Ferrari leads the way in FP1 as new manufacturers impress

Antonio Fuoco led the way in the 90-minute session with a time that gave him a margin of more than a second over team-mate Antonio Giovinazzi.

Fuoco posted a 2m05.690s early in Free Practice 1 aboard the #50 Ferrari 499P Le Mans Hypercar, which compared with Giovinazzi’s 2m06.831s in the #51.

The times from Ferrari, which dominated last month’s Imola WEC round before strategic errors cost it victory, were some way behind those set in first free practice 12 months ago at Spa.

The fastest Ferrari driver was Fuoco with a 2m04.632s at a time when the 499P was 13kg lighter under the Balance of Performance.

Two of the manufacturers with new Hypercar contenders this year led the chase of Ferrari on the commencement of track activities at the third round of this year’s WEC.

Daniil Kvyat took third spot in the factory Iron Lynx Lamborghini SC63 LMDh, just ahead of Nicolas Lapierre in the best of the Signtech-run Alpine A424 LMDhs.

Kvyat’s 2m06.998s left him 1.3s off the pace, while Lapierre was only two hundredths behind on 2m07.020s.

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

Yifei Ye took fifth position in the Ferrari run by AF on a customer basis, courtesy of a 2m07.087s, while Neel Jani rounded out the top six with a 2m07.180s aboard the privateer Proton Porsche 963 LMDh.

The two factory Porsches took seventh and eighth, Laurens Vanthoor’s 2m07.393s giving him a margin of one tenth over Frederic Makowiecki, who ended up on 2m07.522s.

The top Peugeot 2024 9X8 LMH was the #93 car in which Nico Muller posted a 2m07.580s to take ninth, while the second Alpine rounded out the top 10 with a 2m07.633s from Paul-Loup Chatin.

Toyota, winner last time out in the WEC at Imola in April, took 11th in the times with a lap from Sebastien Buemi that was nearly two seconds off the pace around the 4.35-mile Spa lap.

Cadillac ended up 13th with its solo Ganassi-run V-Series.R driven by Earl Bamber, while quickest of the Jota customer Porsches was the British team’s #12 entry in the hands of Callum Ilott.

Isotta Frachini brought up the rear in Hypercar with its Tipo 6 LMH Competizione driven by Jean-Karl Vernay.

Corvette fastest in LMGT3

The TF Sport Chevrolet team led the way in LMGT3 with Daniel Juncadella.

The Spaniard’s 2m21.885s at the wheel of the #82 Chevrolet Corvette Z.06 GT3-R put him more than three tenths up on the AF Corse Ferrari 296 GT3 in which Davide Rigon got down to 2m22.220s.

Aston Martin took third with the Heart of Racing entry with Daniel Mancinelli at the wheel, with Michele Gatting fourth driving the Iron Dames Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2.

BMW, which claimed class honours at Imola, lined up fifth with Maxim Martin, while the United Autosports McLaren rounded out the top six.

Second free practice begins at 17:30 local time.

FP1 results:

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