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Toyota Leads Red-Flagged FP3

Kerb trouble stops play

Toyota book-ended the pre-qualifying on-track action this morning at Shanghai, finishing 1-2 again atop the timing screens in a session which was brought to a halt with a red flag 20 minutes early due to the inside kerbs at Turn 3 breaking up, making it too dangerous to continue the running.

The best time in the session was once again set by the #7 TS050, which finished with a 1:44.888, this time by Kamui Kobayashi after Mike Conway led the way in FP1 and 2. The #8 meanwhile, was just 0.278 back, with a 1:45.166.

It was a tough session in the Porsche camp, with the #2 919 HYBRID finishing up third, six tenths off the pace, but only completing six laps. Shortly after setting its fastest time, Brendon Hartley was spotted running slowly, limping back home to the garage. The Kiwi suffered gear shifter issues, which prompted the team to replace multiple parts in the gearbox.

The #1 ended up fourth, its best time a 1:46.233, 1.3 seconds off the ultimate pace.

In LMP2, the G-Drive Racing ORECA set the fastest time, ELMS champion Leo Roussel managing a 1:50.162 shortly before the red flag. The car didn’t have a completely clean run however, after the sister TDS Racing ORECA of Emmanuel Collard tagged it at the final hairpin, damaging the rear of Nico Muller’s car, and the front of the TDS car, which had to have its front-end changed.

Completing the top three was the #31 Rebellion 07 Gibson, Bruno Senna setting a 1:50.195, which for a time was good enough to put the car top, and the #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing example. Oliver Jarvis set the DC Racing car’s time, a 1:50.665.

In the GTE ranks, the #95 Aston Martin Racing Vantage ended up top of the times, with a 1:59.836, six tenths quicker than the #67 Ford GT and #92 Porsche. The #51 AF Corse Ferrari made it all four brands in the top four, with a 2:01.098.

GTE Am was led by the Spirit of Race Ferrari, with a 2:01.924, less than a tenth quicker than the Clearwater Racing Ferrari of Matt Griffin, the Irishman lapping the circuit in 2:01.992.

The #98 Aston Martin Racing Vantage completed the top three, a further three tenths adrift.

Qualifying is set to start at 14:00 local time.