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Jamie Klein

Fuji WEC: Ferrari leads first practice from Peugeot

Antonio Fuoco set a best time of 1m35.649s at the end of the 90-minute session in the #50 Ferrari 499P LMH, a massive 2.6 seconds up on the sister #51 machine as the track rapidly improved late on.

Best of the rest in third was the #94 Peugeot 9X8, followed by the two works Penske Porsche 963s in fourth and fifth, while home favourite Toyota was sixth and seventh with its two GR010 HYBRIDs.

Despite the looming threat of Typhoon Yun-yeung, Friday morning's 90-minute session started on schedule at 11am local time in wet conditions and passed largely without incident.

Almost every Hypercar class manufacturer enjoyed a stint at the top of the times, as the track steadily dried out.

Ferrari took command of the times with a little over 30 minutes to go as James Calado went quickest in the #51 car, with team-mate Antonio Giovinazzi becoming the first driver to breach the 1m40s mark when he set a 1m39.198s with 22 minutes left on the clock.

Fuoco then traded the top time with Giovinazzi as he took over at the wheel of the #50 Ferrari, with Porsche man Michael Christensen briefly snatching the advantage before Fuoco went faster again, posting a 1m37.616s and then a 1m35.649s after switching to slick tyres.

Giovinazzi set the best time in the #51 car of 1m38.258s on wets, just over four tenths up on late improver Gustavo Menezes in the #94 Peugeot.

Christensen's time was eclipsed late on by his opposite number in the sister #6 Porsche, Laurens Vanthoor, who posted a 1m38.729s to go fourth-fastest.

Mike Conway set the best time for Toyota of 1m39.251s in the #7 car, four hundredths quicker than Brendon Hartley in the #8 car in a subdued opening session for the Japanese manufacturer.

Completing the top 10 were the second of the Peugeots, the #93 car in which Paul di Resta set the best time, the solo Cadillac V-Series.R of Alex Lynn and the Proton Competition customer Porsche of Harry Tincknell.

The JOTA Porsche enjoyed a lengthy spell at the top of the times in the opening half of the session when conditions were at their worst, but ended up 11th in the Hypercar class and slower than the team's LMP2 car, which topped that class.

Oliver Rasmussen put in a late flyer of 1m40.781s aboard the #28 ORECA 07 to take the top spot in LMP2, almost two seconds up on nearest rival Filip Ugran in the #9 Prema machine.

United Autosports was third in class courtesy of a late effort from Ben Hanley - standing in for Tom Blomqvist this weekend - in the #23 entry.

Topping the times by an even wider margin in GTE Am was the #77 Dempsey Proton Porsche 911 RSR-19 of Mikkel Pedersen on a 1m43.538s.

That was almost four seconds up on Davide Rigon, who went second-fastest in the #54 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE.

A sole full-course yellow was called at the one-hour mark, but this was purely procedural rather than in response to any accident.

FP2 is scheduled to begin at 3.30pm local time, but more rain is forecast for later in the day, casting doubt on whether the session will run as planned.

Fuji WEC - First practice results:

