European Le Mans Series 2018 - 4 Hours of Le Castellet No 29 Duqueine Engineering - Oreca 07/Gibson - LMP2 - Pierre Ragues/Nicolas Jamin/ Nelson Panciatici - © All rights reserved www.kristofvermeulen.com

In dry, sometimes sunny conditions, Nelson Panciatici set the time to beat in Saturday morning’s Free Practice 2; the Frenchman clocking in a 1:41.215 on lap 24 in his Duqueine Engineering ORECA 07.

Next up was Ben Hanley in the #21 Dragonspeed ORECA, 0.658 seconds behind Panciatici with Matthieu Vaxivière in the #33 TDS Racing car just under a second adrift from the Duqueine car setting a 1:42.181 lap. The first of the non-ORECA chassis was the #30 AVF By Adrián Vallés Dallara P217 which Konstantin Tereschenko took to fifth place with a 1:42.770 set on lap 35. 

European Le Mans Series Round 1. Circuit Paul Ricard, France. April 2018. Image: JellyBaby.Media

In the LMP3 class Job Van Uitert topped the times for RLR MSport with a 1:52.290 in his #15 Ligier JS P3. The #3 United Autosports car was second as Matt Bell put in a 1:52.618 on lap 12 putting him 0.098 of a second ahead of Giorgio Mondini in the dark blue #11 Eurointernational car. 

European Le Mans Series Round 1. Circuit Paul Ricard, France. April 2018. Image: JellyBaby.Media

Once again the #88 Proton Competition Porsche 911 RSR set the pace in the GTE class, Matteo Cairoli storming around the track to set the fastest time of the weekend so far with a 1:54.253. Dennis Olsen took the sister #77 car to second place 0.242 seconds behind Cairoli with Ben Barker making it an all-Porsche top three clocking in a 1:54.513 in the #86 Gulf Racing version of the RSR. The #66 JMW Motorsport Ferrari 488 GTE appeared to struggle throughout the session ending up two seconds off the pace with the fastest lap being a 1:56.348 set by endurance racing returnee Alex MacDowall on lap eight.