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Audi, Duval Tops Practice 2 at Fuji

Loic Duval bounces back from accident, sets quickest time in FP2…

Photo: Audi

Photo: Audi

This afternoon’s second free practice session took place in dry conditions with 28 of the 29 entries to Sunday’s 6 Hours of Fuji at Fuji Speedway able to make progress in their testing and set up programs.

Audi set the fastest lap time of the day, Loïc Duval at the wheel of the No.2 R18 e-tron quattro. His lap of 1:27.333 was 0.5 seconds ahead of his team mate Marcel Fässler in the No.1 Audi.

The two local favorites from Toyota Racing were very close behind the Audis, the No. 8 Toyota TS030 Hybrid edging the No. 7 but just one hundredth of a second, Stéphane Sarrazin setting the fastest lap time in the lead Japanese car with a lap time of 1:27.977.

The LMP1 Privateer entry of Rebellion Racing, the No.12 Lola Toyota, was fifth quickest with a best time of 1:30.080.

The No.26 Nissan-powered G-Drive Racing ORECA 03 was once again fastest in the LMP2 category, again courtesy of Mike Conway, with a lap of 1:32.662.

The Russian entry was 0.56 seconds ahead of the No.27 Gainer International Zytek Z11SN Nissan of Bjorn Wirdheim, with Alex Brundle’s lap of 1:33.463 in the No.24 OAK Racing Morgan Nissan just two tenths of a second behind the Japanese entry.

In GTE-Pro, Aston Martin Racing again lead the way but this afternoon it was the No. 99 Vantage V8 of Richie Stanaway, his best lap of 1:39.848 being 0.3 tenths slower than his No. 97 team mate’s this morning.

Ferrari made up some ground with the No. 51 AF Corse F458 of Giancarlo Fisichella taking second place in the afternoon’s classification, 0.3s behind the New Zealander’s car. The No. 92 Porsche AG Team Manthey 911 RSR of Marc Lieb was third in class.

Porsche filled the top two places in the GTE-Am category this afternoon, Paulo Ruberti’s lap of 1:40.707 in the No. 88 Proton Competition 911 GT3 RSR heading the No. 76 IMSA Performance Matmut entry of Jean-Karl Vernay. The No.96 Aston Martin Vantage V8 was third in class.

It should be noted that, following this morning’s Free Practice 1 session, the times of the No. 8 Toyota Racing and No. 45 OAK Racing entries were deleted for exceeding pit lane speed limits.

The No. 71 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia of Japanese star Kamui Kobayashi and his Finnish teammate Toni Vilander was the only car not to run; the Italian team working throughout the 90 minutes to trace and repair a fuel leak – the Ferrari will be back on track tomorrow morning.

The third and final Free Practice session before qualifying will take place tomorrow morning at 09:30 for one hour.

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