Two of the R18s are hybrid, 4 wheel drive machines, but for reasons which escape me they are classified under the ACO rules as eligible for the P1 class. The diesel engine drives the rear wheels while above 100km/h power is sent to the front wheels via an electric motor, boosting power. They also travel down the pitlane under electric power I *think*. Check out their funky lighting system they use, by the way, to identify the car as it comes down the pitlane. The LED chaser strips around the lights strobe different colours for each driver.
Anyway, yeah it is always worth considering that testing times aren’t usually that representative. However they do at least compare favourably with the qualifying times set last year. The pole time in 2011 was a 3:25.7, with the fastest testing time in 2012 being 3:25.9. That’s fairly consistent, and at least shows you that the TS030 is able to get into the same performance ballpark with a low 3:27, even if it’s unclear what the true potential of either it or the Audi R18 might be this year.
It’s also interesting that the eTron Quattro cars (the hybrid Audis) appear to be the faster cars. Perhaps there is something about hybrid systems which will act as something of a performance leveller this year. You could certainly imagine Toyota using their hybrid system to make up for the torque defecit the petrol cars suffer coming out of the slower corners, where the diesels tend to hold the big advantage.