Audi lock out front row at COTA

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The Audi Sport Team Joest R18s have locked out the front row for the 6 Hours of the Cir­cuit of the Amer­i­c­as, with the #7 car of Mar­cel Fässler, André Lot­ter­er and a fit-again Benoit Tréluy­er tak­ing their third pole posi­tion of the sea­son with a fastest aver­age lap time of 1:45.750. Just 0.2 of a sec­ond fur­ther back was the sis­ter #8 Audi of di Grassi/Duval/Jarvis with the reign­ing world cham­pi­ons Timo Bern­hard, Bren­don Hart­ley and Mark Web­ber round­ing off the top three around half a sec­ond fur­ther back.

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Pole posi­tion in LMP2 went to the #36 Sig­nat­e­ch Alpine crew of Gus­ta­vo Menezes, Nico­las Lapierre and Stéphane Richel­mi but there was con­tro­ver­sy ear­ly on in the ses­sion after the #26 G-Dri­ve Rac­ing machine of Alex Brun­dle had three con­sec­u­tive lap times erased by the race direc­tors after track-lim­its vio­la­tions. The #44 Manor Ore­ca of Richard Bradley, Rober­to Mer­hi and Matt Rao fin­ished the ses­sion in sec­ond posi­tion, while the #43 RGR by Morand machine will start today’s race from third on the grid.

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GTE Pro proved once again that it offers some of the clos­est rac­ing any­where in the world right now, with the top five cars sep­a­rat­ed by less than three tenths of a sec­ond on aver­age lap time. Pole went to the #95 Aston Mar­tin Rac­ing crew of Nicky Thi­im and Mar­co Sorensen for the third race in suc­ces­sion, but only by 0.042 of a sec­ond ahead of the #71 AF Corse Fer­rari of Davide Rigon and Sam Bird. The #66 Ford of Olivi­er Pla and Ste­fan Mücke fin­ished third, 0.2 sec­onds back on the pole time.

Pole in GTE Am also went to Aston Mar­tin, with the #98 machine of Paul Dal­la Lana, Matthias Lau­da and Pedro Lamy quick­est of the six-strong field. They will be fol­lowed on the grid by the #88 Porsche 911 RSR of Abu Dhabi Pro­ton Rac­ing and the #78 KCMG Porsche.

The race starts at mid­night CEST.

Images © WEC-Mag­a­zin (#1) and Adren­al Media/WEC (#2+#3)