Ambient temperatures of around 30°C greeted teams and drivers in Western France as the first on-track action of the 2019 24 Hours of Le Mans kicked off. All 62 cars due to start the endurance classic in mid-June were present at the Circuit de la Sarthe to begin finalising set-ups for the upcoming race week and complete any required rookie laps.
The LMP1 field was relatively tight over the course of the eight-hour session. As expected Toyota Gazoo Racing set the fastest time of the day with a 3:19.440 for Sébastien Buemi in the #8 TS050 Hybrid. Second-fastest was MIke Conway in the sister car, whose quickest time was around eight tenths slower. The fastest non-hybrid car was the #1 Rebellion Racing car, but only a second separated the pair of Swiss-entered Rebellions and two cars entered by the SMP Racing team.
The GTE Pro field was even closer on Sunday, with no less than twelve cars posting times in the 3:54s. Corvette Racing, looking for their first victory at Le Mans since 2015. The #63 was quickest on the day, followed by the #67 Ford and the sister #64 Corvette. With rumours abounding as to the team’s potential exit from the FIA WEC, BMW Team MTEK will have plenty to think about after Test Day, after only posting the 16th and 17th fastest times.
Similar situation in LMP2 and GTE Am
Test Day offered a similar picture in LMP2 and GTE Am, with one second covered the top three in each of the pro-am classes. Jackie Chan DC Racing (#38), DragonSpeed (#31) and Signatech Alpine Matmut (#36) all recorded times in the 3:28s, while honours in GTE Am went to Ferrari. WeatherTech Racing (#62) secured top spot, ahead of Clearwater Racing (#61) and Spirit of Race (#54).
The full list of times can be found here. The action recommences in Le Mans on Wednesday 12 June. Four hours of free practice begin at 4pm, followed by the first qualifying session later that night at 10pm. Check out the full timetable for the weekend on our special race page.
Image © Alexis GOURE (ACO) – Press material