Porsche snatch Shanghai Pole as Ford shine in GTE-PRO

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Mark Web­ber, Timo Bern­hard and Bren­don Hart­ley con­tin­ued their prac­tice form in qual­i­fy­ing this morn­ing to snatch pole in the LMP1 class ahead of Toy­ota and Audi. Mak­ing it three dif­fer­ent man­u­fac­tures in the top three spots. Ford dom­i­nat­ed GTE-PRO to take a 1–2 ahead of Aston Mar­tin and AF Corse.

porsche-shanghai-pole-2016The #1 Porsche 919 Hybrid will start tomorrow’s 6 Hours of Shang­hai from the front of the grid, how­ev­er it is set to be a close race. The world cham­pi­ons only took the top spot by 0.060 of a sec­ond from the #5 Toy­ota TS050 Hybrid which will start sec­ond. Audi took third on the grid in their penul­ti­mate LMP1 race. The #8 e-tron quat­tro was only 0.148 of a sec­ond off of the Porsche’s pole time. A fur­ther two tenths off of the third place Audi came last times Japan win­ners in the #6 Toy­ota. The #7 Audi of Andre Lot­ter­er, Benoit Tre­luy­er and Mar­cel Fassler’s time was only good enough for fifth on the grid. This meant the cham­pi­onship lead­ing #2 Porsche 919 Hybrid of Le Mans win­ners Neel Jani, Marc Lieb and Roman Dumas was in sixth posi­tion and last of the LMP1 Hybrid cars, leav­ing the trio a lot of work to do in the race. Tomorrow’s 6 hours how­ev­er is set up a treat, with the gap across the whole LMP1 Hybrid field’s qual­i­fy­ing times only 0.589 of a sec­ond.

Rebel­lion Rac­ing reversed the Fri­day order of the LMP1 Pri­va­teer class to take pole posi­tion by a stag­ger­ing one and a half sec­onds ahead of the ByKolles team.

LMP2 saw Manor put their #44 Ore­ca 05 on pole posi­tion. This left the cham­pi­onship lead­ing #36 Sig­nat­e­ch Alpine sec­ond on the grid. Third went to the #30 ESM effort,with last times class vic­tor in fourth. RGR Sport will be right behind their Russ­ian rivals on the grid in fifth place, which sets up what is sure to be anoth­er fan­tas­tic bat­tle in LMP2.

manor-pole-lmp2-2016-shnghaiFord dom­i­nat­ed the GTE-PRO stand­ings with their two GT’s at the top of the stand­ings, half a sec­ond clear of the car in third place. Har­ry Tinck­nell and Andy Pri­aulx will lead the class away in the #67 car ahead of the sis­ter #66 machine. Best of the rest was Aston Mar­tin. The #95 and #97 cars fin­ished the ses­sion in third and fifth respec­tive­ly. James Cal­a­do and Gian­maria Bruni split the British team and will start fourth tomor­row.

Aston Mar­tin did how­ev­er get their chance to top a class and take a pole posi­tion. The #98 car will start on pole in GTE-AM ahead of the #83 AF Corse Fer­rari. Abu-Dhabi Pro­ton Rac­ing put their #88 car high­est of the Porsches third in class. KCMG and Gulf Rac­ing put their two Porsches fourth and fifth respec­tive­ly. The Lar­bre Com­pe­ti­tion Corvette will start sixth in class, and at the back of the grid.

The race starts at 03:00 in the morn­ing tomor­row in the U.K and 04:00 in cen­tral Europe. So make sure to get an ear­ly night tonight so you don’t miss what is set to be anoth­er world endurance clas­sic though all five class­es.

Images — FIA WEC