Endurance: Toyota lead close FP1 session in Bahrain

From wec.com

The title-chasing No. 8 Toyota TS 040 Hybrid driven by Sebastien Buemi and Anthony Davidson topped the times during Free Practice 1 in preparation for this weekend's 6 Hours of Bahrain.

As afternoon turned to early evening and the sun began to set at the picturesque and atmospheric Bahrain International Circuit, Buemi's time of 1m45.447 just beat the sister No. 7 Toyota Racing entry by a mere 0.058s.

Claiming third place with a 1m45.510 was the No. 20 Porsche Team 919 Hybrid driven by Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernhard.

Earlier on in the session the No. 1 Audi R18 e-tron quattro, which at the time was driven by Lucas Di Grassi, had briefly sat at the top of the timesheets, but soon after stopped on track.

The Brazilian, who is racing here in Bahrain for the first time since making his F1 debut in 2010, managed to make it back to the pits where the issue was rectified and the car continued.

The No. 1 Audi ultimately placed fourth on a 1m45.557, which ensured that the top four were covered by just 0.110s. Indeed, all of the LMP1-H entries were split by a mere 0.9s at the end of the session!

G-Drive Racing continued its recent good form by emerging quickest in the LMP2 class. Olivier Pla set a fastest time of 1m51.807 in the Ligier JS P2-Nissan to head the pair of SMP Racing entries, with the No. 37 Oreca-Nissan heading the sister No. 27 car.

KCMG, who still have an outside chance of challenging for the title, took a conservative approach to the session after a tremendous effort by the team to ready the ORECA-Nissan after a substantial rebuild following their Shanghai incident with the No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari. They placed fourth in class.

Rebellion Racing ran 1-2 in the LMP1-L class with their only challengers, the Lotus entered CLM P1/01 AER, suffering a mechanical problem which stranded them on the track after 37 minutes, causing the only red flag of the session.

Free practice 2
The first session under the lights at the Bahrain International Circuit ended with the No.14 Porsche 919 hybrid of Neel Jani posting a time that was 0.8 seconds faster than the no8 Toyota TS040 and two seconds quicker than the best time set by the championship leading car in the earlier session.

Each driver was obliged to complete three full timed laps during the night session and everyone was able to do this.


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