FREE PRACTICE 1
Competitors set off for the first free practice session in sunshine, but the clouds soon arrived and the air had already cooled considerably when the chequered flag ended the first free practice session.
The Audi R18 e-tron quattro No.1, in the hands of double winners of the 24 Hours of Le Mans Marcel Fässler, André Lotterer and Benoit Treluyer set the fastest time with a lap of 1:45.777 by Treluyer. The Toyota TS030 - Hybrid No.7 of Alexander Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre and Kazuki Nakjima trailed by less than four tenths and set a time only 28 thousandths of a second faster than the Audi R18 ultra of Allan McNish and Tom Kristensen.
The privateer prototypes were led by the trio of David Brabham, Peter Dumbreck and Karun Chandhok in the JRM HPD - Honda with a lap of 1:46.491, less than four-tenths behind the Audi No.2 and eight-tenths off the fastest time of the session. The sister car of Strakka, driven by Danny Watts, Jonny Kane and Nick Leventis, had to settle for second place among the private teams with a time of 1:47.609.
In LMP2, the Morgan Nissans of OAK Racing were quick, with the No.35 driven by Dominik Kraihamer (1:51.561) and Matthieu Lahaye in the No.24 car. The German driver and his French team mate positioned the two cars in first and third place in class. Alex Brundle, son of former F1 driver Martin Brundle, put the Zytek-Nissan No.42 of Greaves Motorsports between two OAK cars.
FREE PRACTICE 2
Despite the forecast of rain at the end of the afternoon, the second free practice session of an hour and a half was on a dry track. Summer temperatures this morning fell to 18C air and 21C on the ground and blue sky gave way to overcast conditions.
This did prevented the non-hybrid Audi R18 ultra No.2 of Allan McNish and Tom Kristensen beating the fastest lap time during the first free practice session this morning. With a time of 1:45.645, the Dane was over a tenth faster than Benoit Treluyer earlier today. To drive the nail home, his Scottish team mate posted the second fastest time of the session, nose to tail with recent winners of the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the No.1 Audi hybrid.
The achievement of this afternoon was by Danny Watts, who set a time of 1:46.994. The English driver hoisted the HPD-Honda No.21 of Strakka, a private team, into third place, ahead of the Toyota TS030 No.7. The latter was unable to participate in the entire session due to problems with its hybrid system.
Nicolas Minassian reminded his rivals of his pace by setting the fastest time of the LMP2 class in the Zytek-Nissan No.38 of the Jota team. The former Peugeot Sport driver set a time of 1:50.759, nearly a second faster than the lap of Dominik Kraihamer this morning with the Morgan-Nissan No.35 of OAK Racing that set the second fastest time of the session. Pierre Kaffer and the Oreca-Nissan No.48 of Pecom Racing follow by less than a tenth of a second.
Ferrari and Porsche neck and neck in LMGTE / Ferrari et Porsche au coude à coude en LMGTE
FREE PRACTICE 1
The LMGTE Pro class is always hotly contested and the 6 Hours of Silverstone is no exception with the five competitors in the category covered by one second. It was Gimmi Bruni, the pole position specialist, who set the fastest lap time with the Ferrari F458 Italia No.51 of AF Corse in 2:02.757, followed by the sister car No.71 driven by FIA-GT World Champion Andrea Bertolini, and Porsche No.77 of Team Felbermayr-Proton driven by Richard Lietz, and Aston Martin No.97 of Stefan Mücke followed by James Walker in Ferrari No.66.
The LMGTE Am class is also competetive, with the protagonists setting times very close to each other. As in LMGTE Pro, it was AF Corse who stood at the top of the time sheets with Marco Cioci (No.61) in 2:04'.080. He finished less than a tenth ahead of Stuart Hall and No.98 Aston Martin of Aston Martin Racing and four-tenths from the Ferrari of Krohn Racing driven by Niclas Jönsson.
FREE PRACTICE 2
The duel between Ferrari and Porsche has lasted for many years and this afternoon, the two manufacturers, represented by private teams found themselves neck and neck with a gap of 67 thousandths between the two fastest cars in the category LMGTE Pro. Giancarlo Fisichella took over from Gimmi Bruni and set the fastest time in the No.51 Ferrari of AF Corse 2:02.121, following him like a shadow was Richard Lietz and Porsche No.77 Team Felbermayr-Proton. Another Ferrari, that of JMW Motorsport rose to third place in the class thanks to James Walker, who improved his time by over a second compared to this morning.
In LMGTE Am, Marco Cioci managed to mix it up with competitors in the LMGTE Pro class with the Ferrari F458 Italia No.61 of AF Corse-Waltrip. Already the fastest this morning, he set fifth fastest time overall in GT (2:02.918), beating the the Aston Martin V8 Vantage # 99 of Jonathan Adam and the Porsche 911 RSR # 88 of Team Felbermayr-Proton.
LMP1 and LMP2 as well as the protagonists of LMGTE Pro and Am will be on track again tomorrow at 11:00 for a final free practice session of one hour before qualifying sessions in the afternoon.
Source: FIA World Endurance Championship