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Less than two weeks after its cars were forced into major rebuild due to crashes at Silverstone, Audi have bounced back by going quickest in first free practice for round two of the World Endurance Championship, the Spa 6 Hours.
After a lengthy session led almost entirely by Toyota, the Audi R18 e-tron of Loic Duval would snatch the top spot in the closing stages with a time of 2mins 15.143secs, just three tenths up on the Toyota TS040 Hybrid of Alex Wurz, Stephane Sarrazin and Kazuki Nakajima.
Winner last time out at Silverstone, the Toyota of Anthony Davidson, Nicolas Lapierre and Sebastien Buemi was just five hundredths further back in third place, with the second of the three-strong Audi contingent in fourth place, headed up by Benoit Treluyer.
Porsche came in fifth and sixth best with its 919 Hybrid, with the third entrant for Audi this weekend – led by Marco Bonanomi and Filipe Albuquerque – seventh best. Meanwhile, Rebellion Racing gave its new R-ONE LMP1 a run out, but while one failed to set a lap time, the other turned in a handful of laps en route to tenth overall.
In the LMP2 class, the SMP Oreca Nissans were quickest, headed by Nicolas Minassian, while the GT class was headed up by the GTE Am Prospeed Porsche, the Belgian team making the most of its local knowledge to usurp the Pro cars.