Porsche on pole yet again, Ferrari head up GT

posted in: Qualifying | 0

In qualifying for the penultimate race of the WEC season, Ferrari locked out the front row in the GTE-Pro category. In LMP1, Porsche took its seventh pole position out of seven, with the championship-leading #17 car set to start Sunday’s race from pole.

PRO01_31-800x533An average lap time of 2:02.243 gave Toni Vilander and Gianmaria Bruni in the #51 AF Corse Ferrari pole position in the first of two 20-minute qualifying sessions at the Shanghai International Circuit earlier this morning. The #71 AF Corse machine driven by James Calado and Davide Rigon, who trail Richard Lietz by just seven points in the drivers’ championship, will start from second position. Third quickest was the #99 Aston Martin of Fernando Rees, Richie Stanaway and Alex MacDowall with a time of 2:02.540. For Porsche it was a qualifying to forget, with the #91 and #92 machines trailing in fourth and fifth positions.

 

Aston Martin had a better time of it in GTE-Am. With an average time of 2:04.728, the #98 machine took class pole ahead of the sister #96 car and the #50 Larbre Competition Corvette. Championship-leaders SMP Racing only managed to finish fifth quickest in the qualifying session.

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In LMP, Porsche took another step towards the drivers’ and constructors’ titles by locking out the front row. An average time of 1:42.719 put Mark Webber, Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley at the top of the time sheets, closely followed by the #18 machine. A 1:44.200 was all Audi could manage, with the #8 car taking third position and the #7 machine in fourth. The #13 Rebellion Racing R-One, with newcomer Mathéo Tuscher behind the wheel, took class pole for the privateers ahead of the #12 Rebellion machine.

Once again, LMP2 was a close-run thing with the #26 G-Drive Racing Ligier taking pole for Roman Rusinov, Sam Bird and Julien Canal with an average time of 1:52.763. The KCMG Oreca finished the session half a second back, positing an average best of 1:53.345.

Image sources: FIA WEC press material #1 #2