WEC: Scene set for spectacular Super Season after conclusion of the Prologue at Paul Ricard

WEC: Scene set for spectacular Super Season after conclusion of the Prologue at Paul Ricard

The first public running of the new 2018/19 FIA WEC Super Season came to a close at Circuit Paul Ricard this afternoon after 9,836 laps were completed.

The 30-hour Prologue test was conducted in perfect conditions for the teams as they make final preparations before the first round at Spa-Francorchamps on May 5, the Total 6 Hours of Spa Francorchamps.

The pair of Toyota GAZOO Racing TS050 HYBRID entries headed the way as they conducted the most laps by a team, registering a remarkable 1,002 tours of the French circuit.

The team tested many aspects of its upgraded design and, although Mike Conway set an overall best of 1m32.662 in the No.8 car, it was largely unrepresentative due to Toyota running unrestricted when the time was set.

Behind the Japanese team there was a large amount of interest in the variety of all-new non-hybrid LMP1 cars.

The SMP Racing BR1 design continued its impressive introduction to LMP1 competition as Vitaly Petrov took third position. There were equally promising showings from the new Rebellion R13 as André Lotterer set the fourth quickest time in the car’s first significant test.

The ByKolles and CEFC TRSM Racing teams both ran important test programmes during the track time available with the new Ginetta running a combined 259 laps.

Dragonspeed placed eighth in the LMP1 order in its debut showing, with the American team accruing valuable data and knowledge as it gets set for the Super Season.

The 2018 LMP2 field was headed by former Williams and Lotus F1 driver Pastor Maldonado. The Venezuelan made his endurance racing debut at the test after two years away from motorsport.

Maldonado set a best lap of 1m40.771s on Friday evening in the DragonSpeed Oreca-Gibson he will share with Roberto Gonzalez and Nathanael Berthon at Spa and Le Mans.

Signatech Alpine Matmut placed second as they chase a second title to add to their 2016 LMP2 championship success.  Jackie Chan DC Racing ended the test third and fourth as they introduced new drivers to the WEC in both of their entries for 2018.

The LMP Headlines from the 2018 Prologue… 

•    Toyota ends 2018 Prologue top of times but new LMP1 entries impress with reliability and pace as teams prepare for Total 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps next month.
•    Mike Conway sets fastest lap of 1m32.662s in No.8 Toyota TS050 HYBRID as team runs a combined 1002 laps of Paul Ricard.
•    SMP Racing lead chase of Toyota in first non-hybrid LMP1 entry.
•    No.11 BR1-AER LMP1 sets a time of 1m37.034s as Vitaly Petrov sets time in evening running for Russian squad
•    Rebellion Racing debuts new R13 model and places fourth as André Lotterer laps just 0.010s off Petrov’s best
•    Second SMP Racing entry places fifth ahead of ByKolles challenger
•    Ginetta G60-LT-P1 Mechachrome ends seventh as CEFC TRSM Racing new signings Alex Brundle and Oliver Rowland get to grips with all-new British LMP1 design.
•    Dragonspeed BR1and the second CEFC TRSM Racing Ginetta complete LMP1 order as new entries shakedown for first time.

LMP2 class witnesses WEC debutant Pastor Maldonado set best time on his endurance racing debut.
•    Maldonado sets 1m40.771s best in Dragonspeed Oreca-Gibson
•    Signatech Alpine Matmut places second as they chase a second LMP2 title in 2018
•    Fans enjoy open house at Circuit Paul Ricard with post-test pit walk.

#92 PORSCHE GT TEAM / DEU / Porsche 911 RSR 

The LMGTE Pro class saw the Porsche GT Team to the fore as they placed 1-2 after the Prologue test. The running saw five highly prestigious manufacturers continue preparations for one of the most anticipated LMGTE PRO title fights in recent years.

Gianmaria Bruni, in the No.91 Porsche 911 RSR set a best of 1m51.332s on Friday evening. The Italian’s lap just eclipsed Kevin Estre’s best effort in the No.92 car as the German manufacturer logged a combined 638 laps.

BMW set about endurance testing one of its all-new M8 GTE cars logging 682 laps with the No.82 car BMW Team MTEK squad making good progress as they ready for debuting at Spa next month. Ferrari put more miles on its updated 488 GTE Evo model but saw drama with its No.51 car when a fuel fire curtailed its test and limited running to just 64 laps. No.71 ran untroubled.

Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK ended the test third and fourth behind the Porsches, while Aston Martin conducted a pure endurance run with its no.95 car.

In LMGTE Am Porsche locked out the four fastest positions as the pair of Dempsey Proton 911 RSR’s placed first and third sandwiching the Gulf Racing entry.  New entrants Team Project 1 ended fourth while fellow WEC debutants TF Sport took their Aston-Martin to fifth quickest.

The Headlines from the GTE Classes at Prologue….

