Fuji WEC: Audi leads Toyota in opening practice

Marcel Fassler led the way in the opening practice session for the WEC 6 Hours of Fuji, putting the #7 Audi half a second clear of the #6 Toyota of Kamui Kobayashi.

Fuji WEC: Audi leads Toyota in opening practice

Fassler set the benchmark time, a 1m25.030s, in the opening stages of the 90-minute session, with Kobayashi quickly slotting in behind with a 1m25.556s.

And that was how the order at the top of the timesheets would remain for the duration, although It wasn't all plain sailing for the #7 car, as Andre Lotterer caused a full-course caution at the halfway mark when he went off track and hit the barriers at the last corner.

The German was however able to make it back to the pits for Benoit Treluyer to take his turn at the wheel.

Loic Duval's early effort of 1m25.838 in the sister #8 Audi R18 e-tron quattro proved good enough for third, ahead of the #6 Toyota TS050 Hybrid of Sebastien Buemi, who leapfrogged the two Porsches on his final flying lap, a 1m25.885s.

There was drama for the points-leading #2 Porsche 919 Hybrid, which sat out all but the final 20 minutes of the session after suffering an oil leak on its out lap.

After a change of front-axle gearbox, Neel Jani set the fifth fastest time, a 1m25.962s, slotting just ahead of the #1 Porsche, which had its best time of 1m26.097s set by Mark Webber.

Rebellion came out on top in the two-way LMP1-L battle, the #13 R-One edging the #4 ByKolles CLM by seven tenths.

G-Drive tops LMP2

In the LMP2 class, Alex Brundle put the #26 G-Drive Oreca he shares with Roman Runsinov and the returning Will Stevens, standing in for Rene Rast, on top with a best time of 1m33.204s.

Next up was the #31 ESM Ligier of Pipo Derani, followed by the #42 Strakka Gibson of Jonny Kane.

Of the class newcomers, the #30 ESM machine of Sean Gelael, Antonio Giovinazzi and Giedo van der Garde was seventh quickest, while Williams F1 development driver Alex Lynn's #45 Manor was 11th after suffering a mechanical problem.

Ford in control in GTE

Ford led the way in the GTE-Pro division, Andy Priaulx putting the #67 car (that he shares only with Harry Tincknell this weekend) three tenths up on the #77 Proton-Dempsey Porsche of Michael Christensen.

The best of the AF Corse cars, the #51, was third quickest ahead of the #66 Ford, while Aston Martin ended up sixth and seventh, the latter 1.3s off the pace of Priaulx. 

The GTE-Am class was topped by the #83 AF Corse Ferrari, which was two tenths faster than the #98 Aston Martin.

First practice results:

Cla#DriversCarClassTimeGap
1 7  Andre Lotterer 
 Marcel Fassler 
 Benoit Tréluyer 
Audi R18 LMP1 1'25.030  
2 6  Stéphane Sarrazin 
 Kamui Kobayashi 
 Mike Conway 
Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 1'25.556 0.526
3 8  Lucas di Grassi 
 Loic Duval 
 Oliver Jarvis 
Audi R18 LMP1 1'25.838 0.808
4 5  Anthony Davidson 
 Kazuki Nakajima 
 Sébastien Buemi 
Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 1'25.885 0.855
5 2  Romain Dumas 
 Neel Jani 
 Marc Lieb 
Porsche 919 Hybrid LMP1 1'25.962 0.932
6 1  Mark Webber 
 Timo Bernhard 
 Brendon Hartley 
Porsche 919 Hybrid LMP1 1'26.097 1.067
7 13  Alexandre Imperatori 
 Dominik Kraihamer 
 Matheo Tuscher 
Rebellion R-One LMP1 1'30.917 5.887
8 4  Simon Trummer 
 Oliver Webb 
 Pierre Kaffer 
CLM P1/01 LMP1 1'31.549 6.519
9 26  Will Stevens 
 Roman Rusinov 
 Alex Brundle 
Oreca 05 LMP2 1'33.204 8.174
10 31  Pipo Derani 
 Ryan Dalziel 
 Chris Cumming 
Ligier JS P2 LMP2 1'33.475 8.445
11 42  Jonny Kane 
 Lewis Williamson 
Gibson 015S LMP2 1'33.486 8.456
12 43  Bruno Senna 
 Ricardo Gonzalez 
 Filipe Albuquerque 
Ligier JS P2 LMP2 1'33.527 8.497
13 44  Roberto Merhi 
 Richard Bradley 
 Matthew Rao 
Oreca 05 LMP2 1'33.676 8.646
14 37  Vitaly Petrov 
 Viktor Shaytar 
 Kirill Ladygin 
BR01 LMP2 1'34.069 9.039
15 30  Giedo van der Garde 
 Sean Gelael 
 Antonio Giovinazzi 
Ligier JS P2 LMP2 1'34.250 9.220
16 35  Paul-Loup Chatin 
 Ho-Pin Tung 
 David Cheng 
Alpine A460 LMP2 1'34.316 9.286
17 36  Nicolas Lapierre 
 Gustavo Menezes 
 Stéphane Richelmi 
Alpine A460 LMP2 1'34.396 9.366
18 27  Maurizio Mediani 
 Nicolas Minassian 
 Mikhail Aleshin 
BR01 LMP2 1'34.503 9.473
19 45  Shinji Nakano 
 Tor Graves 
 Alex Lynn 
Oreca 05 LMP2 1'34.818 9.788
20 67  Harry Tincknell 
 Andy Priaulx 
Ford GT LMGTE PRO 1'39.216 14.186
21 77  Richard Lietz 
 Michael Christensen 
Porsche 911 RSR (2016) LMGTE PRO 1'39.545 14.515
22 51  Gianmaria Bruni 
 James Calado 
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE PRO 1'39.697 14.667
23 66  Stefan Mücke 
 Olivier Pla 
Ford GT LMGTE PRO 1'39.716 14.686
24 71  Sam Bird 
 Davide Rigon 
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE PRO 1'39.743 14.713
25 95  Marco Sorensen 
 Nicki Thiim 
Aston Martin Vantage V8 LMGTE PRO 1'40.176 15.146
26 97  Darren Turner 
 Richie Stanaway 
Aston Martin Vantage V8 LMGTE PRO 1'40.590 15.560
27 83  François Perrodo 
 Emmanuel Collard 
 Rui Aguas 
Ferrari F458 Italia LMGTE AM 1'40.775 15.745
28 98  Pedro Lamy 
 Paul Dalla Lana 
 Mathias Lauda 
Aston Martin Vantage V8 LMGTE AM 1'40.935 15.905
29 50  Pierre Ragues 
 Ricky Taylor 
 Yutaka Yamagishi 
Chevrolet Corvette C7-Z06 LMGTE AM 1'41.287 16.257
30 78  Christian Ried 
 Wolf Henzler 
 Joel Camathias 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 1'41.292 16.262
31 88  David Heinemeier Hansson
 Patrick Long 
 Khaled Al Qubaisi 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 1'41.458 16.428
32 86  Michael Wainwright 
 Adam Carroll 
 Ben Barker 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 1'41.795 16.765
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