#22, UNITED AUTOSPORTS USA, Oreca 07 - Gibson, Philip Hanson (GBR), Fabio Scherer (CHE), Filipe Albuquerque (PRT). 2021 FIA World Endurance Championship, Francorchamps, Belgium. Photo © John D Stevens.

Filipe Alburquerque set the pace in the #22 United Autosports ORECA in today’s Free Practice 1 at Belgium’s Spa-Francorchamps circuit, the Portuguese driver setting a 2:04.083 on his fourth lap (of 5). 

#36, ALPINE ELF MATMUT, Alpine A480 – Gibson, André Negrão (BRA), Nicolas Lapierre (FRA), Matthieu Vaxiviere (FRA). 2021 FIA World Endurance Championship, Francorchamps, Belgium. Photo © John D Stevens.

The session’s second fastest time (2:04.335), and first in the new Hypercar category, was set by Frenchman Matthieu Vaxiviere in the RebAlpine A480. third fastest was Norman Nato in the #70 Realteam Racing ORECA who dialled in a 2:04.471. 

Mike Conway set the fastest lap for the new Toyota GR010 HYBRID, taking the #7 car to a 2:04.574. The best the sister #8 could manage was Kazuki Nakajima’s 2:04.947. 

Local boy Stoffel Vandoorne in the #28 JOTA set third fastest lap in LMP2 with a 2:04.475, closely followed by Ben Hanley in the #21 Dragonspeed car 0.1s behind. 

#92, PORSCHE GT TEAM, Porsche 911 RSR – 19, Kevin Estre (FRA), Neel Jani (CHE). 2021 FIA World Endurance Championship, Francorchamps, Belgium. Photo © John D Stevens.

In LMGTE Pro the Porsche GT Team took the two fastest times; the #92 in the hands of Kevin Estre edging out Richard Lietz in the #91 sister car by just +0.034s to lock in a 2:13.466. Third spot wen to Alessandro Pier Guidi in the #51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE Evo. 

#56, TEAM PROJECT 1, Porsche 911 RSR – 19, Egidio Perfetti (NOR), Matteo Cairoli (ITA), Riccardo Pera (ITA). 2021 FIA World Endurance Championship, Francorchamps, Belgium. Photo © John D Stevens.

Porsche also topped the table in LMGTE AM with a top-three lockout and just 0.6s separating first to third; session honours went to Matteo Cairoli in the #56 Team Project 1 Porsche 911 RSR – 19 setting a 2:13.941. Hot on his heels was Matt Campbell in the #77 Dempsey – Proton Racing car with Alessio Picariello in the sister #77 car taking third spot. The #60 Iron Lynx was the first of the AM-spec Ferraris with Paul Dalla Lana’s #98 the fastest of the Aston Martins.   

The session had two red flag periods, one for a “Marshal in an unapproved position”, the second, which ended the session, came after the #28 Jota stopped at the Bus Stop minutes before the session was scheduled to end.