Porsche has topped the time charts in opening Free Practice for Sunday’s FIA WEC Six Hours of Shanghai, following a mixed-fortune session for the defending FIA World Endurance Champions.
The No. 1 Porsche 919 Hybrid of Brendon Hartley led the way, thanks to the Kiwi’s 1:46.781 set early in the 90-minute session.
While it was 0.198 seconds quicker than Lucas Di Grassi’s No. 8 Audi R18, which was second, Porsche’s sister championship-leading No. 2 entry hit trouble again, having lost the majority of the session due to a battery change.
Romain Dumas ended the session sixth quickest, with he and Marc Lieb combining to complete only 10 laps.
The car was sidelined for the majority of FP1 in the last round at Fuji due to an oil leak.
The No. 5 Toyota TS050 Hybrid made it three different LMP1 manufacturers in the top-three, with the Fuji-winning No. 6 Toyota in fourth and the No. 7 Audi completing the top-five.
Both of the Audis, however, stopped on track, with the No. 7 having gearbox issues and the No. 8 crawling to a halt to prevent bodywork damage following a puncture in the closing moments of the session.
LMP2 was led by the No. 26 G-Drive Racing Oreca 05 Nissan of Will Stevens, ahead of the No. 36 Signatech Alpine A460b Nissan and an improving No. 27 SMP Racing BR Engineering BR01 Nissan, which was third.
The No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE of Gianmaria Bruni was quickest in GTE-Pro, thanks to a 2:03.752 lap in the turbocharged Prancing Horse, which has been given a Balance of Performance break this weekend.
GTE-Am, meanwhile, was headed up by the No. 98 Aston Martin Vantage GTE of Pedro Lamy.
Free Practice 2 is set for 3:30 p.m. local time.
RESULTS: Free Practice 1