Kristensen Leads Prologue Saturday, but Unable to Top Porsche Pace


Audi drivers led both of Saturday's sessions (Credit: Audi Sport)

Audi drivers Tom Kristensen and Benoit Treluyer set the best times in the two sessions on the second and final day of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) Prologue test at Paul Ricard.

Kristensen’s time in the morning session – a 1:43.017 – was the fastest of the day, compared to Treluyer’s 1:43.423 in the afternoon. However, the day’s pace remained some way short of the times from Friday’s session, Kristensen’s lap only making him the eleventh fastest driver of the Prologue, nearly two seconds slower than Brendon Hartley, who led the Friday night session.

Romain Dumas – one of the drivers of the #14 Porsche 919 Hybrid was second fastest on Saturday morning, Sebastien Buemi fastest in the afternoon, the Swiss drivers’ lap closing out the two days of running with the best position the Toyota TS040 Hybrid had achieved over the two days.

Across the board Friday’s times were faster than Saturday’s allowing Shinji Nakano, Fred Makowiecki and Paolo Ruberti to leave southern France with the best times in the LMP2, LMGTE Pro and LMGTE AM respectively.

Of the trio on Makowiecki – or rather the #92 Porsche Team Manthey line-up he is now part of – repeated at the top of Saturday’s times. It was Marco Holzer, promoted to Porsche works GTE team amid the marque’s expanded racing plans for this season, who was the fastest driver in the class. His 1:58.329 set in the morning session was also his best lap of the Prologue, but was three tenths off what his new co-driver had achieved the day before.

SMP Racing and KCMG split Saturday’s LMP2 honours with Nicolas Minassian fastest for SMP in the morning Matt Howson quickest in the afternoon session where the Chinese team’s three drivers set the three fastest times in the class.

Matthieu Vaxiviere was the fastest man in LMGTE Am on the day in Prospeed Competition’s Porsche. He lapped the 5.8km track in 1:58.641 during the day’s morning running while Klaus Bachler led the afternoon in Proton Competion’s example as 8 Star Motorsport and the #81 AF Corse squad – the fastest teams from Friday – both remained in the garages.

The 2014 WEC season begins with the Six Hours of Silverstone on April 20.