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Endurance: Audi on top in Texas

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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.