WEC Bahrain 8 Hours: Hartley puts #8 Toyota on top in opening practice

Brendon Hartley went quickest for Toyota in first practice for this weekend's eight-hour World Endurance Championship finale in Bahrain.

#8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota GR010 - Hybrid: Sebastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima, Brendon Hartley

The New Zealander's quickest lap of 1m48.490s aboard the #8 Toyota GR010 HYBRID gave him a margin of four tenths over the championship-leading #7 sister entry in the hands of Kamui Kobayashi.

Hartley set a total of three laps at the start of the 90-minutes session that were quicker than Kobayashi's 1m48.898s mark.

The Signatech-run Alpine-Gibson A480 was slowest of the three cars present in the Hypercar class for the Bahrain double-header that closes out this season.

Nicolas Lapierre was within a second of the pace in the grandfathered LMP1 car with a 1m49.479s.

Times for the cars in the Hypercar class were already quicker than in the corresponding session for last weekend's six-hour race in Bahrain.

The practice sessions for the penultimate round of the 2021 WEC were held during daylight when temperatures were higher, whereas Free Practice 1 for the Bahrain 8 Hours took place after the sun had fallen.

Only three of the eight hours of Saturday's race will take place during the day.

Swiss entrant Realteam led the way in LMP2, Norman Nato posting a 1m50.792s in its TDS Racing-run ORECA-Gibson 07.

The Frenchman ended up just three hundredths quicker than Tom Blomqvist's 1m50.820s in the best of the Jota ORECAs.

Giedo van der Garde took third in the Racing Team Nederland ORECA, also run by TDS, with a 1m51.008s, while Antonio Felix da Costa was fourth in the second Jota entry.

#92 Porsche GT TEAM Porsche 911 RSR - 19: Kevin Estre, Neel Jani

#92 Porsche GT TEAM Porsche 911 RSR - 19: Kevin Estre, Neel Jani

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

Porsche ended up 1-2 in GTE Pro, Neel Jani leading the way in the #92 Porsche 911 RSR run by the Manthey team. His 1m57.657s compared with Richard Lietz's 1m58.013s in the sister car.

Neither of the factory AF Corse-run Ferrari 488 GTE Evos hit the track until more than 30 minutes into the session and ended up over two seconds behind the pace-setting Porsche despite a late Balance of Performance change.

Miguel Molina posted a 2m00.631s and Alessandro Pier Guidi a 2m00.677s as they brought up the rear of the WEC field behind all the GTE Am cars.

Ferrari did not give a reason for the cars leaving the pits late.

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Augusto Farfus was quickest in GTE Am for the Prodrive-run Aston Martin Racing squad.

The Brazilian's 1m58.093s aboard the #98 Aston Martin Vantage GTE gave him a margin of two tenths over Matteo Cairoli in the Project 1 team's solo entry.

Practice of Saturday's Bahrain 8 Hours resumes at 9:00am local time on Friday.

WEC Bahrain 8 Hours - FP1 results:

