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Practice report

WEC Bahrain 6 Hours: Kobayashi puts #7 Toyota on top in FP2

Kamui Kobayashi led a 1-2 for Toyota in second practice for the penultimate round of the 2021 World Endurance Championship season in Bahrain.

#7 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota GR010 - Hybrid: Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi, Jose Maria Lopez

JEP / Motorsport Images

After Sebastien Buemi topped the timesheets in the #8 Toyota GR010 Hybrid on Thursday, Kobayashi struck back in FP2 on Friday morning to put the points-leading #7 car ahead of its main championship rival with a time of 1m49.063s.

The Japanese driver was quick out of the gates at the 5.4km circuit, clocking the fastest time of the weekend so far on his first flying lap at the beginning of the 90-minute session.

The #8 Toyota ended up only 0.030s behind the sister car, courtesy of a 1m49.093s flyer set by Buemi’s team-mate Brendon Hartley early on.

However, both these times were still seven second slower than what Toyota managed in the corresponding session in Bahrain last year, when the TS050 Hybrid made its farewell appearance in the WEC.

Alpine was again unable to match the two Toyotas up front, with Matthieu Vaxiviere managing a best time of 1m50.194s in the #36 A480-Gibson.

The gap between the lead Toyota and the sole Alpine doubled to 1.131s in FP2 after Nicolas Lapierre finished just over half a second behind Buemi in Thursday’s opening practice.

However, Toyota didn't exactly have a smooth session, with Buemi colliding with the #85 Iron Lynx Ferrari of Sarah Bovy at Turn 1 in the final 30 minutes, bringing out the sole red flag of the session.

In LMP2, Tom Blomqvist put the points-leading #28 JOTA ORECA on top with a time of 1m50.199s, leading the #22 United Autosports ORECA of Filipe Albuquerque by a massive eight tenths of a second.

The #31 Team WRT ORECA was third in the hands of Charles Milesi, while ARC Bratislava was classified fourth - and the best among the Pro-Am entrants - courtesy of Oliver Webb’s time of 1m51.382s in the #44 ORECA.

#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: Porsche Motorsport

Porsche maintained its lead over Ferrari in the GTE Pro division, with Kevin Estre clocking the quickest time in the #92 911 RSR-19.

Estre’s lap of 1m56.411s was just over two tenths faster than what Gianmaria Bruni managed in the sister #91 Porsche and nearly three seconds up on the lead Ferrari, the #51 AF Corse 488 GTE driven by James Calado.

Miguel Molina was last of the class runners in the #52 Ferrari.

The two AF Corse-run Ferrari GTE Pro entries have received a major Balance of Performance hit for the final two rounds of the season in Bahrain, robbing the car of 25bhp in comparison with the Monza race in July. The Italian marque claims these changes were made outside of the WEC’s auto BoP system, which applies to every round except the Le Mans 24 Hours.

Team Project 1 led the way in  GTE Am courtesy of Matteo Cairoli’s time of 1m58.015s in the #56 Porsche.

The #33 TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage finished second with Felipe Fraga at the wheel, while the top three was rounded by the Dempsey Proton team - with Matt Campbell setting the quickest time aboard the #77 Porsche.

The qualifying for WEC 6 Hours of Bahrain will be streamed live on Click here for more information

WEC Bahrain 6 Hours - FP2 results:

