Bahrain WEC: Buemi leads Conway in first practice

Gary Watkins
·4-min read

Sebastien Buemi posted a 1m43.457s immediately after a red flag right at the start of the 90-minute session.

His lap eclipsed the 1m43.949s set by Mike Conway in the #7 Toyota TS050 Hybrid shortly before FP1 was briefly stopped.

The 0.54s penalty carried by the #8 car reflects the slender championship lead for Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Brendon Hartley going into Saturday's eight-hour race.

The LMP2 order was topped by Giedo van der Garde in the Racing Team Nederland Oreca. His time of 1m47.955s put him nearly two tenths up on the Signatech Alpine Oreca in which Andre Negrao recorded a 1m48.126s.

Third-fastest was the JOTA Sport Oreca on 1m48.303s. The time from Antonio Felix da Costa set at the of the session improved on teammate Anthony Davidson's earlier best for the car by two hundredths.

The United Autosports squad that sealed the class championship with victory at Le Mans was fourth fastest with Paul di Resta.

Aston Martin went to the top of the timesheets in GTE Pro in the closing minutes of the session.

Maxime Martin recorded a 1m56.560s in the #97 Aston Martin Vantage GTE he is sharing with Ricard Westbrook after Alex Lynn was ruled out of the Bahrain event following a positive COVID-19 test.

Porsche's Richard Lietz, who set a 1m57.177s at the start of the 90 minutes, was pushed down to second by Martin's improvement. The second of the factory Porsche 911 RSRs took third in the times with a 1m57.218s from Michael Christensen.

Nicki Thiim ended fourth in the second of the Aston Martins on 1m57.508s.

The best of the AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE Evos was more than two seconds off the pace on a 1m58.571s from James Calado.

The GTE Am class was led by Ross Gunn in the factory-run #98 Vantage. His 1m57.666s set at the beginning of the session was almost equaled by Ben Barker's 1m57.688s in the Gulf Racing UK Porsche late in the session.

Free practice resumes with the second of the three sessions at 9:00am local time on Friday, with qualifying beginning at 6:00pm.

FP1 results:

1

8

SUI
SUI

 Sebastien Buemi
 Kazuki Nakajima
 Brendon Hartley

JPN
JPN
NZL
NZL

Toyota TS050 Hybrid

LMP1

1'43.457

 

2

7

GBR
GBR

 Mike Conway
 Kamui Kobayashi
 Jose Maria Lopez

JPN
JPN
ARG
ARG

Toyota TS050 Hybrid

LMP1

1'43.949

0.492

3

29

HOL
HOL

 Frits van Eerd
 Giedo van der Garde
 Nyck de Vries

HOL
HOL
HOL
HOL

Oreca 07

LMP2

1'47.955

4.498

4

36

FRA
FRA

 Thomas Laurent
 André Negrão
 Pierre Ragues

BRA
BRA
FRA
FRA

Alpine A470

LMP2

1'48.126

4.669

5

38

MEX
MEX

 Roberto Gonzalez
 Antonio Felix da Costa
 Anthony Davidson

POR
POR
GBR
GBR

Oreca 07

LMP2

1'48.303

4.846

6

22

GBR
GBR

 Philip Hanson
 Filipe Albuquerque
 Paul di Resta

POR
POR
GBR
GBR

Oreca 07

LMP2

1'48.471

5.014

7

37

CHN
CHN

 Ho-Pin Tung
 Gabriel Aubry
 Will Stevens

FRA
FRA
GBR
GBR

Oreca 07

LMP2

1'48.776

5.319

8

47

ITA
ITA

 Roberto Lacorte
 Andrea Belicchi
 Giorgio Sernagiotto

ITA
ITA
ITA
ITA

Dallara P217

LMP2

1'53.817

10.360

9

97

GBR
GBR

 Richard Westbrook
 Maxime Martin

BEL
BEL

Aston Martin Vantage AMR

LMGTE PRO

1'56.560

13.103

10

91

ITA
ITA

 Gianmaria Bruni
 Richard Lietz

AUT
AUT

Porsche 911 RSR - 19

LMGTE PRO

1'57.177

13.720

11

92

DEN
DEN

 Michael Christensen
 Kevin Estre

FRA
FRA

Porsche 911 RSR - 19

LMGTE PRO

1'57.218

13.761

12

95

DEN
DEN

 Marco Sørensen
 Nicki Thiim

DEN
DEN

Aston Martin Vantage AMR

LMGTE PRO

1'57.508

14.051

13

98

CAN
CAN

 Paul Dalla Lana
 Richard Westbrook
 Ross Gunn

GBR
GBR
GBR
GBR

Aston Martin Vantage AMR

LMGTE AM

1'57.666

14.209

14

86

GBR
GBR

 Michael Wainwright
 Alessio Picariello
 Ben Barker

BEL
BEL
GBR
GBR

Porsche 911 RSR

LMGTE AM

1'57.688

14.231

15

57

USA
USA

 Ben Keating
 Dylan Pereira
 Jeroen Bleekemolen

LUX
LUX
HOL
HOL

Porsche 911 RSR

LMGTE AM

1'58.027

14.570

16

51

GBR
GBR

 James Calado
 Daniel Serra

BRA
BRA

Ferrari 488 GTE EVO

LMGTE PRO

1'58.571

15.114

17

56

NOR
NOR

 Egidio Perfetti
 Larry ten Voorde
 Jörg Bergmeister

HOL
HOL
GER
GER

Porsche 911 RSR

LMGTE AM

1'58.657

15.200

18

90

TUR
TUR

 Salih Yoluc
 Charlie Eastwood
 Jonathan Adam

IRL
IRL
GBR
GBR

Aston Martin Vantage AMR

LMGTE AM

1'58.801

15.344

19

71

ITA
ITA

 Davide Rigon
 Miguel Molina

ESP
ESP

Ferrari 488 GTE EVO

LMGTE PRO

1'58.832

15.375

20

77

GER
GER

 Christian Ried
 Riccardo Pera
 Dennis Olsen

ITA
ITA
NOR
NOR

Porsche 911 RSR

LMGTE AM

1'59.045

15.588

21

83

FRA
FRA

 François Perrodo
 Emmanuel Collard
 Nicklas Nielsen

FRA
FRA
DEN
DEN

Ferrari 488 GTE EVO

LMGTE AM

1'59.100

15.643

22

54

SUI
SUI

 Thomas Flohr
 Francesco Castellacci
 Giancarlo Fisichella

ITA
ITA
ITA
ITA

Ferrari 488 GTE EVO

LMGTE AM

1'59.615

16.158

23

62

GBR
GBR

 Bonamy Grimes
 Kei Cozzolino
 Colin Noble

JPN
JPN
GBR
GBR

Ferrari 488 GTE EVO

LMGTE AM

1'59.728

16.271

24

88

UAE
UAE

 Khaled Al Qubaisi
 Jaxon Evans
 Marco Holzer

AUS
AUS
GER
GER

Porsche 911 RSR

LMGTE AM

2'00.062

16.605