The FIA World Endurance Championship made its debut in a brand new nation (Portugal) and a brand new venue, because the Algarve Worldwide Circuit, near Portimao welcomed the 32-car entry with baking temperatures and a stiff breeze.
The weekend began proceedings with a 90-minute Free Apply session across the 2.49-mile circuit in temperatures within the higher 80-degrees F. The session was finally topped, within the closing minutes, not by one of many four-car Hypercar entry, however by a late effort from native hero and reigning FIA Components E champion Antonio Felix da Costa, within the No. 38 Jota ORECA 07 LMP2 automobile. His 1m33.752s was 0.029s faster than the Alpine A480-Gibson that edged out the No. 8 and No. 7 Toyotas within the Hypercar class, +0.019 and +0.026 again respectively.
Simply over a second off the highest spot was the fourth Hypercar, the No. 709 Glickenhaus 007 Hypercar, collaborating in its first aggressive WEC session. The brand new automobile posted a 1m34.789s, only a second off the session-topping time, within the fingers of ex-Ganassi Ford and Corvette Racing manufacturing facility driver Richard Westbrook.
GTE Professional noticed a Porsche one-two within the 4 automobile class, the No. 92 911 RSR-19 of Kevin Estre posting a 1m40.227s, a tenth up on the sister No. 91 automobile within the fingers of Gimmi Bruni, with the Ferrari pair round half a second additional again.
The session noticed a sluggish zone after an hour for a automobile stranded at Flip 8 and a full-course yellow for round 5 minutes near the checkered flag for the restoration of the No. 54 GTE Am AF Corse Ferrari, stopped on track.
Porsche manufacturing facility driver Matt Campbell topped GTE Am within the No. 77 Dempsey Proton Porsche — a 1m41.202s two tenths up on Andrea Piccini within the No. 60 Iron Lynx Ferrari with Matteo Cairoli (No. 56 Mission 1 Porsche) and Augusto Farfus (No. 98 Aston Martin), below a tenth again.
UP NEXT: Observe motion continues tomorrow with two extra Free Apply classes earlier than a fast hearth qualifying session after which the 8 Hours of Portimao on Sunday.