Manama, Toyota Gazoo Racing shone brightest under lights this evening as they set a blistering pace in the second World Endurance Championship (WEC) practice session in the Bapco Energies 8 Hours of Bahrain at Bahrain International Circuit (BIC).
Toyota’s #7 crew of Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez maintained their impressive form in their Toyota GR010 Hybrid and led teammates Sebastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley and Ryo Hirakawa in the #8 Hybrid to the top of the timesheets.
The Toyota pair were also in first and second place on the practice one classification held earlier today.
Kobayashi-Conway-Lopez clocked a best lap time of one minute 46.851 seconds in the dry 90-minute session. They were more than three seconds quicker than their best mark from the rain-hit first practice.
Buemi-Hartley-Hirakawa were 0.461 seconds off the pace, while Cadillac Racing’s #2 crew of Earl Bamber, Alexander Lynn and Richard Westbrook were third overall in their Cadillac V-Series.R Hybrid.
Hertz Team JOTA’s #38 Porsche 963 ranked fourth overall and also amongst the Hypercars, while Porsche Penske Motorsport’s #6 car was fifth, with Peugeot TotalEnergies’ #94 Peugeot 9X8 in sixth.
Seventh through 12th, respectively, in the WEC’s top-tier category were Proton Competition’s #99 Porsche 963, Peugeot TotalEnergies’ #93 crew, Porsche Penske’s #5 crew, the #50 and #51 contenders of Ferrari AF Corse, and Floyd Vanwall Racing Team’s #4 Vanwall Vandervell 680.
Leading the LMP2 class once again were United Autosports’ #22 trio of Frederick Lubin, Philip Hanson and Filipe Albuquerque. They clocked a best lap of 1:52.850, with Prema Racing and Alpine Elf Team trailing behind them.
Amongst the LMGTE Am cars, Kessel Racing’s #57 crew of Takeshi Kimura, Esteban Masson and Daniel Serra topped their category. They had a fastest lap of 1:58.246 in their Ferrari 488 GTE Evo. GR Racing and Project 1-AO followed in class.
The 36-car WEC field of Hybrids and sportscars returns to the tarmac on Friday with a 60-minute third practice scheduled for a 12noon start, to be followed later in the afternoon by qualifying at 4.15pm.
The WEC’s three classes will be out on track in separate qualifying sessions, starting with the LMGTE Am class. The LMP2 runners will go out next and then the Hypercar contenders will battle for pole.
This year’s Bapco Energies 8 Hours of Bahrain marks the 12th time the WEC is racing in Sakhir. Saturday’s main event is the fifth time the Kingdom’s WEC race is taking place in its current eight-hour format.
De Haan maintains leading form in Porsche Carrera Cup FP2
Robert De Haan kept up his strong performance in the second practice of this weekend’s first round in the 2023/2024 Porsche Carrera Cup Middle East, being held in support of the Bapco Energies 8 Hours of Bahrain.
After topping the timesheet in the first 45-minute session, De Haan didn’t let up as the floodlights lit up BIC this early evening.
The Dutchman had a best lap time of 2:02.284 seconds to lead a one-two for Central Europe Racing. Teammate and compatriot Flynt Schuring followed 0.496 seconds behind, while German Colin Boenighausen of Fire Racing completed the top three overall and in the PCCME’s Pro category 0.887s off De Haan’s pace.
Saudi Arabia’s Khaled Alahmdi of Saudi Racing was quickest amongst the ProAm runners with a fastest lap of 2:03.689, while Italian Sebastian Gorga of R1SE Motorsport led the Am category with a quickest time of 2:04.258.
Bahrain’s Shaikh Jaber bin Ali Al Khalifa followed in the Am rankings for One% team.
The PCCME field returns to action on Friday morning for qualifying, scheduled for an 11.10am start, while race one will be held later in the day at 6pm. The WEC weekend's second PCCME race takes place on Saturday.
Source: Bahrain News Agency