Porsche tops opening WEC Prologue test session

Neel Jani put Porsche on top in the first test session of the World Endurance Championship Prologue at Paul Ricard, heading the times by over two seconds.

Porsche tops opening WEC Prologue test session

Jani's benchmark time of 1m38.264s came in the second hour of the four-hour morning session, the Swiss driver lapping just over a second shy of last year's Prologue pace.

It was enough to beat Toyota driver Sebastien Buemi, whose best effort was a 1m40.517s, by a whole 2.253s, with Marcel Fassler setting Audi's best time of 1m40.791s in the final hour.

Each LMP1 manufacturer elected to run just one of their cars, with the #1, #6 and #8 machines not setting a time. Audi completed the most laps with 74, one clear of Porsche, with Toyota logging 50.

As ever, the privateer LMP1 cars were a long way adrift of the factories. Dominik Kraihamer put the #13 Rebellion in fourth place, four seconds off the pace, ahead of the sister #12 machine and the #4 ByKolles, which is being driven solely by Oli Webb.

The Signatech Alpine team set the pace in the LMP2 class, with Nelson Panciatici taking the top spot in the #35 with an early benchmark of 1m47.340s, four tenths clear of Gustavo Menezes in the #36. 

Ferrari, meanwhile, dominated the GTE Pro class as Gianmaria Bruni set the pace in the #51 with a 1m57.808s, four tenths clear of Davide Rigon in the #71. Ford GTs were third and fourth, the #66 seven tenths off the pace.

The Larbre Corvette of Paolo Ruberti led the way in the GTE Am category, only fractionally behind Rigon and third quickest overall of the GTE machines.

 

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