Porsche bounced back from a tough Thursday to close out FIA World Endurance Championship practice for this weekend’s Six Hours of Bahrain with a one-two finish.
After trailing both Toyota LMP1 cars in FP1 and FP2 on Thursday, Porsche responded by finishing first and second in FP3 as Timo Bernhard set the pace in the No. 2 Porsche 919 Hybrid.
Bernhard set a fastest time of 1:42.438 early on to finish six-tenths of a second clear of Neel Jani in the sister No. 1 Porsche as Toyota failed to put up much of a fight in the daytime running.
Anthony Davidson’s best time of 1:43.734 in the No. 8 Toyota TS050 Hybrid was good enough for third, with Mike Conway following in P4 as both Toyotas finished over a second off the pace.
Jackie Chan DC Racing closed out LMP2 practice fastest with its title-contending No. 38 Oreca 07 Gibson, with Thomas Laurent lapping almost half a second clear of the second DC Racing entry, led by Tristan Gommendy.
Ferrari and Ford gave a taste of what may be to come later in the weekend with a tight battle at the front of GTE-Pro, with James Calado posting the fastest lap of the session in the No. 51 Ferrari 488 GTE for AF Corse.
Andy Priaulx took second in the No. 67 Ford GT, two-tenths of a second back from Calado, while Sam Bird took third in the No. 71 Ferrari, half a second off the pace of the sister car.
Matt Griffin led Clearwater Racing’s No. 61 Ferrari 488 GTE to the head of the field in GTE-Am, finishing just 0.034 seconds ahead of Dempsey-Proton Racing’s Matteo Cairoli in the No. 77 Porsche 911 RSR.
Qualifying for the GTE-Pro and GTE-Am classes begins at 5 p.m. local time in Bahrain, with LMP1 and LMP2 qualifying following at 5:30 p.m.
RESULTS: Free Practice 3