Bahrain WEC: Porsche maintains advantage ahead of qualifying

The #1 Porsche of Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley and Mark Webber set the pace in final practice for the WEC 6 Hours of Bahrain, half a second up on the opposition.

It was Bernhard who set the fastest lap of the session, a 1m40.318s, at the very start, as all six LMP1 hybrid cars recorded their quickest times on their first flying laps before settling into long-run work.

Second quickest was the best of the Audis, the #8 R18 e-tron quattro driven by Oliver Jarvis, who was 0.488s down on Bernhard in the #1 Porsche 919 Hybrid.

There was some late drama for Audi however as the #8 car, by then back in the hands of Jarvis, ground to a halt between Turns 1 and 2 with just a couple of minutes to go, bringing out double-waved yellow flags.

Toyota made it three different manufacturers in the top three with its #5 car, Anthony Davidson missing out on second by 0.048s and the top spot by 0.534s, while Andre Lotterer but the #7 Audi fourth with a time of 1m41.000s.

The two title-contending cars could do no more than fifth and sixth. Marc Lieb posted a 1m41.014s in the #2 Porsche, 0.696s slower than the sister car, while Kamui Kobayashi was 0.958s off the pace in the sixth-placed #6 Toyota TS050 Hybrid.

Rebellion once again led privateer LMP1 rival ByKolles by nearly two seconds.

In LMP2, the #26 G-Drive Oreca picked up where it left off on Friday evening by setting the pace with a 1m50.341s, which came courtesy of the returning Rene Rast.

Second fastest was the title-winning #36 Signatech Alpine of Stephane Richelmi, albeit a whole second slower, followed by the #35 machine of Paul-Loup Chatin.

Ferrari takes control in GTE

After Aston Martin led both Friday sessions in the GTE-Pro category, it was the turn of AF Corse Ferrari to lead the way on Saturday morning.

Gianmaria Bruni set the pace in the #51 car he shares with James Calado with a best time of 1m59.038s, 0.263s faster than the best of the Astons, Darren Turner's #97 car.

The best of the Fords was third quickest, Stefan Mucke lapping half a second slower than Bruni in the #66 machine and a couple of tenths quicker than the points-leading #95 Aston Martin.

In GTE-Am, it was the #83 AF Corse Ferrari that set the pace with a time of 2m00.701s, set by Emmanuel Collard. The Italian team can be crowned class champions by scoring pole position in qualifying. 

Third practice results:

Cla#DriversCarClassTimeGap
1 1  Mark Webber 
 Timo Bernhard 
 Brendon Hartley 
Porsche 919 Hybrid LMP1 1'40.318  
2 8  Lucas di Grassi 
 Loic Duval 
 Oliver Jarvis 
Audi R18 LMP1 1'40.806 0.488
3 5  Anthony Davidson 
 Kazuki Nakajima 
 Sébastien Buemi 
Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 1'40.852 0.534
4 7  Andre Lotterer 
 Marcel Fassler 
 Benoit Tréluyer 
Audi R18 LMP1 1'41.000 0.682
5 2  Romain Dumas 
 Neel Jani 
 Marc Lieb 
Porsche 919 Hybrid LMP1 1'41.014 0.696
6 6  Stéphane Sarrazin 
 Kamui Kobayashi 
 Mike Conway 
Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 1'41.276 0.958
7 13  Alexandre Imperatori 
 Dominik Kraihamer 
 Matheo Tuscher 
Rebellion R-One LMP1 1'46.338 6.020
8 4  Simon Trummer 
 Oliver Webb 
 Pierre Kaffer 
CLM P1/01 LMP1 1'48.236 7.918
9 26  Roman Rusinov 
 René Rast 
 Alex Brundle 
Oreca 05 LMP2 1'50.431 10.113
10 36  Nicolas Lapierre 
 Gustavo Menezes 
 Stéphane Richelmi 
Alpine A460 LMP2 1'51.455 11.137
11 35  Paul-Loup Chatin 
 Ho-Pin Tung 
 David Cheng 
Alpine A460 LMP2 1'51.591 11.273
12 31  Pipo Derani 
 Ryan Dalziel 
 Chris Cumming 
Ligier JS P2 LMP2 1'51.805 11.487
13 30  Giedo van der Garde 
 Tom Dillmann 
 Sean Gelael 
Ligier JS P2 LMP2 1'51.864 11.546
14 43  Bruno Senna 
 Ricardo Gonzalez 
 Filipe Albuquerque 
Ligier JS P2 LMP2 1'51.946 11.628
15 37  Vitaly Petrov 
 Viktor Shaytar 
 Kirill Ladygin 
BR01 LMP2 1'52.497 12.179
16 27  Maurizio Mediani 
 Nicolas Minassian 
 Mikhail Aleshin 
BR01 LMP2 1'52.561 12.243
17 45  Roberto Merhi 
 Julien Canal 
 Roberto Gonzalez 
Oreca 05 LMP2 1'53.096 12.778
18 44  Richard Bradley 
 Matthew Rao 
 Alex Lynn 
Oreca 05 LMP2 1'53.365 13.047
19 51  Gianmaria Bruni 
 James Calado 
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE PRO 1'59.038 18.720
20 97  Darren Turner 
 Jonathan Adam 
Aston Martin Vantage V8 LMGTE PRO 1'59.301 18.983
21 66  Stefan Mücke 
 Olivier Pla 
Ford GT LMGTE PRO 1'59.580 19.262
22 95  Marco Sorensen 
 Nicki Thiim 
Aston Martin Vantage V8 LMGTE PRO 1'59.862 19.544
23 67  Harry Tincknell 
 Andy Priaulx 
Ford GT LMGTE PRO 1'59.920 19.602
24 77  Richard Lietz 
 Michael Christensen 
Porsche 911 RSR (2016) LMGTE PRO 1'59.949 19.631
25 71  Sam Bird 
 Davide Rigon 
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE PRO 1'59.955 19.637
26 83  François Perrodo 
 Emmanuel Collard 
 Rui Aguas 
Ferrari F458 Italia LMGTE AM 2'00.701 20.383
27 86  Michael Wainwright 
 Adam Carroll 
 Ben Barker 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 2'01.325 21.007
28 98  Pedro Lamy 
 Paul Dalla Lana 
 Mathias Lauda 
Aston Martin Vantage V8 LMGTE AM 2'01.466 21.148
29 78  Christian Ried 
 Wolf Henzler 
 Joel Camathias 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 2'01.987 21.669
30 88  David Heinemeier Hansson
 Patrick Long 
 Khaled Al Qubaisi 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 2'02.528 22.210
31 50  Pierre Ragues 
 Ricky Taylor 
 Romain Brandela 
Chevrolet Corvette C7-Z06 LMGTE AM 2'04.359 24.041

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About this article
Series WEC
Event Bahrain
Track Bahrain International Circuit
Drivers Timo Bernhard
Teams Porsche Team
Article type Practice report