Kamui Kobayashi of the #7 Toyota GR010 was fastest in the second free practice session for the FIA World Endurance Championship’s 8 Hours of Bahrain season finale on Saturday 4 November.

The opening free practice session featured heavy disruption due to a sandstorm, which provoked high speed wind conditions, followed by a rare case of rain at the Bahrain International Circuit.

FP2 ran smoother by comparison for its 1-hour and 30-minute duration, again hosting valuable track time for the 37-car field ahead of the final eight hours of racing.

It took place from 5.30pm local time, replicating the evening and night conditions during the latter part of the race.

The venue utilises various flood lights around the circuit, so the drop in ambient and track temperatures will become a more prominent challenge to the teams, rather than limited night visibility as seen at the 1000 Miles of Sebring or the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

A yellow flag was held at Turn 1 moments after the session got underway, owing to the majority of the field across the three categories who exited the pitlane together.

During the first 30 minutes of running, both Toyota GR010 Hybrids set the pace at the front, as United Autosports did so in LMP2, although followed closely by both Prema Racing Oreca 07s.

Continuing from FP1, the focus for everyone was about turning out laps through longer runs in preparation for the race, where tyre management will be a crucial factor towards a successful race result.

Vanwall initially seemed unable to match the pace of their Hypercar competitors, and were situated behind the top-three of the LMP2 category during the first 40 minutes, before Esteban Guerrieri put the Vandervell 680 behind the two Ferrari 499Ps.

The GTE-Am field ran closely with one another, as the three main manufacturers (excluding the Corvette C8.R) occupied the top-three in the opening half of FP2.

A full course yellow was deployed for four and a half minutes, carried out as a precaution.

Shortly after the FCY was cleared, Gunnar Jeannette of the #56 Project 1 AO Racing Porsche 911 RSR GTE went off on the exit of Turn 15, which prompted a red flag with 30 minutes remaining.

The track returned to green flag conditions with 20 minutes left in FP2, although an extended 10 minutes of running was added to account for the red flag.

By the end, it was a Toyota 1-2 at the front with the #7 GR010 ahead of the sibling Hypercar once again.

Kobayashi continued his form as the fastest in FP2 with a lap time of 1.46.851 ahead of Brendon Hartley’s 1:47.312.

The #2 Cadillac Racing V Series.R was in third position with a fastest lap time of 1:47.690 set by Alex Lynn.

Will Stevens in the #38 JOTA Porsche 963 occupied fourth when he set a 1:47.992.

Rounding off the top-five was the #6 Porsche Penske Motorsport entry courtesy to a 1:48.427 set by Kevin Estre.

In the LMP2 class, the #22 United Autosports Oreca 07 was quickest after Filipe Albuquerque drove a 1:52.850.

Prema Racing’s #63 car took second as DTM-runner up Mirko Bortolotti set a 1:53.175.

Alpine’s #36 entry took third as Charles Milesi ran a 1:53.180, ahead of the #9 Prema which was fourth with credit to Bent Viscaal’s 1:53.423.

The top-five in LMP2 was completed by the #34 Inter Europol Competition team who need to win the race (and the #41 Team WRT is positioned ninth or lower) in order to fulfill a chance with a championship win as well as their Centenary Le Mans victory.

Fabio Scherer was the quickest driver in the #34 with a time of 1:53.517.

Kessel Racing were fastest in GTE-Am in their #57 Ferrari 488 GTE, after Ferrari GT works driver Daniel Serra completed a time of 1:58.246.

Riccardo Pera put the #86 GR Racing second in-class when he set a 1:58.333, as third was taken by the #56 Project 1 Porsche as Matteo Cairoli drove a 1:58.338.

Fourth place was secured by the #60 Iron Lynx Porsche crew as Alessio Picariello was narrowly behind with a 1:58.479 lap time.

Fifth in GTE-Am was the #777 D’station Racing Aston Martin Vantage GTE, whose fastest lap time was set by Casper Stevenson with a 1:59.026.

Liam Talbot drove the longest amount of time in the #777 car at just under 39 minutes of driving compared to his teammates, as he prepares for his WEC race debut on Saturday.

The next session will be free practice 3 tomorrow morning, for a 1-hour session at midday local time (09:00 UTC).

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