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IDEC Sport Tops 4H Red Bull Ring FP1

Chatin the fastest man as the track action begins in Austria


IDEC Sport’s Paul Loup Chatin ran fastest in the opening practice session of the 2018 4 Hours of the Red Bull Ring, the Frenchman in the Michelin-shod #28 ORECA 07 Gibson setting an early 1:20.067, which went unchallenged for the remainder of the session.

Norman Nato in the #24 Racing Engineering ORECA came close to the Monza Pole-winner though, setting a 1:20.070 lap, just 0.003 off his compatriot. Matthieu Vaxiviere was within a tenth too in the #33 TDS Racing ORECA, which ended the session with a 1:20.091.

The session was dominated by ORECA 07 Gibsons, the French chassis locking out the top eight positions in the 17-car LMP2 class.

The first of the other chassis was SMP Racing’s Dallara, Matevos Isaakyan setting the best time in the Russian-flagged P217, a 1:20.836, seven tenths off the fastest time set in the session.

United Autosports’ #32 car was the best of the Ligier JS P217s in the session, finishing up 10th overall, and just under a second off the ultimate pace.

It was a relatively quiet session for the LMP2 runners, the only notable incident being the #25 Algarve Pro Ligier of Taksung Kim having an off into the gravel at Turn 4 in the opening minutes of the running.

French otufit Ultimate meanwhile, topped the LMP3 class with a 1:26.927 from Matthieu Lahaye. Like LMP2, LMP3 was also tight at the top, the #3 United Autosports Ligier JS P3 ending up within a tenth in second after a 1:26.945 from Matt Bell.

The #19 M Racing YMR Norma ended up third, 0.379 back, preventing the Anglo-American squad from getting two cars in the top three, its the #2 United Autosports Ligier JS P3 claiming fourth. M Racing YMR’s Norma on the other hand, had a tougher time in the session, ending up 15th, bringing ut a Full-Course Yellow at one stage for stopping out on track.

There was trouble further down the order in the class too. The #12 Eurointernational Ligier was black flagged, and then reported to the stewards for a violation to the black flag proceedure while Andrea Dromendari was behind the wheel midway through the session. As a result, the team’s car was limited to just 11 laps.

In GTE, JMW Motorsport was the fastest team with its #66 Ferrari 488, which is now back in its traditional yellow livery after racing in white at Le Mans. Miguel Molina set the team’s fastest time, a 1:28.829, to go over half a second faster than the #88 Proton Competition Porsche which slotted in second.

Making it two Ferraris in the top three was Andrea Bertolini, the Italian lapping the 4.3km circuit in 1:29.487 in the Krohn Racing 488.

The next session for the ELMS runners is the Bronze Test later today at 17:35 local time.