The first day of the 2014 World Endurance Championship season is in the books, with Porsche and Audi leading today’s two practice sessions for Sunday’s curtain-raising Six Hours of Silverstone.
Porsche’s No. 14 919 Hybrid for drivers Romain Dumas, Neel Jani, and Marc Lieb set the fastest time in Practice 1 at 1:44.042, which was four-tenths quicker than the No. 1 Audi R18 e-tron quattro of Lucas di Grassi, Tom Kristensen, and Loic Duval.
Also not far behind in third place was the No. 8 Toyota TS040 Hybrid of Anthony Davidson, Nicolas Lapierre, and Sebastien Buemi, who were just less than two-tenths of a second behind the No. 1 Audi.
Those three manufacturers’ sister cars also claimed positions fourth through sixth, with privateers Rebellion Racing winding up seventh in the session at 1.5 seconds off the No. 14’s pace.
The No. 26 G-Drive Morgan/Nissan of Roman Rusinov, Olivier Pla and Julien Canal topped the P2 category (1:51.004), while GTE-Pro was led by Porsche’s No. 91 911 RSR (Patrick Pilet, Jörg Bergmeister, Nick Tandy; 1:58.981). In GTE-Am, the No. 81 Ferrari 458 Italia of Sam Bird, Stephen Wyatt and Michele Rugolo was quickest (2:01.210).
As for the more recent Practice 2, Audi and Toyota turned the tables on Porsche with the No. 1 of di Grassi/Kristensen/Duval logging a 1:43.134 with di Grassi at the controls. The No. 2 Audi (Andre Lotterer/Marcel Fassler/Benoit Treluyer) moved up to second on the time sheets, as Lotterer turned in a 1:43.534.
Toyota’s No. 7 Hybrid for Alex Wurz, Kazuki Nakajima, and Stephane Sarrazin was third-quickest (1:44.097 with Wurz). The WEC’s most-hyped newcomer, Mark Webber, got Porsche’s No. 20 919 up to P4 (1:45.051).
G-Drive’s No. 26 was fastest again in P2 (1:50.401 with Rusinov), while Porsche’s No. 92 911 RSR (Marco Holzer, Frédéric Makowiecki, Richard Lietz) went to the top in GTE-Pro (2:00.455). Another 911, the No. 88 of Christian Ried, Klaus Bachler, and Khaled Al-Qubaisi, led in GTE-Am (2:00.570).
A third practice session and qualifying will take place tomorrow at Silverstone to lead into Sunday’s main event at 7 a.m. ET (12 Noon local time).