The first track session of the 2015 6 Hours of Shanghai weekend ended with the no7 Audi Sport R18 e-tron quattro as the quickest car in the 90-minute session. The 1m45.707 lap was set by Andre Lotterer early on in the session, which was 1.3seconds than the quickest time set in qualifying at last year’s event.
The no8 Audi of Lucas di Grassi, Oliver Jarvis and Loic Duval was second fastest, with di Grassi setting a 1m46.352 lap, 0.645s behind their teammates and 0.167s ahead of the championship leading no17 Porsche 919 hybrid of Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernhard.
In LMP2 the no47 KCMG Oreca 05 was the fastest in the class, the Hong Kong based team throwing down the gauntlet to their rivals G-Drive Racing in the first session of their home event. Richard Bradley set a 1m55.069 lap in the Nissan powered ORECA, just 0.077s ahead of the championship leading no26 G-Drive Racing Ligier and 0.256s ahead of the no36 Signatech Alpine, which was 3rd quickest in the 90-minute session.
Patrick Pilet driving the No.92 Porsche Team Manthey entry claimed the bets time with a 2m04.785s lap around the 5.451 kilometre circuit. The Frenchman set the time early in the session and was never headed. Richard Lietz came close to Pilet’s best but his best was 0.7s shy of the sister Porsche 911 RSR which has proved to be the benchmark ever since the 6 Hours of Nurburgring.
After trailing the two Audi R18s in the first 90-minute Free Practice session for the 6 Hours of Shanghai earlier today, the two Porsche 919 Hybrids returned to the top of the timing screens this afternoon, with the no17 Porsche of Mark Webber, Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley posting the quickest time of the day. The 1m45.111 lap, posted by Webber early in the session, was over 2 seconds quicker than the current lap record, a 1m47.442 lap set by Allan McNish in 2013. The Australian’s lap was also 0.240s ahead of his teammates, Neel Jani, Marc Lieb and Romain Dumas in the no18 919 Hybrid.
The two Audi R18s were 3rd and 4th on the timesheets with the no8 Audi of Duval, di Grassi and Jarvis improving the best time in the morning session by 0.8 seconds to finish the afternoon with a best lap of 1m45.930, 0.157s ahead of the no7 R18 of Lotterer, Fässler and Treluyer. The two Toyotas were once again 5th and 6th fastest with the no2 TS040 HYBRID ahead of the no1 Toyota by 0.5 seconds.
In LMP2 the no47 KCMG ORECA 05-Nissan set the pace once again with a 1m54.185s lap set by Nick Tandy, an improvement of nearly one second on the morning session and a tenth of a second ahead of the no36 Signatech Alpine of Nelson Panciatici, Paul-Loup Chatin and WEC newcomer Tom Dillmann.
The afternoon session was significantly quicker than this morning’s, and James Calado set an LMGTE Pro best of 2m03.028s to lead the way in the No.71 Ferrari 458 Italia. Calado, who shares the car with Davide Rigon, hooked up a fine lap to lead team mate and championship rival Toni Vilander who posted a 2m03.947 tour.