Audi has returned to form in the FIA World Endurance Championship, with the German manufacturer topping the time charts in the opening day of practice for Sunday’s season-opening Six Hours of Silverstone.
Benoit Treluyer led the way in Friday’s second 90-minute Free Practice session, reeling off a best lap of 1:41.526 in his No. 7 Audi R18 e-tron quattro.
Treluyer’s time, which came midway through the session, edged out the sister No. 8 car of Oliver Jarvis by 0.298 seconds.
It resulted in an Audi 1-2 in the first official day of the 2015 season, marking a considerable turnaround for the diesel-powered LMP1 contenders, which feature increased hybrid power and energy recovery for 2015.
The pair of new Porsche 919 Hybrids ended the second session and day third and fourth overall, led by the No. 17 entry of Brendon Hartley, Timo Bernhard and Mark Webber.
The No. 18 Porsche, which was delayed with mechanical issues in FP1, was fourth quickest, with defending FIA WEC champions Toyota completing the top-six, unable to improve on its times set from the opening session.
LMP2 was led by G-Drive Racing, which put its Ligier JS P2 Nissans 1-2 in the class in both sessions.
The No. 28 entry of Pipo Derani was quickest of the day with a 1:48.676, ahead of the sister No. 26 car, with a time set by Sam Bird.
KCMG’s new Oreca 05 Nissan was third in both sessions, with the No. 42 Strakka Racing Dome S103 Nissan and No. 30 Tequila Patron ESM HPD ARX-03b completing the top-five in class.
While it was Porsche Team Manthey that ended the second session 1-2 in class, it was Nicki Thiim’s 2:01.393 lap time in the No. 95 Aston Martin Vantage V8 that stood as quickest of the day in GTE-Pro.
Klaus Bachler, meanwhile, led the way in GTE-Am, thanks to the Austrian’s 2:02.350 lap time in the No. 88 Abu Dhabi Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR, also set in the morning.
A third and final Free Practice session is on tap Saturday morning at 9 a.m., followed by qualifying in the afternoon.