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Hartley Puts Toyota on Top for First Time in Bahrain

Brendon Hartley puts Toyota on top for the first time this weekend…

Photo: James Moy/Toyota

Brendon Hartley topped an initially damp final free practice session in the No. 8 Totoya TS050 Hybrid for the 8 Hours of Bahrain.

Hartley’s 1:44.285 effort on his second flying lap stood for the duration of the 1 hour session in the car he shares with Kazuki Nakajima and Sebastien Buemi, putting a Toyota on top for the first time this weekend.

The No. 5 Team LNT Ginetta G-60-LT-P1 AER was a further tenth back in second thanks to Ben Hanley’s 1:44.389 lap time, while a number of LMP2 cars were ahead of the rest of the LMP1 field.

United Autosports’ No. 22 Oreca 07 Gibson was the best of the LMP2 entries after Phil Hanson put the car third outright.

They were followed by the No. 37 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca and the No. 38 JOTA machine and the rest of the LMP1 field, with the No. 7 Toyota last in LMP1.

AF Corse headed the GTE-Pro class courtesy of the No. 71 Ferrari 488 GTE Evo with a 1:56.095 lap time, while second went to the No. 95 Aston Martin Racing Vantage GTE.

The sister No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari, which momentarily stopped on track in the final minutes in the hands of James Calado, washed up third in class.

Gulf Racing was the best of the GTE-Am cars as Ben Barker put the No. 86 Porsche 911 RSR on top, followed by the No. 77 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche and the No. 98 Aston Martin in third.

The session started off damp with the track edges still wet after an overnight shower of rain.

A number of drivers ran wide or found themselves spinning in the first 30 minutes, including Antonin Borga who looped the No. 42 Cool Racing Oreca 07 Gibson and clouted the wall.

The No. 1 Rebellion R13 Gibson spent a considerable amount of time in the garage after it appeared to have a left-rear brake problem shortly after the halfway point of the session.

Qualifying for LMGTE starts at 4:40 p.m. which is then followed by LMP qualifying at 5:10 p.m (local times).

RESULTS: Free Practice 3

Slade Perrins is an Australian-based reporter for Sportscar365. Perrins won the 2019 Virgin Australia Supercars 'Young Gun Award' for journalism for his work with

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