Cla # Drivers Car Class Time Gap
1 7 United Kingdom Mike Conway
Japan Kamui Kobayashi
Argentina Jose Maria Lopez
Toyota GR010 - Hybrid HYPERCAR 1'49.063  
2 8 Switzerland Sébastien Buemi
Japan Kazuki Nakajima
New Zealand Brendon Hartley
Toyota GR010 - Hybrid HYPERCAR 1'49.093 0.030
3 36 Brazil Andre Negrao
France Nicolas Lapierre
France Matthieu Vaxiviere
Alpine A480 HYPERCAR 1'50.194 1.131
4 28 Indonesia Sean Gelael
Belgium Stoffel Vandoorne
United Kingdom Tom Blomqvist
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'50.199 1.136
5 22 United Kingdom Philip Hanson
Switzerland Fabio Scherer
Portugal Filipe Albuquerque
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'50.979 1.916
6 31 Netherlands Robin Frijns
Austria Ferdinand Habsburg
France Charles Milesi
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'51.075 2.012
7 44 Slovakia Miro Konopka
United Kingdom Oliver Webb
India Kush Maini
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'51.382 2.319
8 20 Denmark Dennis Andersen
Denmark Anders Fjordbach
Poland Robert Kubica
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'51.493 2.430
9 34 Poland Jakub Smiechowski
Netherlands Renger van der Zande
United Kingdom Alex Brundle
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'51.595 2.532
10 21 Sweden Henrik Hedman
Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya
United Kingdom Ben Hanley
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'52.160 3.097
11 38 Mexico Roberto Gonzalez
Portugal Antonio Felix da Costa
United Kingdom Anthony Davidson
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'53.538 4.475
12 1 Germany Sophia Flörsch
Netherlands Beitske Visser
France Gabriel Aubry
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'53.919 4.856
13 70 Switzerland Esteban Garcia
France Loic Duval
France Norman Nato
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'54.308 5.245
14 92 France Kevin Estre
Switzerland Neel Jani
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 LMGTE PRO 1'56.411 7.348
15 29 Netherlands Frits van Eerd
Netherlands Giedo van der Garde
Netherlands Job Van Uitert
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'56.543 7.480
16 91 Italy Gianmaria Bruni
Austria Richard Lietz
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 LMGTE PRO 1'56.658 7.595
17 56 Norway Egidio Perfetti
Italy Matteo Cairoli
Italy Riccardo Pera
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 LMGTE AM 1'58.015 8.952
18 33 United States Ben Keating
Luxembourg Dylan Pereira
Brazil Felipe Fraga
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE AM 1'58.919 9.856
19 77 Germany Christian Ried
Australia Jaxon Evans
Australia Matt Campbell
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 LMGTE AM 1'59.020 9.957
20 51 Italy Alessandro Pier Guidi
United Kingdom James Calado
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 1'59.317 10.254
21 52 Brazil Daniel Serra
Spain Miguel Molina
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 1'59.486 10.423
22 47 Italy Roberto Lacorte
Italy Giorgio Sernagiotto
Italy Antonio Fuoco
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 1'59.970 10.907
23 777 Japan Satoshi Hoshino
Japan Tomonobu Fujii
United Kingdom Andrew Watson
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE AM 2'00.164 11.101
24 98 Canada Paul Dalla Lana
Brazil Augusto Farfus
Brazil Marcos Gomes
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE AM 2'00.392 11.329
25 83 France François Perrodo
Denmark Nicklas Nielsen
Italy Alessio Rovera
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 2'00.509 11.446
26 88 United Arab Emirates Khaled Al Qubaisi
Belgium Adrien de Leener
France Julien Andlauer
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 LMGTE AM 2'00.617 11.554
27 54 Switzerland Thomas Flohr
Italy Francesco Castellacci
Italy Giancarlo Fisichella
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 2'00.631 11.568
28 86 United Kingdom Michael Wainwright
United Kingdom Benjamin Barker
United Kingdom Tom Gamble
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 LMGTE AM 2'00.907 11.844
29 60 Italy Rino Mastronardi
Italy Andrea Piccini
Italy Matteo Cressoni
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 2'01.017 11.954
30 57 Japan Takeshi Kimura
Denmark Mikkel Jensen
Australia Scott Andrews
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 2'01.187 12.124
31 85 Switzerland Rahel Frey
Belgium Sarah Bovy
United Kingdom Katherine Legge
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 2'01.248 12.185

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