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Endurance: Audi on top in Texas

The first two practice sessions of the American round of the FIA World Endurance Championship were held Thursday at Circuit of the Americas near Austin, Texas.

LMP1/LMP2
FREE PRACTICE 1: At the end of the 90-minute session the No. 2 Audi R18 of 24 Hours of Le Mans winners Benoit Treluyer, Marcel Fassler and Andre Lotterer was the quickest car with a 1m51.136, 0.187s faster than their teammates in the No. 1 R18.

The fastest lap is 3.6 seconds slower than last year’s pole time of 1m47.520 but there are still two more practice sessions before qualifying tomorrow.

FREE PRACTICE 2: After a delayed start due to heavy rain the cars had to cope with tricky track conditions under the floodlights. The No. 8 Toyota TS040 of Anthony Davidson snatched the top spot at the chequered flag with a lap of 2m01.333, 1.568s ahead of the No. 1 Audi R18 of Tom Kristensen.

The two Audi’s were split by the No. 7 Toyota, with the No. 20 Porsche 919 of Mark Webber, Timo Bernard and Brendon Hartley in 5th, 6 seconds behind the fastest Toyota.

WEC Toyota TS040 No 8 Austin, Texas
The No. 8 Toyota TS040 (Photo: wec.com)

LMGTE
FREE PRACTICE 1: Aston Martin Racing shone brightly in the 90-minute session, with Darren Turner in the LMGTE Pro No. 97 Vantage V8 putting in a last minute lap of 2m06.399 to top the time sheets in the two GTE categories.

Setting the time just before the chequered flag fell and temperatures dropped (with a sprinkling of rain), he displaced his Aston Martin Racing LMGTE Am team mates from the No.95 entry.

FREE PRACTICE 2: Porsche’s two 911 RSR ended the session at the head of the timesheets in the LMGTE Pro category, Fred Makowiecki in the No. 92 having set a best lap of 2:17.588.

Until the final minutes of the session it had been a 1-2 for Porsche Team Manthey, Nick Tandy in the No. 91 behind his team mate. However, AF Corse’s Gianmaria Bruni in the No.51 Ferrari 458 Italia broke up the pairing with a lap of 2m18.195. The only red flag of the session came just 15 minutes after the start in order to clear a stranded No. 71 Ferrari from the side of the track.