Porsche LMP1 drivers Mark Webber and Brendon Hartley put in a masterful qualifying display to take pole position for the Shanghai round of the FIA World Endurance Championship.
The duo’s average of 1:42.719s was seven tenths quicker than the second placed Porsche, driven by Romain Dumas and Marc Lieb.
Audi Sport Team Joest qualified third and fourth using a solitary set of Michelin tyres, with the #8 car of Loic Duval and Lucas di Grassi ending up 1.481s off the pace and the #7 machine of Benoit Treluyer and Marcel Fassler a further four tenths back.
The result gives Webber, Hartley and Timo Bernhard an extra point to add to their tally, extending their lead in the drivers’ championship over the #7 Audi squad to two points.
Toyota will start fifth and sixth, with the #1 car of Anthony Davidson and Sebastien Buemi recording a 1:45.776s average to go 0.186s clear of the sister #2 car, driven by Mike Conway and Alex Wurz.
LMP2 pole position went to the championship-leading #26 G-Drive Racing Ligier JS P2 of Sam Bird and Julien Canal, who set an average of 1:52.763s to eclipse the rival KCMG ORECA 05 by half a second. The KCMG duo of Matt Howson and Nick Tandy managed to prevent a G-Drive lockout of the front row, out-qualifying the sister #28 car by less than a tenth, but surrendered a point to
Ferrari continued its free practice form to claim a 1-2 in the LMGTE Pro category with its two AF Corse-entered 458 Italias. The Fuji-winning #51 car of Gianmaria Bruni and Toni Vilander topped the pile, recording an average of 2:02.043s compared to James Calado and Davide Rigon’s 2:02.508s effort in the #71 car.
The #99 Aston Martin Vantage will start third, ahead of the two Manthey-entered works Porsche 911 RSRs.
In LMGTE Am it was Aston Martin’s turn to do the double, as the #98 and #96 pairings locked out the front row with a string of quick laps. Pedro Lamy and Paul Dalla Lana put the #98 machine on pole for the first time since Le Mans, setting a 2:04.728s benchmark. Francesco Castellacci and Stuart Hall were a tenth off the pace, while the Larbre Competition Corvette, which topped the time sheets during free practice, qualified a further 0.016s back.
The penultimate round of the FIA WEC season will get underway tomorrow morning at 11:00 local time (03:00 UK).
FIA WEC 6 Hours of Shanghai Qualifying Result
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