•    LMGTE Pro sees strongest ever field share track for first time as ten factory entries begin title campaign preparations.
•    Porsche GT Team ends 30 hours 1-2 as No.91 911 RSR heads sister No.92 car
•    Gianmaria Bruni sets best time of 1m51.332s as he makes first WEC appearance for German manufacturer
•    Ford GTs get closest to Porsche times as No.67 and No.66 Ford Chip Ganassi entered cars are separated by just 0.1s
•    BMW conduct endurance test on spectacular new M8 GTE design
•    No.82 BMW Team MTEK car driven by seven factory drivers present places sixth in LMGTE Pro class
•    Ferrari sees test compromised by fuel fire which damaged wiring loom on updated No.51 AF Corse 488 GTE car
•    New No.95 Aston Martin Vantage sets the most individual laps of the test with 852 completed
•    Dempsey Proton Porsche lead the way in LMGTE Am as Matteo Cairoli sets best class time in early morning running
•    Italian peaks on 1m52.936s best with No.86 Gulf Racing Porsche second and second Dempsey Proton Porsche rounding out top three
•    Teams now get set to head to Belgium for opening round of FIA WEC Super Season on May 5 – the Total 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps

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14 minutes ago


WHAT an incredible race at Silverstone! 🔥

Remember you can watch now the #BritishGP 🇬🇧 race OnDemand with #VideoPass ➡️ bit.ly/BrVoDfb
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Suzuki love

Phil Goode

51 minutes ago


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51 minutes ago


Get well soon Dovi !! ... See Less

54 minutes ago


Less than ecstatic after the race 👊

P2 for Marc Márquez on the day but P1 in the championship 💪

#BritishGP 🇬🇧
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Great to see him challenged. He's an amazing talent but even the greatest talent on the grid with no opponents means a boring race.

Glad he talked about his concern for Dovi. That was good to hear. Sportsmanship is everything regardless of placings.

I love the whole sportsman ships these racers have for each other, 1 of the reasons to love Motogp ❤

Amazing race by amazing pilots.

congratulations Alex Rins you made my day

Love you #MM93💗

Congrats MM u did very well fighting off Rins but at the end Rins was the winner. Well deserved win. Lets bounce back with the next race. Sad about Dovi hope he is doing ok.

Well done 42 rins ya dancer 😃😃😃💪👍

He may lose a battle here and there, but always wins the war, its part of racing. His consistency in finishing on the podium has been unmatched in recent times. Great to see him pushed and challenged by Dovi, Rins, Vinales and Quartararo.

MM i Love you 💙

What a fantastic young man. So sad that some supposed MotoGP fans can't see beyond their hateful bias against him. Ultimately blamed himself for making a mistake on the last corner, acknowledged Rins race craft for remaining in second, and disappointed that Dovi crashed out - what more do you want?

He seemed ok to me in that interview. Was a great race from start to finish.

I thought he handled himself reasonably well given that he would obviously disappointed

Spoilt child. He was at max for too long and wiped out his tyres, whereas Rins never looked anything other than at ease and riding within himself which kept his tyres fresh so he could get drive out of the final corner. Marc shot his tyres hence why he nearly lost it coming through Woodcote and why he had to throttle back and had no traction.

One of the best race ever

marquez did loose the race.....only just, but he knows that when they showed his pit board of dovi out, that he did not have much to loose, but his competitive nature, would never allow him to settle for 2nd or third. if you want to get on the podium, you've got to out ride or out think him........


❤ MM




Glad to see mm eat some humble pie


Won't be long till all the haters start gobbling some humble pie...please swallow slowly, don't want you to choke..we need you back next year!!!..

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56 minutes ago


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2 hrs ago


What a dramatic start we saw at Silverstone! 😱

Thankfully, Fabio Quartararo and Andrea Dovizioso were able to walk away from this scary crash! 💥

#BritishGP 🇬🇧
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Hope Dovi will be fine 🤕

Was right near this, was horrific to see bit thankfully they hobbled away

Dovi has to be the unlikeliest rider in motogp history, the amount of times he's been wiped out by others is nuts

That was vicious. No life threatening injuries? Good day. Thank god for quality equipment.

Wishing Dovi a speedy recovery.

Dovi is out of luck this season. So sad to see a competitive rider ruling out of the race.

Absolutely horrific. Was anxious to see if Dovi got up. Thankfully he did. Wishing both riders swift recovery.


I hope Fabio and Dovi are both okay

Hope both riders are ok wish them both a speedy recovery

I was right next to this incident, both Dovi and Fabio were limping as they walked away, hope both are ok, what a fantastic race, Rins and Marc in a dogfight to the end, top day !!

Meanwhile a footballer who has a 2mph collision with another player writhes on the grass crying foul and holding himself in agony .Bike racers are real men.

