Anthony Davidson’s time from the first free practice session for the Six Hours of Sao Paulo was enough to give the lone Toyota TS030 Hybrid the fastest time on the first day of FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) running at Interlagos.
With Toyota’s involvement in the series trimmed to a single car for the rest of the season Davidson shares the #8 car with Sebastien Buemi and Stephane Sarrazin, but it was the Englishman’s lap of 1:21.881 that topped the first practice session by eight tenths of a second over Marcel Fassler’s lap in the #1 Audi R18 e-tron quattro.
The second session of the say was topped by Tom Kristensen, part of the #2 Audi crew of he, Allan McNish and Loic Duval that leads the drivers’ championship. However, the Dane’s best time (1:21.904) could not shift Davidson’s time from the position of the best of the day.
Andre Lotterer – who didn’t drive the #1 car during the first session was second fastest, his 1:22.056 comfortably faster than Fassler had achieved while the Toyota team were third fastest ahead of the #12 Rebellion Racing team of Nick Heidfeld, Nicolas Prost and Mathias Beche who are the only privateer entry in the LMP1 class.
Mike Conway overturned an OAK Racing 1-2 in the first session to claim the fastest time of the day in LMP2 for G-Drive Racing. Conway, who shares the car with John Martin and Roman Rusinov set a best time of 1:27.642 to push OAK Racing driver Bertrand Baguette back into second place. The top of the class times – in the second session at least was the preserve of the G-Drive and OAK teams, with the second G-Drive liveried Oreca-Nissan third fastest ahead of the #24 OAK Racing Morgan-Nissan that Olivier Pla had led the morning session in.
On that occasion it had been Martin Plowman second fastest in the #35 OAK car and Pierre Kaffer third for Pecom Racing. Rusinov was fourth fastest in the G-Drive Racing entry.
Aston Martin Racing led both the LMGTE Pro and Am classes in both sessions thanks to the same pair of drivers.
Darren Turner – who took the LMGTE Pro class pole for last year’s race – was the best of the factory drivers in the #97 he shares with Stefan Mucke for the weekend as all but one of the seven cars in the class have their driving staff cut to two. Turner’s nearest challengers during the day were Marc Lieb and Rob Bell in the first and second session respectively, Bell sealing an Aston Martin 1-2 in the faster session of the day in the class, though his lap was slower than the best efforts of both Turner and Mucke.
Lieb kept the Porsche AG Team Manthey #92 in touch with the Astons in third place. The fastest Ferrari driver of the day with Gianmaria Bruni, but his best time (1:34.230) was only enough to secure fifth fastest in the afternoon session.
Nicki Thiim – the new man in the Young Driver AMR #95 alongside Christoffer Nygaard and Kristian Poulsen – was fastest in both session in LMGTE Am, his best time of the day (1:34.775) matching those set by the men in the 2013 spec cars.