Treluyer Sets The Pace In Opening Silverstone Practice

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Benoit Treluyer beat Nicolas Lapierre for the best time in the first practice session (Photo Credit: Audi Motorsport)

Benoit Treluyer and the Audi R18 e-tron quattro began the Six Hours of Silverstone weekend ahead, the Frenchman ending the opening 90 minute practice session with the fastest lap.

Times came down quickly during the session, beginning the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) weekend, propelled by Treluyer, Allan McNish and Nicolas Lapierre in the lone Toyota TS030 Hybrid present for the event.

Treluyer, Lapierre and McNish were the first men in their respective cars, the Scot driving with Tom Kristensen in a two handed effort after the retirement of Dindo Capello in the months since Le Mans. Times fell to a 1:45.777 over the opening 50 minutes of the session, but as second and third drivers got their first laps in the cars movement at the top of the timesheets ceased.

Impressive again, Lapierre’s time split the two Audis a 1:46.010 just two tenths slower than Treluyer and 0.128 seconds faster than McNish in the R18 ultra.

A little surprisingly the honour of best LMP1 privateer went to JRM and Karun Chandhok, the Indian’s best time in the HPD ARX-03a more than a second faster than Danny Watts could manage in in Strakka Racing’s similar Honda powered prototype with the pair of Rebellion Racing Lola coupes a further half second slower.

Dominik Kraihamer for OAK Racing set the best time in LMP2 – though only by 0.002 seconds over Alex Brundle in the best of the two Greaves Motorsport Zytek-Nissan. Brundle Jr., sharing the car with father Martin and Lucas Ordonez as he did at Le Mans was the filling in a sandwich between the two Morgan badged OAK machines, Matthieu Lahaye the best man in the #24 car.

In total seven cars were covered by less than a second at the top of LMP2, Spa-Francorchamps winner Jota the first team on the outside looking in ahead of Sebring and Le Mans class winners Starworks Motorsport.

The session became an AF Corse benefit in the two GTE classes, the best time in GTE Pro going to Gianmaria Bruni in the #51 he shares with Giancarlo Fisichella, Andrea Bertolini piloting the #71 car to second in class. It was Marco Cioci who set the best time in the Am class for the AF CorseWaltrip squad, though his advantage at the top of the class was a slender 0.056 seconds over Stuart Hall in one of two works run Aston Martin Vantage in the class. That in contrast to the Pro category where Richard Lietz was the best non Ferrari, more than four tenths slower around the Silverstone GP track than Bruni.

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