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Neel Jani was on hand to give Porsche the advantage following the first day of free practice for the Bahrain 6 Hours, while champion-elects Anthony Davidson and Sebastien Buemi were a safe second best.
As the sun went down in the desert, Swiss racer Jani posted a best lap of 1min 43.375secs in the Porsche 919 Hybrid to give the German manufacturer a comfortable plus-second advantage over its competition.
Davidson and Buemi followed in second place for Toyota, the Anglo-Swiss pairing coming into the weekend knowing a mere fifth place finish will be enough for them to wrap up the drivers' title with a round to spare.
The #20 Porsche of Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernhard completed the top three, ahead of the leading Audi of Tom Kristensen, Loic Duval and Lucas di Grassi in the #1 R18 e-tron machine.
In the LMP1-L class, the Rebellion R-ONE of Nicolas Prost, Nick Heidfeld and Mathias Beche led the way for the privateer entries, while the Lotus – which features GP2 competitors Simon Trummer and Nathaneal Berthon this weekend – suffered a gearbox issue.
Roman Rusinov, Olivier Pla and Julien Canal set the pace in LMP2 for G-Drive Ligier Nissan, ahead of the #26 SMP Racing entry and the KCMG Oreca Nissan, while the GTE Am Aston Martin of Kristian Poulsen, David Heinemeier-Hansson and Nicki Thiim led the way in the GT category.