While Toyota topped the time charts in opening practice, Porsche led the way in Thursday evening’s Free Practice 2 at Bahrain International Circuit, in the one-and-only night practice prior to Saturday’s FIA WEC Six Hours of Bahrain.
Neel Jani was quickest of the 90-minute session, reeling off a best lap of 1:43.375 in the No. 14 Porsche 919 Hybrid. Jani’s time was more than two seconds quicker than Sebastien Buemi’s pace-setting time from the opening session.
Buemi’s No. 8 Toyota TS040 Hybrid wound up second quickest of the day and in the night session, with a quick lap of 1:44.233 set by Anthony Davidson. While it was an improvement from the afternoon, it was still a considerable 0.858 seconds slower than the Porsche’s time.
The No. 20 Porsche of Mark Webber completed the top-three overall and in LMP1-H, while the two Audi R18 e-tron quattro were fourth and fifth.
Rebellion Racing again topped LMP1-L, as the Lotus returned to action following gearbox problems in the first session but was reported to have been leaking oil.
LMP2 was again topped by the G-Drive Racing Ligier JS P2 Nissan of Olivier Pla, who posted a 1:51.581 lap time.
The Frenchman edged out the No. 37 SMP Racing Oreca 03R Nissan and No. 47 KCMG Oreca-Nissan, which were second and third, respectively.
AF Corse (GTE-Pro) and Aston Martin Racing (GTE-Am) topped the production-based ranks, with the No. 51 Ferrari F458 Italia of Gianmaria Bruni and the Nicki Thiim-piloted No. 95 Aston Martin Vantage leading its respective classes.
Thiim’s 1:58.440 lap time was actually quickest of all the GTE cars on Thursday, outpacing Bruni’s best time in GTE-Pro by nearly one second.
A final 60-minute Free Practice is on tap for Saturday at 11:10 a.m. local, followed by qualifying in the evening.
RESULTS: Free Practice 2