Toyota tops Spa final Practice, Jota third

The #38 Hertz Team JOTA Porsche 963. Image: Paul Foster

Toyota has taken final bragging rights at Spa-Francorchamps in the third and final practice session, while the new Jota customer Porsche 963 was a stunning third.

The track was officially declared ‘wet’ before the start of the 60-minute session, enabling teams to use the wet Michelin tyre, however Kamui Kobayashi set a 2:08.702s lap on a drying track in the #7 Toyota GR010 to go fastest.

Earl Bamber was second in the #2 Cadillac Racing V-Series R, with 0.734 behind, with a sensational effort by Will Stevens in the #38 Hertz Team Jota Porsche 963 to qualify third with a 2:14.194s lap.

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With three brands in the top three, the #8 Toyota was driven to fourth by Ryo Hirakawa, with the Cadillac of Sébastien Bourdais posting fifth on his final lap to finish ahead of the first Ferrari, the #50 of Antonio Fuoco in sixth.

Romain Dumas pushed the Glickenhaus 007 to a poetic seventh place, ahead of the two Penske Porsches, with Frenchman Frédéric Makowiecki the faster of the pair with a 2:12.744 significantly quicker than Kevin Estre’s 2:14.289.

Antonio Giovanizzi, who’d topped Practice 2 in the #51 AF Corse Ferrari 499P, was the initial pacesetter, with a 2:14.305 in the damp conditions early on before co-driver Alessandro set a 2:14.305 that only ended up good enough for tenth.

The two factory Peugeots were next, with Nico Muller 11th and Mikkel Jensen 12th.

In LMP2, Team WRT’s #31 topped its second session in a row, following on from Practice 2 with a 2:10.268 by Ferdinand Habsburg, almost a second (0.961) ahead of the Vector Sport Oreca-Gibson, with Filipe Albuquerque leading the United Autosports entries in third and fourth.

LMGTE Am was led by the Porsche 911 RSR of Alessio Picariello with a 2:28.387 ahead of Casper Stevenson in the D’Station Racing Aston Martin and the Ferrari of Lilou Wadoux, which spun to cause full-course yellow flags and cause damage to the 488 GTE Evo, in third.

Qualifying for the TotalEnergies 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps starts at 0100 AEST Saturday April 29, with the race taking place the same day at 2045 AEST.

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