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Porsche Ends Prologue Test on Top

Porsche dominates FIA WEC Prologue pre-season test…

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

Porsche has ended the FIA World Endurance Championship Prologue test on top, with the No. 1 Porsche 919 Hybrid leading the way in the official two-day pre-season test at Paul Ricard.

Brendon Hartley was quickest, with the defending World Champion reeling off a best lap of 1:37.445 in Saturday’s final session at the French circuit.

Hartley’s time was 0.042 seconds faster than teammate Neel Jani, who paced Friday in the No. 2 Porsche, which did not run on the second day of testing.

The pair of 2016-spec Porsche 919 Hybrids alternated testing days, combining to log nearly 1,400 miles.

Porsche drivers set the three quickest times of the weekend, with a 1:38.273 lap by Stephane Sarrazin on Saturday morning good enough to put the No. 5 Toyota TS050 Hybrid third on the overall time sheets.

Benoit Treluyer was the quickest of the Audi contingent, thanks to the Frenchman’s 1:38.827 lap set in the final session, which was nearly 1.4 seconds slower than the pace-setting Porsche.

Both Toyota and Audi hit trouble over the course of the weekend, with Kamui Kobayashi stopping on course on Saturday morning, for a precautionary check, per the team.

Audi, meanwhile, swapped cars overnight after its primary No. 7 Audi R18 sustained minor tub damage from a suspension-related component failure on Friday.

Signatech Alpine was quickest in LMP2 with its Alpine A460 Nissan, with Nicolas Lapierre leading the way.

Lapierre’s 1:46.974 lap time in the rebadged Oreca 05 was just 0.02 seconds faster than the No. 42 Strakka Racing Gibson 015S Nissan of Jonny Kane, who ended the test in second.

While Ford Chip Ganassi Racing led the way in Saturday’s final session, it was Gianmaria Bruni’s 1:57.808 lap set in Friday’s opening session that held as quickest in GTE-Pro.

Bruni led an AF Corse 1-2, in the first official European outing for the new turbocharged Ferrari 488 GTE.

Larbre Competition, meanwhile, was quickest in GTE-Am, despite not taking part in the second day of testing.

Like Bruni, Paolo Ruberti’s 1:58.268 in the No. 50 Corvette C7.R was also set in the very first session of the weekend.

The Corvette was quicker than both of the Ford GTs, which were third and fourth quickest in GTE-Pro.

RESULTS: Test Session 5
RESULTS: Combined Test

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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