Jose Maria Lopez led the way in the opening free practice session for the FIA WEC teams at Monza this afternoon, ahead of the championship’s inaugural race at the “Temple of Speed” on Sunday. The Argentine set a 1m38.401s early in the session behind the wheel of the No. 7 Toyota GR010 HYBRID.
His time was just over a tenth faster than the sister No. 8 Toyota, which had its best lap set by Brendon Hartley, and the Signatech Alpine A480, which ended up just 0.152s off the best time.
Glickenhaus — present with two 007 Hypercars for the first time — slotted in fourth and fifth, both cars within seven tenths of Lopez during the session. In an encouraging start to the weekend for Jim Glickenhaus’ crew, the team topped the times briefly in the opening minutes, the No. 709 leading the No. 708 with a 1m39.042s.
Best of the LMP2 runners was the Spa-winning No. 22 United Autosports ORECA, which was within a second of the top LMH time, and almost half a second up on the rest of the field after the best effort from Filipe Albuquerque.
Nyck de Vries was second fastest in the Racing Team Nederland ORECA. He returns to the team this weekend in place of Job van Uitert, who has been forced to skip the meeting due to a positive COVID test. Paul Loup Chatin has also been drafted in by the Dutch team this weekend to replace Giedo van der Garde, who also tested positive ahead of the event. “I’m absolutely gutted I can’t race in Monza — I feel sharp as a razor,” lamented van de Garde.
Completing the top three in the class was the DragonSpeed ORECA, ahead of the WRT and JOTA 07 Gibsons.
Further down the order, Risi Competizione — the IMSA regular which is competing in the FIA WEC’s LMP2 class for the first time this weekend — ended up 10th. Its best time was set by Mazda Dpi driver Oliver Jarvis, a 1m40.996s.
In GTE Pro, the two Ferraris led the way on home soil. The best time was set by Daniel Serra in the No. 52 488 GTE Evo, a 1m46.329s. Porsche, meanwhile, ended up topping the times in GTE Am, after a late flying lap from Ricardo Pera in the No. 56 Project Porsche. His tour was a 1m47.194s.
UP NEXT: Track action continues with FP2 tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. local time.