Friday dawned grey and overcast on the Algarve for the first track session in this weekend’s European Le Mans Series finale.
The #29 Duqueine Engineering Oreca 07 set the initial pace with Pierre Ragues clocking in a 1:32.846 on lap three. The #22 United Autosports Ligier JS-P2 shared by local hero Filipe Albuquerque and Phil Hanson followed with Albuquerque setting a 1:32.920 and the sister #32 car was third with Will Owen setting a time a mere +0.180s behind the #22. Local based team Algarve Pro Racing, in both it’s APR Rebellion and Algarve Pro guises were the slowest of the LMP2s with the APR Oreca 07 14th and the Ligier just under 3.5 seconds adrift in 15th.
In the ever competitive LMP3 class, it was Normas that set the fastest two times; Matthieu Lahaye lead the pack with a 1:40.097 Lap in the #17 Ultimate while Nicolas Maulini was 0.29s adrift of Lahaye in the #8 DKR Engineering. The first Ligier was the #15 RLR MSport car of Job Van Uitert a mere 0.040s behind Maulini. The # 11 EuroInternational Ligier of Giorgio Mondini and Kay Van Berlo failed to turn a lap.
In GTE it was the Proton Porsche 911 RSRs that set the pace with Marvin Dienst in the #77 car finally taking top spot. Giorgio Roda Jr. in the sister #88 car set a 1:43.723 lap to finish 0.4s behind Dienst. Third spot went the the #66 JMW Motorsport Ferrari 488 with Spaniard Miguel Molina clocking in a 1:43.834 lap.
Both Ragues (1:32.846 180.4 Kph) and Lahaye (1:40.097 167.3 Kph) broke the circuit lap records for the LMP2 and LMP3 classes respectively.