Audi R18 e-tron quattro fastest on Friday in Fuji

Marcel Fässler, André Lotterer and Benoit Tréluyer ended up with the fastest time between the two practices today for this weekend’s 6 Hours of Fuji. It was an early fight between the two Audi R18s and the #7 Toyota TS030 Hybrid for the debut of the FIA World Endurance Championship teams on the circuit.

At the end of the first practice, the Toyota trio of Alexander Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre and Kazuki Nakajima laid down their fastest lap on their home turf. However they missed the overall top speed of the day by 0.004 seconds to the #1 Audi team whose best lap was a 1:28.462.

#7 Toyota Racing Toyota TS030 Hybrid: Alexander Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre, Kazuki Nakajima
#7 Toyota Racing Toyota TS030 Hybrid: Alexander Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre, Kazuki Nakajima

Photo by: Toyota Racing

Toyota driver Lapierre commented: “It was good day and we had two positive practice sessions. I had my first long stint here so it was good to experience the tyre degradation and feel the difference between full fuel and low fuel. At some point I was running together with an Audi so we could see we are very closely matched; it is very competitive here."

Audi ended up with the third best time in their #2 e-tron quattro but Tom Kristensen and Allan McNish were off their teammates time by just over seven-tenths of a second.

Fourth and first of the LMP1 petrol cars was the #21 Strakka Racing HPD ARX-03a Honda of Nick Leventis, Danny Watts and Jonny Kane with their best lap of 1:30.936; edging out the Rebellion Racing #12 Lola-Toyota of Nicolas Prost and Neel Jani by 0.327 of a second. Even closer was David Brabham, Karun Chandhok, and Peter Dumbreck in the #22 JRM HPD ARX-03a as the trio just missed the second best time by a margin 0.056.

Starworks Motorsport #44 clocked off the fastest lap for the LMP2 teams with drivers Vicente Potolicchio, Ryan Dalziel and Stéphane Sarrazin. The hot lap in their HPD ARX-03b Honda was 1:32.712. Second was taken by John Martin, Tor Graves, and Shinji Nakano by a mere 0.178 of a second for the #25 ADR-Delta Oreca 03–Nissan. With their best time of 1:33.394, Luis Perez Companc, Nicolas Minassian, and Pierre Kaffer were third for the #49 Pecom Racing Oreca 03-Nissan.

LMGTE overall fastest was Marc Lieb and Richard Lietz in the #77 Team Felbermayr Proton Porsche 911 RSR. The top time for the “Pro” category was a 1:40.877.

Second fastest was the #97 Aston Martin Vantage V8 in the hands of Stefan Mücke and Darren Turner. Their best was 0.408 seconds off the pace with a time of 1:41.285.

Just two-tenths behind the Aston Martin Racing team in the LMGTE Pro class was the #51 of Giancarlo Fisichella, and Gianmaria Bruni for the AF Corse Ferrari F458 Italia team.

In the LMGTE Am class, the top honor belonged to Jean-Philippe Belloc, Christophe Bourret, and Pascal Gibon. In their #70 Larbre Competition Chevrolet Corvette C6-ZR1, the hot lap for the team was a 1:42.096. Not far off their pace, by just over one-tenth of a second was the #50 sister Corvette with drivers Patrick Bornhauser, Julien Canal and Pedro Lamy.

One of the American teams who took up this year’s new challenge by signing on to contest the debut season of the WEC ended up third best in the “Am” class for the 6 Hours of Fuji. Tracy Krohn, Nic Jönsson, and Michele Rugolo clocked a lap time of 1:42.651 in their #57 Krohn Racing Ferrari F458 Italia.

Tomorrow the WEC teams have one last practice to prepare for the overall and class pole positions.

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About this article
Series WEC
Drivers Nic Jönsson
Teams Nissan Motorsport , Rebellion Racing , Toyota Racing , Aston Martin Racing , AF Corse , Krohn Racing , Larbre Competition , Pecom Racing , Strakka Racing , JRM Racing , Team Felbermayr
Article type Practice report
Tags aston martin, audi, corvette, e-tron, ferrari, fuji, honda, hpd, hybrid, japan, lola, nissan, oreca, porsche, r18, toyota, wec