The championship-leading #26 G-Drive Racing ORECA 07-Gibson set the benchmark in the first of two 90-minute ELMS practice sessions scheduled for this WEC-doubleheader at Silverstone.
Jean-Eric Vergne clocked a fastest lap of 1:46.287 – that is less than three tenths of a second faster than the car in second position, the #21 Dragonspeed ORECA 07-Gibson shared by Henrik Hedman, Ben Hanley and Nicolas Lapierre, when ended with a 1:46.533.
The #31 APR Rebellion Racing Oreca 07-Gibson driven by Ryan Cullen, Harrison Newey and Gustavo Menezes, finished third (1:47.072), less than eight tenths off the #26.
ORECAs dominated the session. The fastest Ligier was the #22 United Autosport Ligier JSP2 shared Phil Hanson and Filipe Albuquerque with a 1:47.564 to slot in fifth position, 1.3 seconds slower than the fastest 07. The fastest Dallara meanwhile, was the #30 AVF by Adrian Valles (1:47.649) driven by Konstantin Tereschenko and Henrique Chaves. It ended sixth, 1.4 second behind the fastest LMP2.
In LMP3, it was a 1-2 for United Autosport. Matt Bell was the fastest of the Anglo-American team’s drivers in the session in the #3 Ligier JSP3 with a 1:55.689 lap time.
Ligiers dominated with seven JSP3s taking the top seven class positions. The first of the Norma M30s was the #17 Ultimate driven by Mathieu Lahaye, Jean-Baptiste Lahaye and Francois Heriau, 1.7 seconds behind the fastest JSP3.
The LMP3 pointsa leaders in the #15 RLR MSport driven by John Farano, Job Van Uitert and Robert Garofall ended sixth in the category, some 1.3 seconds behind the fastest of the United Autosport Ligiers.
In LMGTE, Porsche 911 RSRs ended up at the top, as expected. Ben Barker in the #86 Gulf Racing Porsche 911 RSR was fastest in the category after reeling off a 2:00.345. The #77 Proton Competition driven by Christian Ried, Marvin Dienst and Dennis Olsen ended in second position, one tenth behind the fastest Porsche.
The LMGTE championship-leading car, the #88 Proton Competition Porsche, encountered a transmission problem towards the end of the session and finished fifth in its category (2:01.041).
Next up for the ELMS contenders is the second ninety minute ELMS practise session kicking off at 2.45 this afternoon.