A great start for Fernando Alonso in his debut World Endurance Championship outing.
The two time Formula One World Champion set the fastest lap time in the first free practice session at Spa-Francorchamps. Alonso posted a 1m58.392 lap in the n°8 Toyota TS050-Hybrid, 0.2 seconds ahead of Mike Conway in the sister n°7 Toyota Gazoo Racing TS050.
In more good news for the series, it appears as if the new privateer non hybrid LMP1 entries will be competitive.
The n°3 Rebellion Racing R13-Gibson of Thomas Laurent was third fastest in the first session with the French driver setting a 1m58.629s lap, just 0.4 seconds behind the lead Toyota.
Fourth fastest time and still within one second of Alonso was the Dragonspeed USA machine of Henrik Hedman, Ben Hanley and Pietro Fittipaldi
Ford led the way in the LMGTE Pro category with the n°67 Ford GT of Andy Priaulx setting a 2m15.014 lap of the 7km Spa-Francorchamps track and just 0.2 seconds ahead of the n°66 Ford GT of Olivier Pla. Porsche were third and fourth quickest in the 90 minute session.
Pastor Maldonado set the fastest LMP2 time on his WEC debut with a 2m03.494s lap in No.31 DragonSpeed Oreca. The Venezuelan’s lap was 0.6 seconds ahead of the rest of the LMP2 field, with 2016 champions Signatech Alpine in second and 2015 champions G-Drive Racing in third.
In LMGTE Am Matteo Cairoli was fastest in the n°88 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche, with a 2m16.601 lap s best to outpace the n°86 Gulf Racing UK 911 of Ben Barker in the car he will share with Alex Davison by 1.4 seconds. The second Dempsey-Proton Porsche which Matt Campbell will drive was third quickest, with the n°56 Team Project 1 911 in fourth, to give Porsche a 1-2-3-4 at the end of the session.
The second Free Practice session will take place this afternoon at 16h25 local time.