Toyota has shown the early advantage in Bahrain, having topped the time charts in both opening practice sessions for Saturday’s FIA World Endurance Championship season finale.
Sebastien Buemi ended up quickest in Thursday’s night practice, peddling his No. 8 Toyota TS030 Hybrid to a best lap of 1:44.516 in the 90-minute session.
Buemi’s time was two-tenths clear of the No. 1 Audi R18 e-tron quattro of Andre Lotterer, who ended up with a 1:44.617 in his diesel-powered LMP1 car.
The No. 7 Toyota of Kaz Nakajima was third quickest, despite a spin by co-driver Nicolas Lapierre, who became stranded in a gravel trap and brought out a red flag as a result.
Newly crowned World Champion Tom Kristensen, meanwhile, had a run-in with the No. 57 Krohn Racing Ferrari of Tracy Krohn, resulting in damage sustained to the No. 2 Audi and both drivers being summoned to the race director.
Nic Minassian led the way in LMP2, reeling off a 1:51.798 in his Pecom Racing Oreca 03 Nissan.
The Frenchman was 0.082 seconds ahead of the championship-leading No. 35 OAK Racing Morgan-Nissan of Bertrand Baguette, who was second, with the No. 26 G-Drive by Delta-ADR Oreca Nissan completing the top-three in class.
Porsche AG Team Manthey’s Richard Lietz was quickest in GTE-Pro with a 1:59.730 while Emmanuel Collard put the No. 61 AF Corse Ferrari on the top of the time sheets in GTE-Am.
An additional one-hour practice session is on tap for Friday morning, followed by qualifying in the afternoon.
RESULTS: Practice 2