The Porsche LMP1 team finished the first of the three Free Practice session for the weekend’s 6h Mexico by locking out the top two slots in the timing sheet.
Fastest time of the day went to the #1 919 Hybrid of Neel Jani, André Lotterer and NickTandy with Lotterer setting a 1:27.026 in the drying session. The sister #2 Porsche took second fastest time with Kiwi Earl Bamber’s fastest time just over half a second (0.649) adrift of Lotterer.
Both of the Toyota TS050 Hybrids showed to be the quickest cars on the track during the opening part of the session when the track was at it wettest. As the weather passed and the track dried the times improved and the Japanese machines closed out the session third (#7) and fourth (#8). The privateer LMP1 of the ByKolles team has not made the journey to Mexico and remains unlikely for any of the remaining flyaway races.
In LMP2, the lone Signatech Alpine A470 (#36) of Nicolas Lapierre, Gustavo Menezes and Andre Negrao set the pace for the session. Frenchman Lapierre set the fastest time, a 1:34.556, 0.376s ahead of Bruno Senna in the #13 Vaillante Rebellion ORECA 07. The sister #31 Vaillante Rebellion closed out the top three with Senna clocking in a 1:35.213 lap.
The GTE Pro times were lead by the #51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE of James Calado (GBR) and Alessandro Pier Guidi (ITA) with the Briton setting a 1:41.101 in his 12 lap stint. 0.076s behind the Ferrari were Richard Lietz and Fred Makowiecki in the #91 Porsche 911 RSR. Denmark’s Nicki Thiim beasted the ageing #95 Aston Martin Racing Vantage into third fastest in class nearly a second behind Caldo’s Ferrari.
In GTE Am it was a case of tried and tested as the older Porsches and Aston Martins held out over the turbocharged Ferraris. Fastest of the session was the #77 Dempsey – Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR (991) in the hands of Porsche’s Wonder-kid Matteo Cairoli who set a 1:42.469. The similar #86 Gulf Racing UK 911 of Michael Wainwright, Ben Barker and Nicholas Foster was 0.1s behind with Pedro Lamy setting a time of 1:42.923 to put the #98 Aston Martin V8 Vantage into a respectable third. Current class leaders, the #61 Clearwater Racing Ferrari 488 finished up the slowest of the session with Keita Sawa’s lap of 1:43.353 just under a second of the pace.