Sebastien Buemi set the fastest time in the final Free Practice session of the WEC weekend at Fuji Speedway, setting a 1:35.414; the fastest tour of the circuit so far this weekend in the #8 Toyota TS050 HYBRID. This came after the #7 went quickest in yesterday’s heavily interrupted Free Practice 2
Once again, the session was held in poor visibility and wet conditions trackside, the cars having no dry running prior to Qualifying.
Behind, the #2 Porsche LMP Team 919 of Earl Bamber slotted in second, with a 1:26.264, ahead of the sister car which slotted in third, a further five tenths adrift.
In LMP2, Jackie Chan DC Racing book-ended its weekend of class-topping times, with a 1:43.745 by FP1 pace-setter Alex Brundle in the team’s #37 ORECA.
His time was just 0.002 quicker than Nelson Piquet in the #13 Vaillante Rebellion ORECA, who ended in second. Bruno Senna put Rebellion’s #31 07 Gibson third in the class.
Completing the top six was the #36 Alpine A470 and the #25 Manor ORECA, which was back on track after Vitaly Petrov’s off in Free Practice 2. They were 1.1 and 1.2 seconds off Brundle respectively.
Once again in GTE Pro, Ford and Porsche found themselves at the top of the times, Richard Lietz the quickest of the bunch with a 1:47.724 in the #91 911 RSR.
The #92 made it a Porsche 1-2, its best time half a second off, with the first of the Chip Ganassi GTs, the #67 third.
Best of the rest were the #51 AF Corse Ferrari and the #95 Aston Martin, which finished up the pre-Qualifying running fourth and fifth respectively.
After Clearwater and Spirit of Race traded fastest times in FP1 and 2, it was all change in Am in the third session. The Dempsey Proton Porsche of Matteo Cairoli set a 1:49.387 to thrown down the gauntlet before Qualifying.
The Clearwater 488 would go second, with the Spirit of Race Ferrari third.
Due to the poor weather, the start of today’s Qualifying session has been moved from 14:30 to 14:00 local time.