Photo: Kristof Vermeulen

A cloudless sky and temperatures in the late 20’s greeted us at southern France’s iconic Circuit Paul Ricard in the foothills of the Var as it sweeps down to the Mediterranean sea. European Le Mans Series track action kicked of at 11:20 with the Bronze Driver Test Session.  

In an incident free 30 minute session, Eric Trouillet in the #39 Graff Oreca set the pace with a fastest laptime of 1:56.346 with Sweden’s Henrik Hedman taking his Dragonspeed Oreca to a 1:56.919 to claim second spot. French icon Fabian Barthez took his team’s Ligier JS P2 to third spot in the session setting a 1:56.919 a mere 0.623s seconds off of Trouillet’s time. 

In LMP3, Nicolas Schatz took Duqueine Engineering’s Norma M30 to the top of the pile setting a 2:03.698. Inter Europol Competition’s Martin Hippe took second with a 2:04.980 with John Falb rounding out the top three for United Autosports. 

JMW Motorsport’s Robert Smith took GTE fastest time in the team’s Ferrari 488 locking in a 2:08.753. TF Sport’s Salih Yoluc followed him with Duncan Cameron rounding out the top three in the Spirit of Race Ferrari 488 GTE.