Toyota’s Alex Wurz recorded the fastest time in Thursday’s opening free practice sessions ahead of the eighth and final race of the 2013 World Endurance Championship, the Six Hours of Bahrain.
Wurz ended FP1 a full 1.425s faster than the quickest Audi, driven by Andre Lotterer. The No. 1 Audi had lagged 1.8s off the leader until the final minute of the hour and a half session, when Lotterer improved his time to a 1m44.617s.
The second Joest-run Audi of newly-crowned LMP1 champions Loic Duval, Tom Kristensen and Allan McNish ended the first session in third place ahead of the No. 8 Toyota, which suffered a problematic start to the weekend.
Anthony Davidson was at the wheel when the car reportedly encountered alternator trouble, which initially restricted his running to one installation lap. The fault kept the car in the pits for over a third of the session. The Davidson-led crew bounced back to set the pace in FP2.
In the night session it was the turn of the No. 7 Toyota to hit trouble. Nicolas Lapierre found the gravel at Turn 15 with 36 minutes remaining, bringing out the red flags. Only minor damage was sustained, and he was able to restart and return to the pits during the ten-minute stoppage period.
In GTE, the championship-leading Aston Martin pairing of Darren Turner and Stefan emerged quickest in FP1, thanks to Turner’s time of 1m59.565s.
Richard Lietz and Marc Lieb were quickest in FP2, ahead of the class-leading Aston, although the German pairing’s effort of 1m59.730s was 0.2s slower than Turner’s FP1 quickest lap.
The Oak car of Olivier Pla, David Heinemeier Hansson and Alex Brundle had the upper hand in LMP2 during the first session thanks to time of 1m52.389s.
Pecom Racing set the fastest LMP2 time of the day in FP2.
In GTE Am, the all-Danish piloted Aston Martin Vantage V8 of Christoffer Nygaard, Kristian Paulsen and Nicki Thiim led the way in FP1 ahead of the number 88 Proton Porsche. In FP2, the Matt Griffin/Emmanuel Collard/Francois Perrodo AF Corse Ferrari set the pace.