Just as the floodlights lit up the Bahrian International Circuit, so too did Marcel Fässler this evening, as the Swiss ace set a scorching pace in the Audi R18 e-tron quattro he shares with André Lotterer and Benoît Tréluyer.
Fässler’s time of 1m42.133s was set after thirty minutes of the ninety minute and was never beaten to give a boost to Audi Sport Team Joest as they attempt to chase down the No.17 Porsche for the Drivers’ title.
Loic Duval ensured it was a 1-2 for the Ingolstadt marque tonight after the Frenchman set a 1m43.291s lap in the No.8 Audi R18 e-tron quattro.
Porsche Team appeared to be concentrating on perfecting race set-ups rather than an out-and-out qualifying run during the session. The No.17 Porsche 919 Hybrid headed the No.18 car, with the two separated by just under 0.2s. Brendon Hartley and Neel Jani set the times respectively this evening.
Toyota got closer to the pace in tonight’s running as Alex Wurz’s 1m43.931s lap in the No.2 Toyota TS 040 HYBRID got to within 0.4s of the fourth placed Porsche.
LMP2 saw the No.28 G-Drive Racing Ligier-Nissan had the times for almost all of the session. Pipo Derani set a rapid best of 1m50.029s to outpace the KCMG ORECA in which Nick Tandy’s best was seven tenths off the rookie Brazilian’s time. KCMG ended the session stopped at the side of the track after Matt Howson pulled the ORECA 05-Nissan off at turn twelve.
The Signatech Alpine driven by Tom Dillmann ended third this evening, while the title leading No.26 G-Drive Ligier-Nissan placed fourth, in the hands of Sam Bird.
In the LMP1 Privateer class the ByKolles CLM P1/01 got between the Rebellion Racing R-One-AER pair. Pierre Kaffer’s 1m49.200s was just under a second adrift of the No.12 Rebellion entry.
This evening’s session saw just a single Full Course Yellow after ten minutes when Khaled Al Qubaisi beached his Proton Porsche 911 RSR in the gravel at turn three.
Several cars were shown the black and white warning flag for persistent abuses of track limits at turn four. Among them were both of the Toyotas, the No.7 Audi and the KCMG ORECA.
LMGTE: FERRARI STILL OUT IN FRONT IN FREE PRACTICE 2
The first session of the weekend under the floodlights of the Bahrain International Circuit saw the status quo from the first session remain as the two AF Corse Ferrari 458s topped the LMGTE time sheets in Free Practice 2 with the no51 Ferrari leading the way once again.
Reigning GTE World Champion Toni Vilander set a 1m59.402 lap, just 0.084s ahead of the no71 458 of James Calado. This was the fastest LMGTE lap of the day and was just 0.6 seconds slower than last year’s pole position time of 1m58.805 set by Stefan Mücke and Darren Turner.
The no92 Porsche Team Manthey 911 of Patrick Pilet was 3rd quickest, the only other car to post a sub 2 minute lap during the 90-minute session. The Porsche was followed by the no95 and no99 Aston Martin Racing Vantages while the championship leader Richard Lietz in the no91 Porsche could only manage a best lap of 2m01.019 in 8th overall in LMGTE behind the no72 Ferrari and no77 Porsche.
In LMGTE Am the championship-leading no72 SMP Racing Ferrari 458 bounced back to the top of the time sheets with Andrea Bertolini posting a 2m00.866s lap, just 0.073s ahead of the no77 Dempsey Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR, with Patrick Long setting a 2m00.939 lap. The no50 Larbre Competition Chevrolet Corvette of Kristian Poulsen was 3rd quickest in the AM class.
The no98 Aston Martin Racing Vantage, which had posted the fastest lap in FP1, finished the second session in 5th place in class behind the no96 Aston Martin and ahead of the no88 Abu Dhabi Proton Racing Porsche.
SMP Racing’s only rivals in the championship, the no83 AF Corse Ferrari of François Perrodo, Emmanuel Collard and Rui Aguas could only manage a 2m03.525 lap, nearly three seconds adrift of their title rivals.
The third and final Free Practice session of the 2015 season will take place today at 11h00 and will give the teams the final opportunity to set the cars up ahead of qualifying for the Bapco 6 Hours of Bahrain at 17h00.