The seventh and penultimate round of the 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship season, the 6 Hours of Shanghai, was kicked off with Friday's Free Practice 1 session.
The pair of Audi R18 e-tron quattros of Audi Sport Team Joest sat atop the timesheet at the close of the opening practice session of the weekend, with Andre Lotterer turning a 1:45.707 in the early stages of the outing in the team's No. 7 entry.
The only car to challenge Lotterer's time was the sister No. 8 car, driven by Lucas di Grassi, who managed a lap that was 0.645 seconds off the pace of the leading Audi.
The 919 Hybrids of Porsche Team, Audi's largest challenger in the LMP1 championship, were no rivals in Free Practice 1, with the Porsches off the pace by eight-tenths and 1.2 seconds each.
Richard Bradley's time of 1:55.069 in the No. 47 Oreca 05 Nissan of KCMG, a car that was rebuilt following the controversial altercation between it and G-Drive Racing's Gustavo Yacaman in the closing minutes of the Fuji race last time out, stood as the top time in the LMP2 category.
G-Drive's other Nissan-powered Ligier JS P2, the No. 26, which won last time out at Fuji after an intense battle with the KCMG entry of its own, was second quickest in the session by under a tenth of a second.
GTE-Pro & GTE-Am
Leading GTE-Pro were the pair of Porsche 911 RSRs of Porsche Team Manthey which were almost a full second quicker than the No. 99 Vantage V8 of Aston Martin Racing.
Things were much closer in GTE-Am, though, as 0.036 seconds coverered the top three in the class as the checkers came out to bring Free Practice 1 to a close. The No. 50 Larbre Competition Corvette C7.R was fastest among these top three and the entirety of the GTE-Am field.
The start of the 90-minute session was delayed by more than 15 minutes due to necessary cleanup following a crash that took place in a race for a support series prior to the FIA WEC kicking off their weekend.
Free Practice 2 will begin at 3:30 p.m. track local time (3:30 a.m. EDT).