Despite being third fastest in the second Free Practice session the Toyota TS030 of Anthony Davidson, Sebastien Buemi and Stephane Sarrazin ended the opening day as the quickest car at the Interlagos circuit ahead of Sunday’s 6 Hours of Sao Paulo, Round 4 of the FIA World Endurance Championship. The nr26 G Drive Oreca-Nissan of John Martin, Mike Conway and Roman Rusinov was the top car in LMP2 after Mike Conway secured the only 1 minute 27 second lap in the class.
Free Practice 1
Sunny skies and temperatures of 23 degrees greeted the 28 FIA World Endurance Championship cars in Brazil. The nr8 Toyota TS030 of Anthony Davidson, Sebastien Buemi and Stephane Sarrazin set the fastest time in the first track session of the 6 Hours of Sao Paulo weekend at Interlagos. Davidson’s time of 1m21.881 was eight tenths faster than his closest rival, the nr1 Audi R18 e-tron quattro of reigning world champions Andre Lotterer, Benoit Treluyer and Marcel Fassler. The sole LMP1 Privateer entry from Rebellion Racing was fourth fastest behind the nr2 Audi, 3.6 seconds adrift of the lead Toyota.
In LMP2 it was a very close session with the top six cars covered by just 1 second. It was a 1-2 for the Oak Racing team with the nr24 Morgan-Nissan of Olivier Pla, Alex Brundle and David Heinemeier-Hansson taking the top spot in the class with Pla setting a 1m28.136 lap, just 0.124 ahead of his teammates in the nr35 car, with Martin Plowman setting the best time. The nr49 Pecom Racing Oreca Nissan of Luis Perez Companc, Nicolas Minassian and Pierre Kaffer was just 0.1 seconds behind the two Oak Racing Morgans and top four was rounded out by the nr26 G-Drive Racing Oreca, just 0.799 seconds behind the fastest car in the class.
Free Practice 2
The second 90-minute Free Practice session was run in slightly higher temperatures than the morning session, with the temperature gauge standing at 25 degrees as the cars headed out on track. At the end of the day the nr2 Audi R18 e-tron quattro was at the top of the timing sheets thanks to a 1m21.904 lap by Tom Kristensen but 0.023 seconds slower than the top time set by Anthony Davidson in the Toyota TS030 hybrid in the morning Free Practice session. The nr1 Audi finished second with a time of 1m22.056, just 0.152 seconds slower than their teammates. The Toyota’s best time was 1m22.675 but the team continued to set consistent laps despite a report of smoke coming from the rear of the car midway through the session. The Rebellion Lola Toyota improved during the afternoon, finishing the afternoon with a time 1.3 seconds better than at the end of the morning session.
The LMP2 continues to be the most hotly contested class and the best time of the day was set by the nr26 G-Drive Racing Oreca, with Mike Conway posting a 1m27.642 lap, 0.4 seconds ahead of the nr35 Oak Racing Morgan of Bertrand Baguette and a further 0.4 seconds quicker than the nr25 Delta ADR Oreca-Nissan of James Walker. The nr24 Oak Racing Morgan, which was the fastest car of the morning session, could only managed 4th fastest in the afternoon, finishing one second behind the G-Drive Oreca.
The teams are now preparing the cars for the final Free Practice session, which takes place at 10:20 (local) tomorrow morning and this is followed by qualifying at 14:35 for the LMGTE classes and 15:10 for the LMP competitors.