Pos. No. Drivers Car Class time gap
1 50 ITA Antonio Fuoco
ESP Miguel Molina
DEN Nicklas Nielsen
Ferrari 499P HYPERCAR 1'35.649  
2 51 ITA Alessandro Pier Guidi
GBR James Calado
ITA Antonio Giovinazzi
Ferrari 499P HYPERCAR 1'38.258 2.609
3 94 FRA Loïc Duval
USA Gustavo Menezes
BEL Stoffel Vandoorne
Peugeot 9X8 HYPERCAR 1'38.693 3.044
4 6 FRA Kevin Estre
GER Andre Lotterer
BEL Laurens Vanthoor
Porsche 963 HYPERCAR 1'38.729 3.080
5 5 USA Dane Cameron
DEN Michael Christensen
FRA Frédéric Makowiecki
Porsche 963 HYPERCAR 1'38.876 3.227
6 7 GBR Mike Conway
JPN Kamui Kobayashi
ARG Jose Maria Lopez
Toyota GR010 - Hybrid HYPERCAR 1'39.251 3.602
7 8 SUI Sebastien Buemi
NZL Brendon Hartley
JPN Ryo Hirakawa
Toyota GR010 - Hybrid HYPERCAR 1'39.291 3.642
8 93 GBR Paul di Resta
DEN Mikkel Jensen
FRA Jean-Eric Vergne
Peugeot 9X8 HYPERCAR 1'39.309 3.660
9 2 NZL Earl Bamber
GBR Alex Lynn
GBR Richard Westbrook
Cadillac V-Series.R HYPERCAR 1'39.584 3.935
10 99 SUI Neel Jani
ITA Gianmaria Bruni
GBR Harry Tincknell
Porsche 963 HYPERCAR 1'40.085 4.436
11 28 DEN David Heinemeier Hansson
BRA Pietro Fittipaldi
DEN Oliver Rasmussen
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'40.781 5.132
12 38 POR Antonio Felix da Costa
GBR Will Stevens
CHN Ye Yifei
Porsche 963 HYPERCAR 1'40.953 5.304
13 4 ARG Esteban Guerrieri
FRA Tristan Vautier
Brazil Joao Paulo de Oliveira
Vanwall Vandervell 680 HYPERCAR 1'41.483 5.834
14 9 ROU Filip Ugran
HOL Bent Viscaal
ECU Juan Manuel Correa
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'42.661 7.012
15 23 USA Josh Pierson
GBR Ben Hanley
GBR Oliver Jarvis
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'42.924 7.275
16 10 IRL Ryan Cullen
SUI Matthias Kaiser
FRA Gabriel Aubry
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'42.984 7.335
17 34 POL Jakub Smiechowski
SUI Fabio Scherer
ESP Albert Costa
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'43.204 7.555
18 36 FRA Matthieu Vaxivière
FRA Julien Canal
FRA Charles Milesi
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'43.218 7.569
19 22 GBR Frederick Lubin
GBR Philip Hanson
POR Filipe Albuquerque
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'43.230 7.581
20 31 INA Sean Gelael
AUT Ferdinand Habsburg
HOL Robin Frijns
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'43.403 7.754
21 41 POR Rui Andrade
POL Robert Kubica
SUI Louis Deletraz
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'43.490 7.841
22 77 GER Christian Ried
DEN Mikkel Pedersen
FRA Julien Andlauer
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 LMGTE AM 1'43.538 7.889
23 63 FRA Doriane Pin
ITA Andrea Caldarelli
RUS Daniil Kvyat
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'44.139 8.490
24 35 BRA André Negrão
MEX Memo Rojas
GBR Olli Caldwell
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'44.816 9.167
25 54 SUI Thomas Flohr
ITA Francesco Castellacci
ITA Davide Rigon
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 1'47.198 11.549
26 56 USA PJ Hyett
USA Gunnar Jeannette
ITA Matteo Cairoli
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 LMGTE AM 1'47.230 11.581
27 83 ARG Luis Perez Companc
FRA Lilou Wadoux
ITA Alessio Rovera
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 1'47.250 11.601
28 777 JPN Satoshi Hoshino
GBR Casper Stevenson
JPN Tomonobu Fujii
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE AM 1'47.493 11.844
29 98 GBR Ian James
ITA Daniel Mancinelli
ESP Alex Riberas
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE AM 1'47.913 12.264
30 21 JPN Hiroshi Koizumi
USA Simon Mann
JPN Kei Cozzolino
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 1'48.414 12.765
31 60 ITA Claudio Schiavoni
ITA Matteo Cressoni
BEL Alessio Picariello
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 LMGTE AM 1'49.060 13.411
32 86 GBR Michael Wainwright
ITA Riccardo Pera
GBR Ben Barker
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 LMGTE AM 1'49.199 13.550
33 85 BEL Sarah Bovy
DEN Michelle Gatting
SUI Rahel Frey
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 LMGTE AM 1'49.455 13.806
34 57 JPN Takeshi Kimura
USA Scott Huffaker
JPN Ritomo Miyata
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 1'49.706 14.057
35 33 USA Ben Keating
ARG Nicolas Varrone
HOL Nicky Catsburg
Chevrolet Corvette C8.R LMGTE AM 1'50.043 14.394
36 25 GBR Ahmad Al Harthy
USA Michael Dinan
IRL Charlie Eastwood
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE AM 1'53.388 17.739


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