Shanghai WEC: Porsche Answers to Audi in FP2


Porsche made up for its losses to Audi in the first practice session of the 6 Hours of Shanghai by setting the two fastest times in second practice.

Mark Webber led the way in the championship leading #17 Porsche 919 Hybrid with a 1:45.111s effort that eclipsed Audi’s fastest time from the morning session by nearly six tenths of a second.

Neel Jani completed the lockout in the sister #18 car, recording a 1:45.351s lap to go second quickest.

The Audis showed a similar pace to what was seen during the opening session, with Oliver Jarvis posting a 1:45.930s best. Although slower than Andre Lotterer’s morning benchmark, Jarvis was still marginally quicker than the sister Audi in the afternoon running – Benoit Treluyer this time leading the #8 trio with a 1:46.087s lap.

The Toyotas ended the day fifth and sixth again, around two and a half seconds off the pace of the Porsches.

In LMP2, KCMG continued to assert itself at the top of the order with a strong showing from Le Mans winner Nick Tandy. Tandy’s 1:54.185s effort was enough to place the metallic blue ORECA 05 Nissan one tenth of a second ahead of the Signatech Alpine A450b, which is showing considerable improvement after its second place finish at Fuji.

LMGTE Pro was once again headed by a 1-2, this time coming from the Italian side of the paddock as AF Corse’s Ferrari 458 Italias provided an answer to the previously dominant Porsche 911s. James Calado topped the pile, registering a 2:03.028s that surpassed any GT time seen during the day. The sister car, driven by the in-form Toni Vilander, ended the afternoon 0.919s behind.

The #99 Aston Martin Vantage continued to peck at the sharp end of the Pro category, with Fernando Rees managing to split the Ferrari and Porsche pairings.

SMP Racing set the pace in LMGTE Am with its Ferrari 458 Italia, closely followed by the Larbre Competition Corvette that topped the morning’s times. Victor Shaytar was the man to do it for the Russian squad, pedalling the red, white and blue Ferrari to a 2:04.527s best. Paolo Ruberti continued to impress in the Larbre entry, finishing less than a tenth behind Shaytar.

The 6 Hours of Shanghai will continue tomorrow (October 31) with free practice and qualifying. The race itself is scheduled to go green at 11:00 on Sunday, November 1 (03:00 UK time).