Porsche One-Two in the Cooling Conditions of FP2


Porsche LMP Team, Porsche 919 Hybrid, LMP1, #2, Timo Bernhard, Earl Bamber, Brendon Hartley, FIA World Endurance Championship Nurburgring Germany © Craig Robertson

Porsche proved they had a more competitive pace than Toyota Gazoo Racing in the second practice session for the 6 Hours of Nurburgring, holding onto a confident one-two for the entire hour and a half. The #26 G-Drive Racing looked to be back on form as Roman Rusinov‘s fastest lap time saw the team holding onto top of the LMP2 class for the chequered flag. There was a tight fight at the top of LM GTE Pro as Aston Martin began to show there hand a little more, finishing within a tenth of class-leading #91 Porsche GT Team. However, it was the #54 Spirit of Race that stole the show in the GT classes, not only finishing fastest in the Am class but also finishing faster than three of the Pro cars.

The track conditions were a lot cooler for the second session of the day and that seemed to hand Porsche a big advantage. It took Timo Bernhard less than ten minutes to speed passed the times that were set in the morning session and be the first to break into the 1m38s with a 1:38.663. This time was unbeaten by anyone throughout the practice session.

It had looked like Anthony Davidson was going to try and challenge the Porsche’s fast lap time as he climbed on board the #8 Toyota with four minutes left on the clock. However, Davidson was unable to get closer to either of the Porsches that his other team-mates, finishing 1.150 seconds off the pace.

G-Drive took the fastest lap of the LMP2 cars at the beginning of the session with Rusinov setting a 1:47.188, a lap time that was also unrivalled throughout the hour and a half of track time. The #13 Vaillante Rebellion came closest, two-tenths slower than the #26 car. It looked quite close between the ORECA 07-running teams as the top four in class were covered by half a second.

There was a brief yellow flag as the #24 CEFC Manor TRS Racing spun at Dunlop Chicane. The car managed to get moving again, but knocked some gravel onto the track. This was cleared away quickly and a full green track was resumed.

Porsche GT Team #91 © Craig Robertson

The top six cars in Pro were covered by under a second, showing that once again the GT classes are going to provide some intense wheel to wheel racing. Two of the cars were unable to go faster than the #54 Spirit of Race which will lead to some concern from their respective teams for the weekend.

One of the cars stuck below the fastest Am car was championship-leaders #67 Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK. That team will definitely be looking to improve tomorrow as they fight to keep the #97 Aston Martin Racing as far behind them in the title fight. It could be a case that the team are focusing on race pace rather than qualifying pace, but they did finish about six-tenths off the pace of the Aston.

The only car that did not participate in the second practice session was the #31 Vaillante Rebellion. An issue that hit the car at the end of free practice could not be repaired in time for the afternoon session. The team kept working on the problem but around halfway through the session they announced that they would not take part in free practice two.