Quel dommage pour ces deux superbes pilotes! #20

A very dangerous game yet we love it soooo much. Thanks to all rider who deliver a very competitive race every year. Dovi n Fabio, speed recovery please. I believe anyone who sit on that situation cant avoid hitting the loose bike.

Athleticism of MotoGP riders are amazing.. be safe.

Get well soon.. A big thanks to Quart and Dovi, Rossi got the 4th or else he will be 6th 😂

Dovi was lucky to walk away from that .

Dovi lost his memory after the crash.. 😢

I just hope that Dovi is okay that was a terrible thing to watch.

In situations where dovi needs the most points 😱

Never nice to see anyone hit the tarmac that hard. I think it could’ve been a proper scrap at the front if they had both been in the mix

The problem started with Rins who had to brake and almost lost The front.

Why did his bike catch fire, very unusual. Just one of those things.

Was scary was right in front of us 😱🏍❤️

Any update news from medic about dovi's situation?

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15 hrs ago


Which team has impressed you most so far in 2019? ... See Less

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I'm a Mercedes fan but have to say McLaren have done an amazing job this year considering their performance over the last few years.

I would say Williams for the most reliability and focused pit crew. They're only left to improve on pace.

Good to see that McLaren is performing well. I'm sure the team's ability to improve will be remarkable with every race from now on.

Must say McLaren, with the team spirit that they have, and results they managed to achieve... Definitely my favourites this season.

Williams have had the worst start to an F1 team in history. And I think with their tiny budget and willpower, the amount they’ve improved is impressive. They’re still far behind but I hope to see them fighting for podiums in 2021

McLaren has impressed the most because last season they where horrible and now they are best of the rest. Also Red Bull and Honda seem to be a nice match, would love to see Max finish what Jos started with Honda. Most disappointing this season are Haas and Renault. Renault because they wanted to close the gap to the top 3, but right now they are 6th. And they are the only unreliable engine in the field right now. Haas is having a horrible season, they seem to be getting worse during the season instead of improving.

If Bruce was still here he would be proud of his team. Mclaren improved the most.

McLaren. Consistent development and improvement over the season so far. Alfa Romeo has been somewhat of a surprise also.

Being on top is one thing but staying at the top is the art of the game. Kudos to Mercedes for getting it right so far.... #WeMakeItLookEasy

I’m super impressed with Toro Rosso, hard to believe this is the old Minardi team where both their drivers exceeded all expectations!!

Ferrari have been the most impressive, from being the slowest manufacturer in 2014 to being a reasonable threat and smashing McLaren and Williams comprehensibly. McLaren and Williams should just pack their bags and go home, Ferrari have nailed their coffin shut and it can be considered karma for their various indiscretions in 1990 (senna wiping out prost), 1994, 1997 (Villeneuve incident), 1998, 1999, 2007 (spygate), 2008... The British public couldn't care less about McLaren or Williams they only support whatever "British" team is winning, in this case Mercedes

Ferrari fan for life, but McLaren have done an incredible job so far, considering how far back they were

Redbull and Honda engineering. The aerodynamic has been sorted and the engine now also reliable. Watch that space, they could challenge for the title next year!

None the sport is finished and I've followed the sport since the early 80s

Mclaren, they have made a huge turn around this season. With andreas seidl at the helm, the only place they re going is up

Hi F1 and fans .... with all the media attention to the envirement and green thinking etc etc etc. Is there a research or developement posted in any magizine about the developemt of how clean the F1 is today. We all know that all top research of F1 is implemented in the modern cars but i like to read how clean F1 is now in 2019 .. 👍

McLaren (and I'm faraway from being a fan! If there was a person I didn't like in Formula 1, that person was Ron Dennis). Anyway I'm glad to see them finally getting together again and mainly without supposed big shot drivers who can't do nothing but complain! Now they need to find a good engine because with Renault it will be near impossible to go any further...

McLaren is the most impressive.. Mercedes just has luck week after week.. Hoping Ferrari will get their things together for the second half..

Red Bull / HONDA‼️ Young Max may be awesome, but so is the way Red Bull has adapted to Honda’s engine. The last 2 years of griping about the Renault power plant is (almost) justified...

Haas, they have surprised me on how bad they are this year. Compared to last year this year has been terrible. They were fighting Renault for top of the mid pack, this year they are fighting for points at all.

And yet no Ferrari or anyone else 1st with the exception of RB. Hybrid era is killing with the beyond dominance of Merc being so far ahead of everyone else’s pace. Some competition would be nice! Don’t give me that bullshit of everyone should bring it to the table, there’s some crazy advantage behind the scene that you Merc fanboys don’t know about. Yawn.

It would be nice to see Mclaren back up there permanently fighting for the title. Always was a fan

the gap between top three teams and the rest is too much

Quite a gap between 3rd and 4th also between 10th and racing cars.

Williams been sandbagging the first half of the season just to give the others a glimp of hope, beast mode on in second half of the season

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