Porsche once again took the plaudits in this afternoon’s Free Practice 2 session, but it was the #1 919 Hybrid of Brendon Hartley, Mark Webber and Timo Bernhard that finished in first position. The #26 G-Drive Racing machine was once again quickest in LMP2, while the #97 and #98 Aston Martin Racing cars finished top of the time sheets in GTE.
The second practice session began at 4:30pm local time, and with the threat of rain on the horizon, the leading competitors wasted no time in getting out on track. Mark Webber led the charge, going within two tenths of the fastest time in FP1 after just four minutes.
The two Audis also showed impressive pace, but it was Mark Webber who went on to set what would prove to be the fastest time of the session – a 1:40.997. The #7 Audi R18 finished second, but just 0.014 seconds behind the leading car. Elsewhere, the #2 Porsche 919 Hybrid of Romain Dumas suffered an off into the first turn, making contact with the barriers and damaging the splitter.
Once again the #26 G-Drive Racing Oreca was the class of the field in LMP2, René Rast going over a second quicker than his nearest challenger with a fastest lap time of 1:48.965. In second place was the Strakka Racing Gibson 015S, followed by the #45 Manor of Bradley/Merhi/Rao.
Aston Martin Racing went quickest in GTE Pro, with Richie Stanaway going fastest of all with a 1:56.908 on the penultimate of the car’s 29-lap run. In second place was the #51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 of James Calado and Gianmaria Bruni, less than one tenth of a second behind. The sister AF Corse Ferrari rounded out the top three.
The drivers in GTE Am appeared to be getting their eye in, after only Pedro Lamy managed to break the two-minute barrier in FP1. This time, all but one of the GTE Am entries managed to dip under two minutes. Top of the time sheets was Emmanuel Collard in the #83 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia with a 1:59.200, closely followed by Paolo Ruberti in the #50 Larbre Competition Corvette. Patrick Long rounded out the top three with a fastest time of 1:59.574.
Images (c) WEC-Magazin