Montoya leads the way in Bahrain rookie test

Double Indy 500 champion Juan Pablo Montoya topped the time after five hours of FIA WEC rookie testing in Bahrain on Sunday.

The test was organized by the FIA WEC around the three rookies that were chosen by the championship's promoter to recognise young endurance talent - Sam Bird, Richie Stanaway and Mitch Evans.

Montoya’s best lap in the No.17 Porsche 919 Hybrid was a 1m40.861s, 1.273 seconds faster than Stanaway’s best time in the No.8 Audi R18 e-tron Quattro.

The Colombian shared the cockpit today with Mark Webber’s protégé Evans, who set a best time of 1m42.946s.

Stanaway impressed Audi, who gave the GP2 regular and Aston Martin GTE Pro driver extra time at the wheel in the afternoon session.

For Stanaway, it was an invaluable experience to be given the chance of seat time in the No.8 Audi, which was driven for the majority of the morning session by Benoit Treluyer.

“I only did a few laps this morning but I immediately felt comfortable in the car,” said Stanway.

“This afternoon I did the 30 laps and then the team gave me more time which was fantastic. I got to explore the car more and I really enjoyed the level of grip that the car gave.

"Benoit [Treluyer] was very generous with his time and advice helping me, which I appreciated a lot. The regeneration and hybrid system on the car is phenomenal and the acceleration is really something.

“I have to thank the FIA WEC for choosing me to have this experience, it was more than I expected it would be and the expectations were more than matched."

Sam Bird, who was crowned LMP2 champion in Saturday's race, undertook 37 laps in the No. 1 Toyota TS040 Hybrid, and set a best lap of 1m45.318s.

Matt Rao was the fastest LMP2 driver in the Signatech Alpine A450b Nissan, while Austrian Philipp Eng headed LMGTE Pro, pipping Nick Catsburg. Both drove a Porsche Team Manthey Porsche 911 RSR.

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About this article
Series WEC
Event Bahrain November testing
Track Bahrain International Circuit
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Porsche Team , Toyota Racing , Team Joest
Article type Testing report