Audi leads first WEC practice in Austin

Le Mans 24 Hours winners Andre Lotterer, Benoit Treluyer and Marcel Fassler set the pace in first free practice as the FIA World Endurance Championship fired back into action at the Circuit of the Americas following a three month break.

The fourth round of the eight-event season, the 'Lone Star' race opened up with a 90min free practice session with Audi emerging in front of its Porsche and Toyota rivals, the No.2 and No.1 machines separated by just two tenths of a second.

Returning to action following its impressive success at Le Mans, the two Audi R18 entries enjoyed an eight and six tenths advantage over the third place Porsche of Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernhard, the trio ending up third having led the session for a time.

The championship leading #8 Toyota of Anthony Davidson, Sebastien Buemi and Nicolas Lapierre fronted the Japanese firm's challenge in fourth, ahead of the sister #7 car of Alex Wurz, Stephane Sarrazin and Mike Conway, the latter making his debut with the team this weekend in place of the Super Formula-committed Kazuki Nakajima.

Behind the leading LMP1-H runners, Rebellion Racing headed up the LMP1-L order with the #12 car of Formula E rivals Nicolas Prost and Nick Heidfeld, but the #13 machine managed just three laps en route to 11th. The new Lotus LMP1 entry, meanwhile, notched up 11 laps and was ten seconds off the leading pace.

In the LMP2 class, the wild-card Extreme Speed Motorsports HPD-Honda was quickest from the G-Drive Morgan and KCMG Oreca, while the LM GT classes were headed up by a trio of Aston Martins, the GTE Pro Vantage V8 of Stefan Mucke and Darren Turner leading the factory GTE Am machines

Results

1. Fassler/Lotterer/Treluyer GER Audi Sport Joest R18 e-tron 1m 51.136s LMP1
2. Kristensen/Duval/di Grassi GER Audi Sport Joest R18 e-tron 1m 51.323s LMP1
3. Webber/Hartley/Bernhard GER Porsche 919 Hybrid 1m 51.919s LMP1
4. Davidson/Lapierre/Buemi JPN Toyota TS040 Hybrid 1m 52.405s LMP1
5. Wurz/Sarrazin/Conway JPN Toyota TS040 Hybrid 1m 52.657s LMP1
6. Dumas/Jani/Lieb GER Porsche 919 Hybrid 1m 53.020s LMP1
7. Prost/Heidfeld/Beche SUI Rebellion R-ONE Toyota 1m 57.627s LMP1-L
8. Sharp/Dalziel/Brown USA ESM HPD ARX 03b Honda 1m 58.111s LMP2
9. Rusinov/Pla/Canal RUS G-Drive Morgan Nissan 1m 59.209s LMP2
10. Howson/Bradley/Matsuda HKG KCMG Oreca 03 Nissan 1m 59.383s LMP2
11. Leimer/Belicchi/Kraihamer SUI Rebellion Lola B/12 Toyota 1m 59.609s LMP1-L
12. Minassian/Zlobin/Mediani RUS SMP Oreca 03 Nissan 1m 12.470s LMP2
13. Ladygin/Ladygin/Shaitar RUS SMP Oreca 03 Nissan 2m 01.075s LMP2
14. Rossiter/Bouchut/Auer ROM Lotus CLM P1/01 AER 2m 01.942 LMP1-L
15. Turner/Mucke GBR Aston Martin Racing Vantage V8 2m 06.339s GTE Pro
16. Poulsen/Heinemeier/Stanaway GBR Aston Martin Racing Vantage V8 2m 06.427s GTE Am
17. Dalla Lana/Lamy/Nygaard GBR Aston Martin Racing Vantage V8 2m 06.770s GTE Am
18. Bruni/Vilander ITA AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia 2m 06.806s GTE Pro
19. Lietz/Bergmeister/ GER Porsche Team Manthay 911 2m 07.338s GTE Pro
20. Pilet/Makowiecki/ GER Porsche Team Manthay 911 2m 07.580s GTE Pro
21. Taylor/Taylor/Milner USA Chevrolet Corvette C7.R 2m 07.775s GTE Pro
22. Rigon/Calado ITA AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia 2m 07.904s GTE Pro
23. Macdowall/O'Young/Rees GBR Aston Martin Racing Vantage V8 2m 08.094s GTE Pro
24. Segal/Roda/Ruberti USA 8 Star Ferrari F458 Italia 2m 08.392s GTE Am
25. Wyatt/Rugolo/Bertolini ITA AF Corse Ferrari F458 Italia 2m 08.556s GTE Am
26. Perez/Cioci/Venturi ITA AF Corse Ferrari F458 Italia 2m 08.637s GTE Am
27. Perrodo/Collard/Vaxiviere GER Prospeed Porsche 911 GT3 RSR 2m 08.788s GTE Am
28. Krohn/Jonsson/Collins USA Krohn Ferrari F458 Italia 2m 09.064s GTE Am
29. Ried/Bachler/Al Qubaisi GER Proton Porsche 911 GT3 RSR 2m 09.414s GTE Am

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