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Porsche Paces Thursday at COTA

Timo Bernhard sets pace in Free Practice 2 at COTA…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

Porsche led the way in both Free Practice sessions Thursday at Circuit of The Americas, with the German manufacturer topping the time charts in both the day and night.

A late flyer by Timo Bernhard saw the No. 17 Porsche 919 Hybrid end up quickest in the evening’s 90-minute FP2.

Bernhard’s 1:47.442 lap time, however, was some two-tenths slower than teammate Romain Dumas, who paced FP1 and held as the quickest time of the day.

While it was another Porsche 1-2, Audi was in close reach, with the No. 8 R18 e-tron quattro coming within four-tenths of Dumas’ time, thanks to Lucas Di Grassi’s 1:47.684 set in the night.

G-Drive Racing was quickest in LMP2, with the No. 26 Ligier JS P2 Nissan of Sam Bird improving by nearly two seconds on Nicolas Lapierre’s class pace-setting time from the afternoon.

Lapierre also improved in FP2 by posting a 1:56.324, with the No. 36 Signatech Alpine A450b Nissan completing the top-three in class.

Porsche Team Manthey (GTE-Pro) and SMP Racing (GTE-Am) led the production-based ranks in the evening and on the day overall.

No major incidents were reported during the night session, although there was one Full Course Yellow roughly 40 minutes in for the KCMG car of Lapierre, who got stuck in the gravel at Turn 11.

Additionally, a number of cars received warnings or penalties for abusing track limits, including both of the Toyota TS040 Hybrids, which were handed with five-minute stop-and-go penalties.

Free Practice 3 gets underway on Friday at 10:30 a.m. local time, with qualifying set for the evening.

RESULTS: Free Practice 2

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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