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Alonso Paces Final Free Practice In #8 Toyota

Ford continues to set the GTE Pro pace, but Aston close behind

Fernando Alonso’s 1:37.677 in the opening minutes of this morning’s third and final WEC practice session at Silverstone ensured that once again, Toyota were the quickest team. The Spaniard’s time was just over a second quicker than yesterday’s Free Practice overall best.

But in a change of form the Toyotas were split, Jenson Button’s sixth lap delivering a 1:39.762 for the #11 SMP Racing BR1-AER, before Stefane Sarrazin delivered a 1:39.326 for the #17 sister SMP car late in the hour. The #7 Toyota sat fourth three tenths behind; after a 1:40.033.

A displaced bollard at Becketts red-flagged the session ten minutes early, the mostly incident-free session only otherwise blotted by Larbre Competition’s Ligier rotating at the exit of Luffield, as Yoshiharu Mori struggled to get to grips with the Silverstone complex. The same location also saw a minor coming together between the #4 Bykolles CLM and the #81 BMW M8.

Matthieu Vaxivierre’s TDS Racing ORECA finished the session ahead of the LMP2 field, the #26 07 Gibson steered to a 1:44.247, just half a second ahead of the pair of Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECAs, the #37 car the better of the pair.

In LMGTE-Pro the #67 British-crewed Ford GT led the blue oval’s pairing, both cars improving over yesterday’s times, Andy Priaulx posting a 1:55.197.

Encouragingly, Nicki Thiim’s 1:56.408 placed the #95 Aston Martin third quickest, the Dane getting in for just three laps to keep the ‘Dane Train’ ahead of the #71 AF Corse Ferrari by two-tenths.

The #98 Aston Martin was best of the GTE-Am entries, 1:58.460 Pedro Lamy’s quickest effort. MR Racing Ferrari went second, with Dempsey Proton’s #77 Porsche rounding out the top three.

Next up for the WEC runners and riders is Qualifying at 12:00 local.