While it was Audi’s Benoit Treluyer that was quickest in the fifth and final test session, Porsche ended The Prologue on top of the time sheets in official pre-season testing for the FIA World Endurance Championship.
Treluyer pedaled his No. 2 Audi R18 e-tron quattro to a best lap of 1:43.423 in Saturday afternoon’s session, outpacing the No. 8 Toyota TS040 Hybrid of Sebastien Buemi by 0.192 seconds.
Seventeen cars took to the track for the three-hour session, which was paced by KCMG (LMP2), AF Corse (GTE-Pro) and Proton Competition (GTE-Am) in their respective classes.
Only a handful of drivers managed to improve on their times set in Friday’s opening three sessions.
Porsche impressively ended up with the three quickest times from the test, with Brendon Hartley, Timo Bernhard and Mark Webber the only drivers to break the 1:41 barrier over the two days.
It was Hartley’s 1:41.289 in the No. 20 Porsche 919 Hybrid that was quickest, compared to Andre Lotterer’s 1:42.073 that led the diesel brigade, and put the No. 2 Audi R18 e-tron quattro second on the overall time sheets.
The No. 14 Porsche , driven by Romain Dumas, was third quickest, followed by Stephane Sarrazin in the best of the Toyota TS040 Hybrids, who set a 1:42.356 lap time in Friday’s afternoon session.
Defending FIA WEC champion Loic Duval completed the top-five overall and in LMP1-H in his No. 1 Audi.
Both Rebellion Racing Lola B12/60 Toyotas, running to 2013 LMP1 specification, were not on pace with the new factory entries, with Nick Heidfeld ending up quickest in the two-car LMP1-L class with a 1:44.806 lap time set on Friday afternoon.
LMP2 was paced by the No. 23 Millennium Racing Oreca 03 Nissan of Shinji Nakano, whose 1:48.970 lap time held as the quickest of the weekend in the cost-capped prototype ranks.
Nakano’s time was just 0.114 seconds quicker than the OAK Racing-run G-Drive Racing Morgan Nissan of Olivier Pla in second, with Millennium’s John Martin rounding out the top-three in the sister No. 23 Oreca Nissan.
Porsche Team Manthey wound up on top of GTE-Pro, with its singleton Porsche 911 RSR of Fred Makowiecki leading the way with a 1:58.041, recorded on Friday afternoon.
It was 0.246 seconds quicker than the No. 71 AF Corse Ferrari F458 Italia, which was second on the overall time sheets, in the hands of James Calado. The No. 52 Ram Racing Ferrari of James Rossiter ended up third quickest in class.
8Star Motorsports proved to be the early team to beat in GTE-Am, as the U.S.-backed effort was quickest in class, thanks to Paolo Ruberti’s 1:58.507 lap time set on Friday afternoon.
Remarkably, Ruberti’s Ferrari was less than a half-second slower than the GTE-Pro pace-setting Porsche.
The FIA WEC season kicks off with the Six Hours of Silverstone on April 18-20.