Porsche sets fearsome pace in first practice at COTA

Porsche re-affirmed its superiority in the World Endurance Championship with another dominant display in the first free practice session of the weekend at COTA this afternoon.

Romain Dumas set the fastest ever lap recorded in an LMP1 car at the United States Grand Prix venue near Austin, peaking on a 1m47.231s in the No.18 Porsche 919 Hybrid.

The Frenchman beat an early marker of 1m47.514s set by Mark Webber in the No.17 Porsche 919 Hybrid. 

Audi Sport Team Joest placed third with the No.8 Audi R18 etron quattro driven by Oliver Jarvis, setting a best of 1m49.027s.

The No.7 Audi though had a disastrous session after an alternator problem confined it to just four laps. The team is changing the unit before the second session later today.

Toyota ended up fourth and fifth with the reigning champion No.1 TS 040 HYBRID heading the No.2 car. Stephane Sarrazin was shown a black and white warning flag for track-limit abuse halfway through the session, while team mate Alex Wurz also suffered a harmless spin at Turn 2 in the final moments of the 90-minute session.

KCMG continued its dominant form by laying down an initial marker to the opposition. Nicolas Lapierre completed a 1m57.764s lap in the ORECA 05-Nissan to head the LMP2 class by 0.6s second.

The Extreme Speed Motorsport Ligier JS P2-HPDs ended second third in class. Johannes van Overbeek set a 1m58.342s in the No.31 car, while the No.30 Ligier JS P2-HPD time was set by Ryan Dalziel.

In LMGTE Pro the No.71 AF Corse Ferrari claimed the top position, as James Calado set a best of 2m06.753s. There was trouble though for the sister No.51 car when Toni Vilander ground to a halt on track and caused the first of two Full Course Yellows.

The second was triggered when Nick Leventis temporarily stopping at Turn 2 in his Strakka Gibson-Nissan LMP2 car.

Patrick Long was quickest in the LMGTE Am class. The American lapped the track in 2m07.487s in the Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR.

The second Free Practice session is scheduled to start 20.00 local time.

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About this article
Series WEC
Event Austin
Track Circuit of the Americas
Drivers Mark Webber , Alexander Wurz , Stéphane Sarrazin , Romain Dumas , Nicolas Lapierre
Article type Practice report