Bianchi to sit out FP2 after crash in Japan

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Jules Bianchi is OK after his accident in Free Practice 1 in Suzuka – his Marussia, however, was not.

The Frenchman’s chassis is too damaged to repair in time to run in Free Practice 2, so he’ll have to sit out the second 90-minute practice session for Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix.

He crashed in FP1 when he tried to correct a slide at Degner 2; his arm got stuck on the left side of the cockpit while trying to save it and he hit the barrier, damaging his left side of the car.

A team statement read: “As a consequence of Jules Bianchi’s accident in this morning’s Free Practice 1 session, his allocated chassis MR02-02 has sustained damage that is repairable but not in sufficient time for him to take part in Free Practice 2. Jules will therefore sit out this afternoon’s session. The spare chassis will be built up in time for Jules to resume running in Free Practice 3 on Saturday morning.”

Suzuka was one of only a handful of tracks where Bianchi didn’t run as a third driver for Force India in 2012, so this costs the rookie valuable track time to learn one of the most challenging circuits on the calendar.

Toyota victorious in Bahrain on Porsche’s LMP1 swansong

Toyota Motorsport GmbH
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SAKHIR, Bahrain – Toyota denied Porsche a swansong victory in its final LMP1 appearance in the FIA World Endurance Championship by taking a commanding win in the 6 Hours of Bahrain on Saturday.

Porsche started from pole in the last competitive outing for the three-time Le Mans-winning 919 Hybrid car, only to lose out to Toyota’s Sebastien Buemi within the first half an hour of the race.

Porsche lost one of its cars from contention for victory after an errant bollard got stuck underneath Timo Bernhard’s No. 2 entry, leaving Nick Tandy to lead its charge in the No. 1 car.

Tandy moved into the lead just past half distance after a bold strategy call from Porsche to triple-stint the Briton after a fuel-only stop, vaulting him ahead of Anthony Davidson in the No. 8 Toyota.

Tandy’s win hopes were soon dashed when he tangled with a GTE-Am backmarker at Turn 1, sustaining damage that forced Porsche into an unplanned pit stop that put the car a lap down.

With the No. 7 Toyota losing two laps following a clash with a GTE-Pro car earlier on, Davidson, Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima went unchallenged en route to the car’s fifth victory of the season.

Porsche rounded out the podium with its cars, with the No. 2 leading home the No. 1, leaving Toyota’s No. 7 car to settle for P4 at the checkered flag.

Vaillante Rebellion clinched the title in LMP2 after a stunning fightback led by Bruno Senna, with the Brazilian securing his maiden motorsport championship win in the process.

GTE-Pro saw AF Corse complete a hat-trick of titles in 2017, with James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi wining the class’ first world championship recognized by the FIA, while Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda sewed up the GTE-Am title.