.33 in the Beechdean AMR Aston Martin Vantage, the AMR factory driver putting in his personal best on his last lap in the session to go third.
The second of the Spirit of Race 488s ended up just outside the top three, with a 2:06.389 from Andrea Bertolini.
There were two red flags in the session, the first for the #8 Duquiene Engineering Norma M30, after Lucas Legert hit the barriers at Turn 2. The other was late on, for Paul Lafargue stopping at Turn 16 with 11 minutes remaining in the session.
Of the 35 cars, only one didn’t head out onto the circuit in the session: the #2 United Autosports Ligier, which according to the team, stayed in the garage to save tyres.
Next up for the ELMS teams is Qualifying, starting at 13:45 local time.