Timo Bernhard put Porsche on top in the first Free Practice session on Friday for this weekend’s Six Hours of Nürburgring, the fourth round of the FIA World Endurance Championship.
A lap time of 1:41.612 late in the session from the German driver was enough to edge out the Toyota TS050 Hybrid of Sebastien Buemi, whose early time had been the pace for most of the session.
It marks the first time a Porsche 919 Hybrid has topped a regular-season Free Practice session this year, with Toyota quickest in all three sessions at both Silverstone and Spa-Francorchamps.
The German manufacturer debuts its high-downforce aero package this weekend.
Buemi’s time remained the fastest of the Toyotas and put his No. 8 Toyota Gazoo Racing entry second on the time sheets, with a 0.204-second deficit to the leading Porsche.
The No. 1 Porsche was third with the second Toyota in fourth. All four cars were classified within four-tenths of each other.
An early lap time from Bruno Senna kept the Brazilian driver on top in LMP2 for the entire session, with a time of 1:47.717 good enough to lead the LMP2 class by 0.662 seconds for Vaillante Rebellion
Davide Rigon led the way in GTE-Pro in his No. 71 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE, beating the No. 92 Porsche 911 RSR by 0.137 seconds.
Dempsey-Proton Racing’s Matteo Cairoli posted the fastest time in GTE-Am with his Porsche, meanwhile.
The session was ended prematurely when an incident between Julien Canal and Marvin Dienst caused a red flag in the final few minutes.
Both drivers were in the session-topping cars in LMP2 and GTE-Am.
Free Practice 2 is set to get underway at 4:15 p.m. local time.
RESULTS: Free Practice 1