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Silverstone WEC: Porsche edges Audi and Toyota in first practice

The new World Endurance Championship challengers from Porsche, Audi and Toyota were separated by just over six tenths of a second in first practice for the Silverstone opener.

Marc Lieb topped the times in the best of the Porsche 919 Hybrids on a 1m44.042s, which put him four tenths clear of the fastest of Audi's latest R18 e-tron quattros in the hands of Loic Duval.

The quickest of the two Toyota TS040 HYBRIDs was third on a time just two tenths slower from Anthony Davidson.

The six factory entries, which blocked out the top positions at the end of the 90-minute session, were separated by just 1.1s.

The most eagerly-awaited sportscar season ever

Marcel Fassler ended up fourth in the second Audi, with Alex Wurz (Toyota) and Tim Bernhard (Porsche) filling fifth and sixth positions.

Lieb's time was eight tenths slower than the quickest time set in qualifying for last year's Silverstone WEC round.

The quickest of the two Rebellion Racing Lola-Toyota B12/60s, which the team have pressed into service after its new ORECA-built R-One was delayed, was only four tenths behind Bernhard in Nicolas Prost's hands.

The LMP2 class, which is fought out by just four cars this weekend after a series of withdrawals, was led by Roman Rusinov in the OAK Racing-run G-Drive Morgan-Nissan.

His time of 1m51.004s put him seven tenths clear of Nicolas Minassian in the fastest of the two AF-run SMP Racing ORECA-Nissans.

Patrick Pilet blitzed the GTE Pro field in his factory Porsche 911 RSR with a time more than a second clear of his nearest rival.

His fastest time of 1m58.981s compared with team-mate Marco Holezer's 2m00.455s lap in the sister car and next best Toni Vilander's time of 2m00.519s in the quickest of the two AF Corse Ferrari 458s.

Sam Bird was quickest on his sportscar debut in GTE Am aboard his AF Ferrari.

Pos Cl    Drivers                            Car                   Time       Gap
 1. P1    Dumas/Jani/Lieb                    Porsche               1m44.042s
 2. P1    Kristensen/Duval/di Grassi         Audi                  1m44.470s +0.428s
 3. P1    Davidson/Nicolas/Buemi             Toyota                1m44.661s +0.619s
 4. P1    Lotterer/Treluyer/Fassler          Audi                  1m44.717s +0.675s
 5. P1    Wurz/Sarrazin/Nakajima             Toyota                1m45.066s +1.024s
 6. P1    Bernhard/Webber/Hartley            Porsche               1m45.157s +1.115s
 7. P1    Heidfeld/Prost/Beche               Rebellion Lola-Toyota 1m45.593s +1.551s
 8. P1    Belicchi/Leimer/Kraihamer          Rebellion Lola-Toyota 1m46.418s +2.376s
 9. P2    Pla/Rusinov/Canal                  G-Drive Morgan-Nissan 1m51.004s +6.962s
10. P2    Minassian/Zlobin/Mediani           SMP ORECA-Nissan      1m51.743s +7.701s
11. P2    Bradley/Howson/Imperatori/Matsuda  KCMG ORECA-Nissan     1m52.330s +8.288s
12. P2    Ladygin/Ladygin/Shaitar            SMP ORECA-Nissan      1m52.538s +8.496s
13. GTE P Pilet/Bergmeister/Tandy            Manthey Porsche       1m58.981s +14.939s
14. GTE P Makowiecki/Holzer/Lietz            Manthey Porsche       2m00.455s +16.413s
15. GTE P Bruni/Vilander                     AF Corse Ferrari      2m00.519s +16.477s
16. GTE P Griffin/Parente                    Ram Ferrari           2m00.803s +16.761s
17. GTE A Rugolo/Wyatt/Bird                  AF Corse Ferrari      2m01.210s +17.168s
18. GTE P Calado/Rigon                       AF Corse Ferrari      2m01.279s +17.237s
19. GTE P Turner/Mucke                       Aston Martin          2m01.853s +17.811s
20. GTE A Bachler/Ried/Al Qubaisi            Proton Porsche        2m02.023s +17.981s
21. GTE A Cioci/Perez Companc/Venturi        AF Corse Ferrari      2m02.033s +17.991s
22. GTE P O'Young/MacDowall/Rees             Aston Martin          2m02.075s +18.033s
23. GTE A Potolicchio/Ruberti/Roda           8Star Ferrari         2m02.230s +18.188s
24. GTE A Collard/Perrodo/Vaxiviere          ProSpeed Porsche      2m02.444s +18.402s
25. GTE A Poulsen/Heinemeier/Stanaway/Thiim  Aston Martin          2m02.640s +18.598s
26. GTE A Dalla Lana/Lamy/Nygaard            Aston Martin          2m02.964s +18.922s
27. GTE A Mowlem/Collins/Patterson           Ram Ferrari           2m02.993s +18.951s

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