Austin WEC: Jarvis tops first practice session for Audi

Audi’s Oliver Jarvis led the way in the opening free practice session for Saturday’s 6 Hours of COTA, round six of the FIA World Endurance Championship in Austin.

Austin WEC: Jarvis tops first practice session for Audi

With the air temperature at over 34C and a track temp of 43C, Austin gave the WEC field a rather warm welcome. The battle at the top of the times followed the regular script, with Audi and Porsche trading blows as expected.

The #8 Audi set the initial pace on 1m48.617s, which Loic Duval – who shares with Jarvis and Lucas di Grassi – lowered to 1m48.550s with 20 mins to go. That lap was +0.272s quicker than the sister #7 car’s 1m48.889s at the time, which the returning Benoit Treluyer spun near the end of the session.

Points leader Neel Jani then unleashed the #2 Porsche’s potential. In a relentless stint, he rose to P3 on 1m49.056s, then to P2 with a lap of 1m48.817s, and then P1 on 1m48.500s, topping Duval by 0.05s.

In the closing moments, however, Jarvis beat that by 0.047s with a 1m48.453s. It meant the pecking order was set: Audi-Porsche-Audi-Porsche.

Timo Bernhard was fourth fastest in the #1 Porsche with a lap of 1m49.248s, three quarters of a second off the pace.

Toyota took its customary fifth and sixth spots, with the #6 ahead of the #5 by three tenths thanks to a late lap from Mike Conway. That put him within 0.9s the pace of Toyota’s factory LMP1 rivals.

In LMP2, the pacesetting #26 G-Drive Oreca – crewed by Rene Rast, Alex Brundle and Roman Rusinov – led the way as usual, ahead of the #35 Signatech Alpine, the #44 Manor Oreca and the #36 points-leading Signatech.

Ford led the way in GTE Pro, with #66 Ford GT of Stefan Mucke/Olivier Pla setting a late 2m05.457s to pip the #51 488 of Gianmaria Bruni/James Calado by a tenth.

There was a 5-minute stop/go penalty for the sister #71 AF Corse Ferrari of Sam Bird and Davide Rigon for exceeding track limits too many times.

It was a troubled session for the points-leading #97 Aston, as Fernando Rees stopped out on track after Darren Turner went off at Turn 1 in the early stages of the session.

In GTE Am, the #50 Larbre Corvette was fastest in Pierre Ragues’ hands. The car has featured a late driver change, with Lars Viljoen replacing Yutaka Yamagishi in a line-up that also features Ricky Taylor.

WEC 2016 Austin FP1

PosDriversCarTimeGap
1   Lucas di Grassi 
  Loic Duval 
  Oliver Jarvis 
Audi R18 1'48.453  
2   Romain Dumas 
  Neel Jani 
  Marc Lieb 
Porsche 919 Hybrid 1'48.500 0.047
3   Andre Lotterer 
  Marcel Fassler 
  Benoit Tréluyer 
Audi R18 1'48.889 0.436
4   Mark Webber 
  Timo Bernhard 
  Brendon Hartley 
Porsche 919 Hybrid 1'49.248 0.795
5   Stéphane Sarrazin 
  Kamui Kobayashi 
  Mike Conway 
Toyota TS050 Hybrid 1'49.361 0.908
6

  Kazuki Nakajima 
  Sébastien Buemi 

  Anthony Davidson

Toyota TS050 Hybrid 1'49.709 1.256
7   Alexandre Imperatori 
  Dominik Kraihamer 
  Matheo Tuscher 
Rebellion R-One 1'54.479 6.026
8   Simon Trummer 
  Oliver Webb 
  Pierre Kaffer 
CLM P1/01 1'56.117 7.664
9   Roman Rusinov 
  René Rast 
  Alex Brundle 
Oreca 05 1'57.000 8.547
10   Nelson Panciatici 
  Ho-Pin Tung 
  David Cheng 
Alpine A460 1'57.613 9.160
11   Richard Bradley 
  Matthew Rao 
   Roberto Merhi 
Oreca 05 1'57.647 9.194
12   Nicolas Lapierre 
  Gustavo Menezes 
  Stéphane Richelmi 
Alpine A460 1'57.999 9.546
13   Pipo Derani 
  Ryan Dalziel 
  Chris Cumming 
Ligier JS P2 1'58.753 10.300
14   Nick Leventis 
  Jonny Kane 
  Lewis Williamson 
Gibson 015S 1'58.811 10.358
15   Scott Sharp 
  Ed Brown 
  Johannes van Overbeek 
Ligier JS P2 1'59.020 10.567
16   Bruno Senna 
  Ricardo Gonzalez 
  Filipe Albuquerque 
Ligier JS P2 1'59.895 11.442
17   Vitaly Petrov 
  Viktor Shaytar 
  Kirill Ladygin 
BR01 1'59.951 11.498
18   Maurizio Mediani 
  Nicolas Minassian 
BR01 2'00.127 11.674
19   Stefan Mücke 
  Olivier Pla 
Ford GT 2'05.457 17.004
20   Gianmaria Bruni 
  James Calado 
Ferrari 488 GTE 2'05.560 17.107
21   Sam Bird 
  Davide Rigon 
Ferrari 488 GTE 2'05.823 17.370
22   Marco Sorensen 
  Nicki Thiim 
Aston Martin Vantage V8 2'06.634 18.181
23   Richard Lietz 
  Michael Christensen 
Porsche 911 RSR (2016) 2'06.899 18.446
24   Harry Tincknell 
  Andy Priaulx 
  Marino Franchitti 
Ford GT 2'07.224 18.771
25   Pierre Ragues 
  Ricky Taylor 
  Lars Viljoen  
Chevrolet Corvette C7-Z06 2'07.412 18.959
26   Darren Turner 
  Fernando Rees 
Aston Martin Vantage V8 2'07.518 19.065
27   David Heinemeier Hansson
  Kevin Estre 
  Khaled Al Qubaisi 
Porsche 911 RSR 2'07.843 19.390
28   Michael Wainwright 
  Adam Carroll 
  Ben Barker 
Porsche 911 RSR 2'08.374 19.921
29   François Perrodo 
  Emmanuel Collard 
  Rui Aguas 
Ferrari F458 Italia 2'08.636 20.183
30   Christian Ried 
  Wolf Henzler 
  Joel Camathias 
Porsche 911 RSR 2'09.064 20.611
31   Pedro Lamy 
  Paul Dalla Lana 
  Mathias Lauda 
Aston Martin Vantage V8 2'09.113 20.660
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