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Jani Fastest on Thursday at Bahrain

Neel Jani carries on where he left off in FP2…

Photo: Porsche

Photo: Porsche

Neel Jani carried on where he left off on Thursday afternoon as the No. 2 Porsche 919 Hybrid once again set the fastest time in Free Practice 2 for Saturday’s FIA WEC season-ending Six Hours of Bahrain.

The Swiss driver clocked a best time of 1:39.817, which was just four-tenths shy of last year’s pole lap and some 0.455 seconds faster than the second-quickest time set by Porsche team-mate Brendon Hartley.

Lucas di Grassi was third quickest in the No. 8 Audi R18, six-tenths behind Jani, ahead of the No. 6 Toyota TS050 Hybrid of Mike Conway and Andre Lotterer’s Audi.

Kamui Kobayashi was over three-seconds off the front-running pace in the No. 5 Toyota, which is running a high-mileage engine after suffering several failures earlier in the year.

On his return to the G-Drive line-up, Rene Rast went fastest in LMP2 ahead of FP1 pacesetters Signatech Alpine, with Gustavo Menezes at the wheel. Alex Lynn was third in the No. 44 Manor Oreca 05 Nissan.

Aston Martin continued their early dominance of the weekend, with their two cars again first and second in GTE-Pro, albeit this time with Marco Sorensen ahead of Darren Turner.

Ford’s Andy Priaulx was the best of the rest in third, ahead of Ferrari duo Sam Bird and James Calado.

Aston Martin also topped the GTE-Am timesheets, with Pedro Lamy in the No. 98 car also lapping quicker than the GTE-Pro Ford of Stefan Muecke and Michael Christensen’s Dempsey-Proton Porsche. Ricky Taylor was second quickest in the No. 50 Larbre Competition Corvette C7.R.

Aside from a brief full course yellow for debris at Turn 7, the session ran without further incident.

However, several cars, including the No. 5 Toyota, No. 8 Audi and No. 27 SMP Racing BR01 Nissan were reported to the stewards for not respecting full course yellow procedure.

Both LMP1 Porsches were also referred to the stewards for speeding under double waved yellows.

RESULTS: Free Practice 2

James Newbold (@James_Newbold) is a UK-based freelance motorsport journalist. A graduate of Politics and International Relations, James is also the editor of Autosport Performance.

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