WEC rookie test: Gustavo Menezes fastest in Porsche 919 Hybrid

New World Endurance Championship LMP2 title winner Gustavo Menezes was the fastest of the three rookies selected to test factory LMP1 machinery in Bahrain

The American, who won the P2 title earlier this month with Signatech Alpine team-mates Nicolas Lapierre and Stephane Richelmi, topped the times aboard a Porsche 919 Hybrid during the official WEC rookie test.

Menezes set a best time of 1m43.626s, which put him nearly three tenths up on Frenchman Paul-Loup Chatin, who was running in an Audi R18 e-tron.

Chatin posted a 1m43.910s before his run was curtailed after only nine laps by a front driveshaft failure on the #7 Audi that finished second in yesterday's WEC finale.

Pipo Derani, winner of the Daytona and Sebring IMSA SportsCar Championship enduros with Extreme Speed Motorsports earlier this year, ended up on a 1m44.292s aboard a Toyota TS050 HYBRID.

Menezes told Autosport: "Porsche prepared me very well and I felt I did well.

"I'm happy with my performance given that I had to adapt to a monster of a car in just 30 laps."

Porsche LMP1 team principal Andreas Seidl described Menezes' run as "impressive" and said he was "quickly up to speed".

Four-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner Yannick Dalmas also sampled the Porsche and the Toyota in his role as the WEC's special driver advisor, but was prevented from trying the Audi by its technical issues.

Williams Formula 1 developement driver Alex Lynn, who contested the final three WEC rounds for the Manor LMP2 team, was the quickest of eight drivers tried out by Aston Martin Racing.

The Briton set a 1m58.774s aboard one of the 2016-spec Vantage GTEs.

Ross Gunn, who raced with the Beechdean AMR Aston squad in this year's British GT Championship, was the second fastest of the Aston drivers.

He set a 1m59.292s, which was just one hundredth faster than GP2 race winner Jordan King.

Indy Lights driver Felix Serrales was the fastest of the LMP2 rookies in both the morning and afternoon session aboard the Jota-run G-Drive ORECA-Nissan 05.

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