Competitors set off for the first free practice session in sunshine, but the clouds soon arrived and the air had already cooled considerably when the chequered flag ended the first free practice session.
Wed 29.08.12, 5:05PM
The Audi R18 e-tron quattro No.1, in the hands of double winners of the 24 Hours of Le Mans Marcel Fässler, André Lotterer and Benoit Treluyer set the fastest time with a lap of 1:45.777 by Treluyer. The Toyota TS030 - Hybrid No.7 of Alexander Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre and Kazuki Nakjima trailed by less than four tenths and set a time only 28 thousandths of a second faster than the Audi R18 ultra of Allan McNish and Tom Kristensen.
The privateer prototypes were led by the trio of David Brabham, Peter Dumbreck and Karun Chandhok in the JRM HPD - Honda with a lap of 1:46.491, less than four-tenths behind the Audi No.2 and eight-tenths off the fastest time of the session. The sister car of Strakka, driven by Danny Watts, Jonny Kane and Nick Leventis, had to settle for second place among the private teams with a time of 1:47.609.
In LMP2, the Morgan Nissans of OAK Racing were quick, with the No.35 driven by Dominik Kraihamer (1:51.561) and Matthieu Lahaye in the No.24 car. The German driver and his French team mate positioned the two cars in first and third place in class. Alex Brundle, son of former F1 driver Martin Brundle, put the Zytek-Nissan No.42 of Greaves Motorsports between two OAK cars.
The next practice session will take place this afternoon from 16:00 to 17:30.