Cla Drivers Car Class Laps Time Gap
1 Switzerland Sébastien Buemi
Japan Kazuki Nakajima
New Zealand Brendon Hartley
Toyota GR010 - Hybrid HYPERCAR 40 1'48.490  
2 United Kingdom Mike Conway
Japan Kamui Kobayashi
Argentina Jose Maria Lopez
Toyota GR010 - Hybrid HYPERCAR 36 1'48.898 0.408
3 Brazil Andre Negrao
France Nicolas Lapierre
France Matthieu Vaxiviere
Alpine A480 HYPERCAR 37 1'49.479 0.989
4 Switzerland Esteban Garcia
France Loic Duval
France Norman Nato
Oreca 07 LMP2 37 1'50.792 2.302
5 Indonesia Sean Gelael
Belgium Stoffel Vandoorne
United Kingdom Tom Blomqvist
Oreca 07 LMP2 33 1'50.820 2.330
6 Netherlands Frits van Eerd
Netherlands Giedo van der Garde
Netherlands Job Van Uitert
Oreca 07 LMP2 43 1'51.008 2.518
7 Mexico Roberto Gonzalez
Portugal Antonio Felix da Costa
United Kingdom Anthony Davidson
Oreca 07 LMP2 35 1'51.182 2.692
8 United Kingdom Philip Hanson
Switzerland Fabio Scherer
Portugal Filipe Albuquerque
Oreca 07 LMP2 29 1'51.192 2.702
9 Netherlands Robin Frijns
Austria Ferdinand Habsburg
France Charles Milesi
Oreca 07 LMP2 36 1'51.199 2.709
10 Poland Jakub Smiechowski
Netherlands Renger van der Zande
United Kingdom Alex Brundle
Oreca 07 LMP2 34 1'51.793 3.303
11 Denmark Dennis Andersen
Denmark Anders Fjordbach
Poland Robert Kubica
Oreca 07 LMP2 43 1'52.145 3.655
12 Colombia Tatiana Calderon
Germany Sophia Flörsch
Netherlands Beitske Visser
Oreca 07 LMP2 35 1'52.385 3.895
13 Sweden Henrik Hedman
Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya
United Kingdom Ben Hanley
Oreca 07 LMP2 28 1'53.252 4.762
14 Slovakia Miro Konopka
United Kingdom Olli Caldwell
France Nelson Panciatici
Oreca 07 LMP2 41 1'53.815 5.325
15 France Kevin Estre
Switzerland Neel Jani
Denmark Michael Christensen
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 LMGTE PRO 31 1'57.657 9.167
16 Italy Gianmaria Bruni
Austria Richard Lietz
France Frédéric Makowiecki
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 LMGTE PRO 39 1'58.013 9.523
17 Canada Paul Dalla Lana
Brazil Augusto Farfus
Brazil Marcos Gomes
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE AM 38 1'58.093 9.603
18 Norway Egidio Perfetti
Italy Matteo Cairoli
Italy Riccardo Pera
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 LMGTE AM 39 1'58.321 9.831
19 Italy Roberto Lacorte
Italy Giorgio Sernagiotto
Italy Antonio Fuoco
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 39 1'58.629 10.139
20 Japan Satoshi Hoshino
Japan Tomonobu Fujii
United Kingdom Andrew Watson
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE AM 39 1'58.697 10.207
21 France François Perrodo
Denmark Nicklas Nielsen
Italy Alessio Rovera
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 36 1'58.921 10.431
22 United States Ben Keating
Luxembourg Dylan Pereira
Brazil Felipe Fraga
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE AM 35 1'59.000 10.510
23 Switzerland Thomas Flohr
Italy Francesco Castellacci
Italy Giancarlo Fisichella
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 33 1'59.050 10.560
24 Germany Christian Ried
Australia Jaxon Evans
Australia Matt Campbell
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 LMGTE AM 29 1'59.339 10.849
25 United Arab Emirates Khaled Al Qubaisi
Zimbabwe Axcil Jefferies
France Julien Andlauer
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 LMGTE AM 38 1'59.552 11.062
26 Japan Takeshi Kimura
Denmark Mikkel Jensen
Australia Scott Andrews
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 37 1'59.723 11.233
27 Italy Claudio Schiavoni
Italy Andrea Piccini
Italy Matteo Cressoni
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 35 1'59.857 11.367
28 Switzerland Rahel Frey
Belgium Sarah Bovy
United Kingdom Katherine Legge
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 39 2'00.143 11.653
29 United Kingdom Michael Wainwright
United Kingdom Benjamin Barker
United Kingdom Tom Gamble
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 LMGTE AM 31 2'00.431 11.941
30 Brazil Daniel Serra
Spain Miguel Molina
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 19 2'00.631 12.141
31 Italy Alessandro Pier Guidi
United Kingdom James Calado
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 20 2'00.677 12.187

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