Free Practice 2 this morning in cooler temperatures at Portimao for the FIA WEC runners saw United Autosports’ No. 22 ORECA top the times after a 1m31.984s from Paul Di Resta.
Crucially for the No. 22 crew, this morning’s running saw Wayne Boyd turn his first laps in FIA WEC competition. The Englishman has been drafted in as a replacement for full-season driver Fabio Scherer, after the Swiss had a positive PCR test for COVID-19 earlier in the week.
After JOTA topped the first practice session yesterday, once again LMP2s ruled the roost in the times, with ORECA 07s taking the top three positions in the overall standings. Second was the No. 31 Team WRT ORECA, after Robin Frijns’ best effort, a 1m32.004s, just 0.020s off Di Resta’s session-topping tour.
The Inter Europol Competition 07 Gibson, which sat at the top of the timing screens at the start of the session, ended up third, also within a tenth of the best time.
Best of the four-car Hypercar pack was the Alpine, Nicolas Lapierre managing a late improvement of 1m32.074s to go fourth overall. The two Toyotas finished up seventh and ninth, with the No. 8 the faster of the two GR010 HYBRIDs, almost seven tenths off the leading ORECA.
Qualifying later today will give us a true indication of where the performance levels of the LMH cars are compared to the LMP2s. The early signs, though, point to an LMP2 driver taking pole position, as the BoP changes ahead of the weekend appear to have blunted the Hypercars.
Fourth in Hypercar was the lone Glickenhaus 007, which had a tough session. It caused two full-course yellows after Romain Dumas stopped on track following an off-track excursion in avoidance of a slower car with 43 minutes remaining. After being taken back to the pits on a flatbed, the car then caused a second caution period, Ryan Briscoe stopping on his out-lap.
In the GTE ranks, the No. 52 AF Corse Ferrari ended up top of Pro after an early 1m38.901s from Daniel Serra. The No. 92 Porsche ended up a tenth off the fastest time, after a late flyer from Kevin Estre.
In GTE Am, the No. 56 Team Project 1 Porsche toured the circuit quickest, two tenths clear of the field. The No. 47 Cetilar Ferrari ran second fastest, ahead of the No. 86 GR Racing Porsche in third.
UP NEXT: The final practice session is 2:00 p.m. local time.