Makowiecki tops third WEC Prologue test with Porsche Penske Motorsport – RACER

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The No. 5 Porsche Penske Motorsport Porsche continued the 963’s streak of session-topping times during the third Prologue test at Qatar on Tuesday, with a 1m41.223s from Frederic Makowiecki late in the session.
Peugeot TotalEnergies’ pair of 9X8s ran fast too, finishing the three-hour run second and fourth, both cars setting competitive times and completing 147 laps combined, more than the 135 from Porsche’s factory cars.
The quickest of the pair of 9X8s was the No. 94, with Stoffel Vandoorne steering it to a 1m41.260s – Peugeot’s fastest time of the test so far – while Jean-Eric Vergne set the fastest lap in the No. 93.
The No. 6 Penske Porsche also produced competitive times, and slotted in third, splitting the two Peugeots while the Cadillac Racing V-Series. R took fifth.
Once again, the fastest of the new factory teams was BMW M Team WRT, its No. 20 M Hybrid V8 finishing the session 10th, 1.1 seconds off the fastest time. 
The No. 12 JOTA Porsche, which topped yesterday’s sessions, ended up seventh, ahead of the No. 51 and No. 83 Ferrari 499Ps.
In the Hypercar class the No. 83 AF Corse Ferrari, No. 36 Alpine and No. 8 Toyota finished joint top in the lap count table, with 84 tours apiece.
Meanwhile, Alpine’s sister car only managed 50 laps, after stopping on track and bringing out red flags. 
The fewest laps were completed by the No. 99 Proton Competition Porsche, which joined the session late and ended up 18th with a time over two seconds off the No.5 Porsche, but a second clear of the Isotta Fraschini Tipo6-C, which ended up at the bottom of the times.
The Iron Lynx Lamborghini SC63 – which has had a quiet Prologue this far – didn’t complete many laps either, its total just 39.
In LMGT3, the No. 54 Vista AF Corse Ferrari 296 topped the times for most of the session, before a late 1m54.791s hot lap from Marco Sorensen put the brand new No. 777 D’Station Aston Martin Vantage 0.15s up on the Ferrari.
Below on the timing and scoring the No. 82 TF Sport Corvette and No.95 United Autosports McLaren, which made it four brands in the top four.
Towards the bottom of the timing screens the pair of AKKODIS ASP Team Lexus RC F LMGT3s ended up completing just 51 combined laps, and finishing 16th and 18th in the class. The French team is working hard to getting to grips with the car in its new LMGT3 spec on the Losail circuit, which is proving to be particularly hard on left hand side tires, prompting plenty of experimentation in long runs up and down the pit lane.
The fourth and final test session is up next, starting at 14:00 local time.
Le Mans/WEC
UK-based Stephen Kilbey is's FIA World Endurance Championship correspondent, and is also Deputy Editor of He has a first-class honours degree in Sports Journalism and is a previous winner of the UK Guild of Motoring Writers Sir William Lyons Award.

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