Bahrain WEC: Fässler Leads Audi 1-2 in Night Practice


Audi LMP1 driver Marcel Fässler set the fastest lap during second practice for the FIA WEC 6 Hours of Bahrain, leading a 1-2 for the German manufacturer on the opening day.

The Swiss driver’s 1:42.133s lap aboard the #7 Audi R-18 etron quattro, which he shares with André Lotterer and Benoît Tréluyer, was enough to top the 90 minute evening session 1.158s ahead of Loïc Duval in the #8 sister car.

Cooler track temperatures allowed Fässler to improve on the morning’s best lap time; a 1:42.800s effort from Porsche’s Timo Bernhard.

With Audi heading the order in the night session, Porsche occupied third and fourth places, with the championship leading #17 919 Hybrid going the quickest of the pair thanks to a 1:43.630s time courtesy of Brendon Hartley.

Neel Jani followed suit in the #18 Porsche, a tenth of a second behind his team-mate.

Toyota once again assumed fifth and sixth with its pair of TS040 Hybrids, although this time it was the turn of the #2 car, driven by Alex Wurz on his last motorsport race weekend as a competitor, which turned in the best time at 1:43.931s.

In the privateer ranks, Rebellion Racing once again held sway although ByKolles driver Simon Trummer was able to split the Swiss team’s pair of cars. The #12 Rebellion was the quickest of the non-hybrid LMP1s, recording a 1:48.385s lap with Mathias Beche at the wheel.

G-Drive Racing took the fastest time of the evening session in LMP2 with Pipo Derani’s 1:50.029s, which compared favourably the morning benchmark of 1:52.054s set by Nelson Panciatici.

Nick Tandy brought KCMG’s ORECA 05, which is one of two cars competing for the LMP2 championship this weekend, up to second in class, seven tenths in arrears to the G-Drive Ligier.

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The race itself will also run into the night (Credit: Paola Depalmas/Adrenal Media)

Signatech Alpine was the third quickest LMP2 outfit with Tom Dillmann at the helm, while the #26 G-Drive Ligier which currently leads the class standings ended the day fourth best thanks to a 1:51.546s from Sam Bird.

AF Corse once again flexed its muscles in the GTE Pro ranks with another one-two placing in second practice. Toni Vilander, driving the #51 Ferrari 458 Italia, submitted a 1:59.402s effort that improved slightly on his fastest lap from the preceding session.

James Calado followed up in the sister car, 0.084s adrift, while Patrick Pilet completed the top three in the #92 Manthey-run Porsche 911 RSR.

Ferrari also occupied the top spot in the GTE Am category, as Andrea Bertolini took the SMP Racing 458 Italia to the top of the timesheets with a 2:00.866s early in his stint. The Italian was shadowed by Patrick Long in the Dempsey Proton Racing Porsche, who came within a tenth of a second of the top spot. Third in class was Kristian Poulsen in the Larbre Competition-entered Corvette C7.R.

Qualifying for the FIA WEC 6 Hours of Bahrain gets underway on Friday, November 20.

For a full list of session times, view The Checkered Flag’s feature length previews here.