Nurburgring WEC: Porsche fight back

Porsche emerged fastest in the final Free Practice session at the Nurburgring this morning, sounding a warning to rivals Audi who topped both of yesterday’s sessions.

Unlike the slender margins between the two German marques yesterday, Porsche controlled the session from the get go, with Romain Dumas laying down an initial marker of 1m37.727s, before teammate Marc Lieb went even faster to top the times on a 1m36.036s in the No.18 Porsche 919 Hybrid. This was 0.6s quicker than the sister Porsche 919 Hybrid in which Mark Webber set the best time of 1m36.647s.

It was incident filled session which involved the No.18 Porsche which was involved in contact with the No.83 AF Corse Ferrari driven by Francois Perrodo. Contact at turn two resulted in a left rear puncture for the Ferrari, and Romain Dumas also had to pit for minor repairs.

Just after this there were two other incidents. The first was the on-track stoppage of the No.13 Rebellion Racing LMP1 driven by Daniel Abt, which brought out a Full Course Yellow.

More or less at the same time, Paul Dalla Lana suffered a puncture and stopped his Aston Martin Vantage V8 which returned to the paddock on a flatbed truck.

Audi placed third and fourth with the quickest R18 etron quattro setting a 1m37.035s lap with Lucas di Grassi at the wheel.

The No.7 Audi, which topped both of yesterday’s sessions, placed fourth with Marcel Fassler claiming a 1m37.109. The three-time Le Mans winner’s time at the wheel also included a slow speed spin at turn two.

Toyota continued to operate in what was essentially a class of their own behind the top two manufacturers. The 2014 champions, who have ceased all major development on the Toyota TS 040 again placed fifth and sixth with Sebastien Buemi and Alex Wurz setting the times respectively.

The LMP1 privateer battle between Rebellion Racing and ByKolles started to hot up with a reduced gap between the two protagonists. The No.13 led the way but its sister No.12 R-One-AER and the ByKolles CLM P1/01 were just a few tenths of a second behind.

Both Daniel Abt and Alexander Imperatori stopped temporarily on the track after hitting apparent technical problems during the session.

The LMP2 Strakka Gibson finished the session in class P1 with Jonny Kane setting a 1m45.720s lap which was the fastest LMP2 time of the weekend.

This time was just under a tenth of a second faster than Nick Tandy’s best in the Le Mans winning KCMG ORECA 05-Nissan.

Third in LMP2 was the No.28 G-Drive Racing Ligier-Nissan driven by impressive Brazilian WEC rookie Pipo Derani.

Ferrari left it late in LMGTE Pro with reigning champion Gianmaria Bruni setting a 1m54.331s lap to lead the times in the No.51 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia.A 1m54.481s lap by James Calado in the No.71 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia was good enough for second spot in the LMGTE Pro class.

The British former Force India F1 test driver deposed the No.99 Aston Martin of Alex MacDowell into third position.

The LMGTE Am category saw a clear leader in the shape of the Abu-Dhabi Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR driven by Ring specialist Earl Bamber. The German set a time one second ahead of the rest of the competition with a 1m55.288s.

Qualifying for the 6 Hours of Nurburgring gets underway at 14.00 local time with 20-minute split LMP1/2 and LMGTE sessions.

FP3 Results:

Pos Drivers Car Time Gap Laps
Romain Dumas
Neel Jani
Marc Lieb
Porsche 1'36.036   25
Timo Bernhard
Mark Webber
Brendon Hartley
Porsche 1'36.647 0.611 27
Lucas di Grassi
Loïc Duval
Oliver Jarvis
Audi 1'37.035 0.999 28
Marcel Fässler
André Lotterer
Benoît Tréluyer
Audi 1'37.109 1.073 23
Anthony Davidson
Sébastien Buemi
Kazuki Nakajima
Toyota 1'38.850 2.814 23
Alexander Wurz
S.Sarrazin
Mike Conway
Toyota 1'39.893 3.857 23
A.Imperatori
D.Kraihamer
Daniel Abt
Rebellion/AER 1'43.504 7.468 21
Nicolas Prost
Mathias Beche
Nick Heidfeld
Rebellion/AER 1'43.601 7.565 16
Simon Trummer
Pierre Kaffer
CLM/AER 1'43.983 7.947 22
10  Nick Leventis
Danny Watts
Jonny Kane
Dome/Nissan 1'45.720 9.684 26
11  Matt Howson
Richard Bradley
Nick Tandy
ORECA/Nissan 1'45.802 9.766 26
12  Gustavo Yacamán
Luis Derani
Ricardo González
Ligier/Nissan 1'46.161 10.125 24
13  N.Panciatici
Paul-Loup Chatin
V.Capillaire
Alpine/Nissan 1'46.730 10.694 26
14  Roman Rusinov
Julien Canal
Sam Bird
Ligier/Nissan 1'46.983 10.947 26
15  Pierre Ragues
Oliver Webb
Archie Hamilton
Morgan/SARD 1'47.269 11.233 24
16  Scott Sharp
Ryan Dalziel
David Hansson
Ligier/HPD 1'47.670 11.634 20
17  Ed Brown
J.van Overbeek
Jon Fogarty
Ligier/HPD 1'48.067 12.031 24
18  Gianmaria Bruni
Toni Vilander
Ferrari 1'54.331 18.295 25
19  Davide Rigon
James Calado
Ferrari 1'54.481 18.445 25
20  Fernando Rees
Alex MacDowall
Richie Stanaway
Aston Martin 1'54.803 18.767 21
21  Patrick Pilet
F.Makowiecki
Porsche 1'54.955 18.919 23
22  Christian Ried
K.Al Qubaisi
Earl Bamber
Porsche 1'55.288 19.252 26
23  Marco Sørensen
C.Nygaard
Aston Martin 1'55.299 19.263 22
24  Richard Lietz
M.Christensen
Porsche 1'55.354 19.318 22
25  Darren Turner
Stefan Mücke
Jonathan Adam
Aston Martin 1'55.505 19.469 27
26  Paul Dalla Lana
Pedro Lamy
Mathias Lauda
Aston Martin 1'55.733 19.697 15
27  François Perrodo
Emmanuel Collard
Rui Águas
Ferrari 1'56.246 20.210 23
28  Viktor Shaitar
Andrea Bertolini
Aleksey Basov
Ferrari 1'56.295 20.259 20
29  Patrick Dempsey
Patrick Long
Marco Seefried
Porsche 1'56.310 20.274 23
30  Gianluca Roda
Paolo Ruberti
Kristian Poulsen
Chevrolet 1'57.959 21.923 20
31  F.Castellacci
Roald Goethe
Stuart Hall
Aston Martin 1'58.485 22.449 24

 

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About this article
Series WEC
Event Nürburgring
Sub-event Friday practice
Track Nurburgring
Drivers Marc Lieb , Romain Dumas , Neel Jani
Teams Porsche Team
Article type Practice report