The Tuesday Morning session was another that, rather sadly, has headlines dominated by incident rather than pace.
The most significant befell the #29 Racing Team Nederland Oreca in the hands of Job van Uitert and the #85 Iron Lynx Ferrari with Katherine Legge at the wheel, both cars heavily into the barriers at Blanchimont after contact. Both drivers OK, news is awaited on the fate of the cars though both, visually at least, looked very badly damaged.
That brought out the third red flag of the session, soon after a brief interruption for the recovery of the #25 G-Drive Aurus, Roberto Mehri stopping on the pit straight, apparently, after feeling something awry in the suspension, the car was soon back out on track.
The first stoppage came for recovery of the #7 Toyota which stopped out on track.
Beyond that confirmation is expected shortly of the withdrawal from the meeting of the #46 Team Project 1 Porsche, damaged yesterday in an incident with Anders Bucharest at the wheel, the car is understood to have suffered chassis damage and there is no immediate replacement 911 RSR-19 available.
There was good news though for TF Sport, the rebuild of the front-end of the #777 Station Racing Aston Martin was completed in time for the session and the arrival at 5 am here of the team’s ELMS car to replace the damaged #33 saw the teamwork miracles to prep the car ready for scrutineering early this morning including a full bodywork switch (the replacement car featuring the white roof of the ELMS livery) and fitment of all the required WEC electronics.
Dylan Pereira repaid the efforts of the crew by putting the Aston Martin on top of the times in the early running.
The arrival of the #28 Jota Oreca took rather longer but the car would be out for installation laps late in the session after being rebuilt around the team’s spare chassis overnight following Sean Gelael’s accident yesterday.
For the third session in a row, the top times fell to LMP2 cars with Nyck de Vries topping the times in the #26 G-Drive Aurus with a 2:04.168, just over a tenth ahead of the #22 United car of Felipe Albuquerque, da Costa in the #38 Jota rounding out an all LMP2 top three before the first of the Hypercars, the #7 Toyota, which briefly topped the times, featured with a 2:04.708.
It was an all-Porsche top two in GTE Pro with the #92 of Kevin Estre (2:12.916), well over a second clear of the sister #91 911 RSR-19.
Team Project 1’s surviving Porsche, the #56 topped GTE Am with Matteo Cairoli again topping the times with a 2:14.736, a tenth and a half clear of the #77 Dempsey Proton Porsche with the #33 TF Aston Martin throw quickest.