Shanghai WEC: Webber tops free practice for Porsche

Porsche once again set the pace in free practice for the penultimate round of the 2015 FIA WEC at Shanghai courtesy of Mark Webber.

The Australian set the fastest time of the day with a 1m45.111s during FP2 in the #17 Porsche 919 Hybrid, beating Neel Jani’s best time of 1m45.351s in the sister #18 machine.

The Swiss ace set the time early on in the second 90-minute session, which was held in cool and overcast conditions.

In the earlier session, Audi had enjoyed a 1-2 formation at the head of the timing screens as Andre Lotterer peaked with a 1m45.707s lap. The German’s FP1 time was 0.645s ahead of Lucas di Grassi in the sister #8 R18 e-tron quattro.

The afternoon session saw both Audis lap within a second of Webber’s benchmark, with Oliver Jarvis in the #8 car and Benoit Treluyer in the #7 machine setting the times.

Toyota slipped into its familiar sub-class behind the Porsches and Audis, with the #2 Toyota TS 040 Hybrid fifth and the reigning champion car of Sebastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Anthony Davidson in sixth.

KCMG sets the LMP2 pace

The KCMG ORECA 05-Nissan lead the way in the LMP2 class in both of the sessions. Richard Bradley set the quickest time in the morning on a 1m55.069s lap, while his teammate Nick Tandy claimed the best afternoon effort with a 1m54.185s.

It was a good end to the day for the Hong Kong-entered team, which had earlier taken a suspended drive-through race penalty. The sanction has been implemented until the end of the season.

This decision came after stewards received a report from the Technical Delegates after Bradley’s now-infamous race-ending incident with G-Drive Racing’s Gustavo Yacaman in Fuji earlier this month.

Bradley was deemed to have begun braking 40 metres earlier than the previous lap, extending the braking zone from 150 to 190 metres.

The Signatech Alpine claimed second in the quicker second session with WEC rookie Tom Dillmann impressing with a best time of 1m54.285s. Third was Ricardo Gonzalez in the G-Drive racing Ligier-Nissan which he shares with Pipo Derani and Yacaman.

Title leaders Sam Bird, Julien Canal and Roman Rusinov placed only eighth in the second session. The G-Drive trio enjoy a 12-point advantage going in to the penultimate race at Shanghai this weekend.

Ferrari dominates GTE

The LMGTE Pro class witnessed AF Corse dominate, with James Calado easily the fastest driver in the #71 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia.

The former Force India test driver was almost a second ahead of title rival Toni Vilander with a best effort of 2m03.028s, compared to Vilander’s 2m03.947s.

In LMGTE Am, Viktor Shaitar set the pace with a lap of 2m04.527s in the SMP Racing Ferrari 458 Italia.

Sharing with Andrea Bertolini and Aleksey Basov, Shaitar has laid claim to being one of the most improved drivers in the WEC this season, and his confidence netted a slender 0.067s advantage over the Larbre run Chevrolet Corvette C7, which was fastest in the hands of Paolo Ruberti.

Combined practice times:

1 Mark Webber 
Brendon Hartley 
Timo Bernhard 
Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid 1:45.111 1:45.111
2 Marc Lieb 
Romain Dumas 
Neel Jani 
Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid 1:45.351 +0.240
3 Loic Duval 
Oliver Jarvis 
Lucas di Grassi 
Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e-tron quattro '15 1:45.930 +0.819
4 Andre Lotterer 
Benoit Tréluyer 
Marcel Fassler 
Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e-tron quattro '15 1:46.087 +0.976
5 Alexander Wurz 
Mike Conway 
Stéphane Sarrazin 
Toyota Racing Toyota TS040 Hybrid 1:47.373 +2.262
6 Anthony Davidson 
Kazuki Nakajima 
Sébastien Buemi 
Toyota Racing Toyota TS040 Hybrid 1:47.724 +2.613
7 Alexandre Imperatori 
 Mathéo Tuscher 
Dominik Kraihamer 
Rebellion Racing Rebellion R-One 1:50.790 +5.679
8 Mathias Beche 
Nicolas Prost 
Rebellion Racing Rebellion R-One 1:51.441 +6.330
9 Pierre Kaffer 
Simon Trummer 
Team ByKolles CLM P1/01 1:53.951 +8.840
10 Matthew Howson 
Nick Tandy 
Richard Bradley 
KCMG ORECA 05 1:54.185 +9.074
11 Nelson Panciatici 
Paul-Loup Chatin 
 Tom Dillmann 
Signatech Alpine Alpine A450b 1:54.285 +9.174
12 Pipo Derani 
Gustavo Yacaman 
Ricardo Gonzalez 
G-Drive Racing Ligier JS P2 1:54.706 +9.595
13 Jonny Kane 
Nick Leventis 
Danny Watts 
Strakka Racing Gibson 015S 1:54.713 +9.602
14 Oliver Webb 
Chris Cumming 
Pierre Ragues 
Team SARD Morand Morgan LMP2 Evo '15 1:55.063 +9.952
15 David Heinemeier Hansson
Ryan Dalziel 
Scott Sharp 
Extreme Speed Motorsports Ligier JS P2 1:55.162 +10.051
16 Ed Brown 
Jon Fogarty 
Johannes van Overbeek 
Extreme Speed Motorsports Ligier JS P2 1:55.807 +10.696
17 Roman Rusinov 
Sam Bird 
Julien Canal 
G-Drive Racing Ligier JS P2 1:55.934 +10.823
18 Alex Brundle 
Ho-Pin Tung 
David Cheng 
Pegasus Racing Morgan LMP2 1:56.647 +11.536
19 Davide Rigon 
James Calado 
AF Corse Ferrari F458 Italia 2:03.028 +17.917
20 Toni Vilander 
Gianmaria Bruni 
AF Corse Ferrari F458 Italia 2:03.947 +18.836
21 Alex MacDowall 
Richie Stanaway 
Fernando Rees 
Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage V8 2:03.995 +18.884
22 Frédéric Makowiecki 
Patrick Pilet 
Porsche Team Manthey Porsche 911 RSR 2:04.019 +18.908
23 Richard Lietz 
Michael Christensen 
Porsche Team Manthey Porsche 911 RSR 2:04.329 +19.218
24 Jonathan Adam 
Darren Turner 
Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage V8 2:04.475 +19.364
25  Aleksey Basov 
Andrea Bertolini 
Viktor Shaitar 
SMP Racing Ferrari F458 Italia 2:04.527 +19.416
26 Gianluca Roda 
Paolo Ruberti 
 Nicolai Sylvest 
Larbre Compétition Chevrolet Corvette C7.R 2:04.594 +19.483
27 Patrick Long 
Patrick Dempsey 
Marco Seefried 
Dempsey Racing - Proton Porsche 911 RSR 2:05.112 +20.001
28  Liam Griffin 
Francesco Castellacci 
Stuart Hall 
Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage V8 2:05.924 +20.813
29 Pedro Lamy 
Paul Dalla Lana 
Mathias Lauda 
Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage V8 2:06.294 +21.183
30 Emmanuel Collard 
Rui Aguas 
François Perrodo 
AF Corse Ferrari F458 Italia 2:06.624 +21.513
31 Khaled Al Qubaisi 
Christian Ried 
Klaus Bachler 
Abu Dhabi-Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR 2:07.807 +22.696
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About this article
Series WEC
Event Shanghai
Track Shanghai International Circuit
Drivers Mark Webber , Timo Bernhard , Brendon Hartley
Teams Porsche Team
Article type Practice report