Shanghai WEC: Porsche edges Audi in opening practice

Brendon Hartley put Porsche on top of the timesheets in first practice for the WEC 6 Hours of Shanghai, the #1 car beating the best of the Audis by just under two tenths of a second.

Shanghai WEC: Porsche edges Audi in opening practice

Most cars elected to set their hot laps early on in the 90-minute session, with Lucas di Grassi establishing a benchmark of 1m47.097s in the #8 Audi R18 e-tron quattro before improving to a 1m46.979s.

That however was swiftly beaten by the #1 Porsche 919 Hybrid of Hartley, who wrested away the top spot with a 1m46.781s - a time that would remain unthreatened for the rest of the session.

The #8 Audi remained second fastest, 0.198s adrift, with Oliver Jarvis causing a minor drama for the car with a spin at Turn 2 . It also ground to a halt late on the session, albeit only as a precaution to prevent bodywork damage after a puncture.

Toyota took third and fourth with its pair of TS050 Hybrids, Sebastien Buemi putting the #5 car ahead of the #6 of Kamui Kobayashi with a 1m47.445s, 0.644s off the pace and two tenths clear of the sister car.

Andre Lotterer was fifth in the #7 Audi, 1.046s off the pace, but the car spent much of the session in the pits with a gearbox problem, after Benoit Treluyer stopped out on track at the 30-minute mark.

The points-leading #2 Porsche also got off to a slow start, spending nearly the entire duration of the session in the garage for a battery change. Romain Dumas managed to get out with a few minutes to spare, setting the sixth quickest time - 1.657s behind the #1 car.

Alexandre Imperatori ensured the #13 Rebellion headed its sole LMP1-L rival ByKolles by a little over a second.

G-Drive, Ferrari top classes

In LMP2, G-Drive Racing picked up where it left off in Fuji as Will Stevens took the #26 Oreca 05-Nissan to the fastest time in class, a 1m55.953s.

That was enough to beat the #36 Signatech Alpine car of Stephane Richelmi by 0.155s, with Nicolas Minassian's #27 SMP Racing car following a further three tenths back in third.

Ferrari meanwhile led the way in GTE-Pro thanks to an early effort of 2m03.752s by Gianmaria Bruni in the #51 AF Corse car.

Richard Lietz put the #77 Dempsey-Proton Porsche second in class, 0.115s behind, wile Ford's Stefan Mucke made it three different manufacturers in the top three with the #67 machine.

Aston Martin could only get the best of its Pro class cars, the #95, fourth, but the British marque led the way in the Am division thanks to a time of 2m04.503s from Pedro Lamy in the #98.

First practice results:

Cla#DriversCarClassTimeGap
1 1  Mark Webber 
 Timo Bernhard 
 Brendon Hartley 
Porsche 919 Hybrid LMP1 1'46.781  
2 8  Lucas di Grassi 
 Loic Duval 
 Oliver Jarvis 
Audi R18 LMP1 1'46.979 0.198
3 5  Anthony Davidson 
 Kazuki Nakajima 
 Sébastien Buemi 
Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 1'47.445 0.664
4 6  Stéphane Sarrazin 
 Kamui Kobayashi 
 Mike Conway 
Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 1'47.632 0.851
5 7  Andre Lotterer 
 Marcel Fassler 
 Benoit Tréluyer 
Audi R18 LMP1 1'47.827 1.046
6 2  Romain Dumas 
 Neel Jani 
 Marc Lieb 
Porsche 919 Hybrid LMP1 1'48.438 1.657
7 13  Alexandre Imperatori 
 Dominik Kraihamer 
 Matheo Tuscher 
Rebellion R-One LMP1 1'52.079 5.298
8 4  Simon Trummer 
 Oliver Webb 
 Pierre Kaffer 
CLM P1/01 LMP1 1'53.156 6.375
9 26  Will Stevens 
 Roman Rusinov 
 Alex Brundle 
Oreca 05 LMP2 1'55.953 9.172
10 36  Nicolas Lapierre 
 Gustavo Menezes 
 Stéphane Richelmi 
Alpine A460 LMP2 1'56.108 9.327
11 27  Maurizio Mediani 
 Nicolas Minassian 
 Mikhail Aleshin 
BR01 LMP2 1'56.390 9.609
12 43  Bruno Senna 
 Ricardo Gonzalez 
 Filipe Albuquerque 
Ligier JS P2 LMP2 1'56.536 9.755
13 35  Paul-Loup Chatin 
 Ho-Pin Tung 
 David Cheng 
Alpine A460 LMP2 1'56.889 10.108
14 31  Pipo Derani 
 Ryan Dalziel 
 Chris Cumming 
Ligier JS P2 LMP2 1'57.077 10.296
15 44  Richard Bradley 
 Matthew Rao 
 Alex Lynn 
Oreca 05 LMP2 1'57.125 10.344
16 30  Sean Gelael 
 Antonio Giovinazzi 
 Tom Blomqvist 
Ligier JS P2 LMP2 1'57.332 10.551
17 45  Mathias Beche 
 Tor Graves 
 Roberto Gonzalez 
Oreca 05 LMP2 1'57.814 11.033
18 37  Vitaly Petrov 
 Viktor Shaytar 
 Kirill Ladygin 
BR01 LMP2 1'57.846 11.065
19 51  Gianmaria Bruni 
 James Calado 
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE PRO 2'03.752 16.971
20 77  Richard Lietz 
 Michael Christensen 
Porsche 911 RSR (2016) LMGTE PRO 2'03.867 17.086
21 66  Stefan Mücke 
 Olivier Pla 
Ford GT LMGTE PRO 2'03.910 17.129
22 95  Marco Sorensen 
 Nicki Thiim 
Aston Martin Vantage V8 LMGTE PRO 2'04.096 17.315
23 71  Sam Bird 
 Davide Rigon 
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE PRO 2'04.108 17.327
24 97  Darren Turner 
 Richie Stanaway 
Aston Martin Vantage V8 LMGTE PRO 2'04.349 17.568
25 67  Harry Tincknell 
 Andy Priaulx 
Ford GT LMGTE PRO 2'04.487 17.706
26 98  Pedro Lamy 
 Paul Dalla Lana 
 Mathias Lauda 
Aston Martin Vantage V8 LMGTE AM 2'04.503 17.722
27 78  Christian Ried 
 Wolf Henzler 
 Joel Camathias 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 2'05.575 18.794
28 88  David Heinemeier Hansson 
 Patrick Long 
 Khaled Al Qubaisi 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 2'05.690 18.909
29 83  François Perrodo 
 Emmanuel Collard 
 Rui Aguas 
Ferrari F458 Italia LMGTE AM 2'06.101 19.320
30 86  Michael Wainwright 
 Adam Carroll 
 Ben Barker 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 2'06.105 19.324
31 50  Pierre Ragues 
 Ricky Taylor 
 Romain Brandela 
Chevrolet Corvette C7-Z06 LMGTE AM 2'06.303 19.522
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