The gap between the hybrid and non-hybrid LMP1 cars narrowed to four-tenths of a second during Friday’s second Free Practice session for the 6 Hours of Shanghai.
Toyota Gazoo Racing ran 1-2 for the second consecutive session, although the 0.414 seconds between the No. 7 Toyota TS050 Hybrid and the third-placed No. 3 Rebellion R13 Gibson represented the smallest margin between the two types of LMP1 machinery this season.
Jose Maria Lopez set the fastest lap of 2:02.259 in the final three minutes, while Thomas Laurent registered a 2:02.673 for Rebellion Racing.
Lopez’s last-ditch effort ousted team-mate Kazuki Nakajima, who had spent much of the session at the top of the timing charts on a 2:02.504.
All of those efforts were slower than the quickest overall Friday time, set by Nakajima’s co-driver Sebastien Buemi in the morning session.
Rebellion’s sister car finished FP2 in fourth, ahead of the two SMP Racing BR Engineering BR1 AERs that ran two seconds off the pace in fifth and sixth.
In LMP2, Jazeman Jaafar once again set the fastest lap after leading Friday’s morning session in the No. 37 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca 07 Gibson.
Jaafar pipped Signatech Alpine’s Andre Negrao by 0.027 seconds right at the end of the session, while Matthieu Vaxiviere ran third in the TDS Racing Oreca.
AF Corse, Spirit of Race Lead Ferrari Sweep in GTE
Fastest lap in GTE-Pro went to AF Corse Ferrari driver James Calado, who also caused the only red flag of the session.
Calado had already posted his leading time of 2:14.315 when he rotated into the gravel at turn two, although the No. 51 Ferrari 488 GTE continued its session.
Second in class was the No. 82 BMW M8 GTE driven by Antonio Felix da Costa, while the pair of Aston Martin Vantages slotted into third and fourth.
Ferrari led the way in GTE-Am with Spirit of Race and Clearwater Racing going 1-2 for the Italian marque’s customer division.
RESULTS: Free Practice 2