Porsche v Audi in Shanghai
Porsche v Audi in Shanghai
After trailing the two Audi R18s in the first 90-minute free practice session for the 6 Hours of Shanghai, the two Porsche 919 Hybrids returned to the top of the timing screens in the afternoon, with the No.17 Porsche of Mark Webber, Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley posting the quickest time of the day.
The 1:45.111 lap, posted by Webber early in the session, was more than two seconds quicker than the current lap record, a 1m47.442 lap set by Allan McNish in 2013. The Australian’s lap was also 0.240 of a second ahead of his teammates, Neel Jani, Marc Lieb and Romain Dumas in the No.18 919 Hybrid.
“We have had a very smooth and positive first day,” Webber said.
“Timo did a good long-run which is encouraging for the race. Brendon and I did shorter runs today. Our lap-times are a lot quicker than last year as they need to be because the Audi is still there and strong.”
The two Audi R18s were third and four on the timesheets with the No.8 Audi of Loic Duval, Lucas di Grassi and Oliver Jarvis improving the best time in the morning session by 0.8 seconds to finish the afternoon with a best lap of 1m45.930, 0.157s ahead of the no7 R18 of Andre Lotterer, Marcel FÃ¤ssler and Benoit Treluyer. The two Toyotas were once again fifth and sixth fastest with the No.2 TS040 HYBRID ahead of the no1 Toyota by 0.5 seconds.
The No.13 Rebellion Racing R-One was the lead car in the privateer class, improving its best time in the morning session by 1.6 seconds with Alex Imperatori setting a 1:50.790. He finished the session 0.7 seconds ahead of the No.12 AER powered R-One and 3.2 seconds in front of the Bykolles CLM-AER.
In LMP2 the No.47 KCMG ORECA 05-Nissan set the pace once again with a 1m54.185s lap set by Nick Tandy, an improvement of nearly one second on the morning session and a tenth of a second ahead of the No.36 Signatech Alpine of Nelson Panciatici, Paul-Loup Chatin and WEC newcomer Tom Dillmann.
The No.28 G-Drive Racing Ligier was third fastest in LMP2, followed by the No.42 Strakka Racing Gibson, the No.43 Team SARD Morand Morgan Evo in fourth and 5th places respectively.
AF Corse Ferrari sounded a warning to title rivals Porsche Team Manthey in the second free practice session at Shanghai this afternoon as the pair of Ferrari 458 Italias topped the timing screens in LMGTE-Pro
The afternoon session was significantly quicker than this morning’s, and James Calado set an LMGTE Pro best of 2:03.028s to lead the way in the No.71 Ferrari 458 Italia. Calado, who shares the car with Davide Rigon, hooked up a fine lap to lead team mate and championship rival Toni Vilander who posted a 2:03.947 tour.
Fernando Rees claimed third best time with a 2m03.995s lap in the No.99 Aston Martin V8 Vantage. The Brazilian’s best was 1.5s better than that achieved by Richie Stanaway in the earlier session this morning.
In LMGTE Am it was again a tremendously close and competitive session. This time it was the SMP Racing Ferrari that led the way with Victor Shaytar continuing his excellent form to register a 2m04.523s lap to ensure the Ferrari 458 Italia that he shares with Andrea Bertolini and Aleksey Basov enjoyed two tenths of a second advantage over the Larbre Chevrolet Corvette.
The Fuji class-winning Dempsey-Proton Porsche 911 RSR came in third with Pat Long turning in a 2:05.112s lap. The American had been at the top of the LMGTE Am class for a short time before the Ferrari and Corvette usurped the Porsche he shares with Patrick Dempsey and Marco Seefried.
The third Free Practice session will take place tomorrow morning at 09:00 (local) and will last for 60-minutes. Later in the day the competitors qualify in two separate sessions, LMGTE and LMP, to determine the grid for Sunday’s race.