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
|1||LMP1||17||Porsche Team||Porsche 919 Hybrid||1:42.719||-|
|2||LMP1||18||Porsche Team||Porsche 919 Hybrid||1:43.488||+0.769|
|3||LMP1||8||Audi Sport Team Joest||Audi R18 e-tron quattro||1:44.200||+1.481|
|4||LMP1||7||Audi Sport Team Joest||Audi R18 e-tron quattro||1:44.645||+1.926|
|5||LMP1||1||Toyota Racing||Toyota TS040 Hybrid||1:45.776||+3.057|
|6||LMP1||2||Toyota Racing||Toyota TS040 Hybrid||1:45.962||+3.243|
|7||LMP1||13||Rebellion Racing||Rebellion R-One AER||1:49.418||+6.699|
|8||LMP1||12||Rebellion Racing||Rebellion R-One AER||1:50.942||+8.223|
|9||LMP1||4||Team ByKolles||CLM P1/01 AER||1:52.069||+9.350|
|10||LMP2||26||G-Drive Racing||Ligier JS P2 Nissan||1:52.763||+10.044|
|11||LMP2||47||KCMG||ORECA 05 Nissan||1:53.345||+10.626|
|12||LMP2||28||G-Drive Racing||Ligier JS P2 Nissan||1:53.390||+10.671|
|13||LMP2||43||Team SARD Morand||Morgan Evo-SARD||1:53.600||+10.881|
|14||LMP2||36||Signatech Alpine||Alpine A450b Nissan||1:53.747||+11.028|
|15||LMP2||30||Extreme Speed Motorsports||Ligier JS P2 HPD||1:54.775||+12.056|
|16||LMP2||42||Strakka Racing||Gibson 015S Nissan||1:55.205||+12.486|
|17||LMP2||29||Pegasus Racing||Morgan Nissan||1:56.624||+13.905|
|18||LMP2||31||Extreme Speed Motorsports||Ligier JS P2 HPD||1:57.432||+14.713|
|19||LMGTE Pro||51||AF Corse||Ferrari 458 Italia||2:02.243||+19.524|
|20||LMGTE Pro||71||AF Corse||Ferrari 458 Italia||2:02.508||+19.789|
|21||LMGTE Pro||99||Aston Martin Racing||Aston Martin Vantage V8||2:02.540||+19.821|
|22||LMGTE Pro||92||Porsche Team Manthey||Porsche 911 RSR||2:03.048||+20.329|
|23||LMGTE Pro||Porsche Team Manthey||Porsche 911 RSR||2:03.352||+20.633|
|24||LMGTE Pro||97||Aston Martin Racing||Aston Martin Vantage V8||2:03.393||+20.674|
|25||LMGTE Am||98||Aston Martin Racing||Aston Martin Vantage V8||2:04.728||+22.009|
|26||LMGTE Am||96||Aston Martin Racing||Aston Martin Vantage V8||2:04.858||+22.139|
|27||LMGTE Am||50||Larbre Competition||Chevrolet Corvette C7.R||2:04.874||+22.155|
|28||LMGTE Am||83||AF Corse||Ferrari 458 Italia||2:05.455||+22.736|
|29||LMGTE Am||72||SMP Racing||Ferrari 458 Italia||2:05.556||+22.837|
|30||LMGTE Am||77||Dempsey Proton Racing||Porsche 911 RSR||2:06.196||+23.477|
|31||LMGTE Am||88||Abu Dhabi Proton Racing||Porsche 911 RSR||2:11.851||+29.132|