WEC - Audi Claim Pole Position for Final Race | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile
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WEC - Audi Claim Pole Position for Final Race

18.11.16

WEC - 2016 6 Hours of Bahrain - Qualifying

FIA, Motorsport, Mobility, Road Safety, F1, WRC, WEC, WTCC, World RX

Audi will start their final FIA World Endurance Championship race from the head of the grid after Lucas Di Grassi set a new unofficial FIA WEC lap record of the 5.4km Bahrain International Circuit with an incredible 1m38.828 individual lap and an average of 1m39.207 when combined with the lap set by Oliver Jarvis at the start of the 20-minute qualifying session.

Porsche finished 2nd and 3rd with the no1 Porsche 919 starting on the front row for Mark Webber’s final professional race.  Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernhard posted a combined average lap of 1m39.471, 0.264 behind the pole sitters. Championship leaders Marc Lieb and Neel Jani head up the second row with the no7 Audi R18 alongside them, less than 0.5 seconds splitting the top four cars.

Toyota will start 5th and 6th for tomorrows race, with the no6 TS050 ahead of the sister no5 Toyota. The LMP1 Privateer pole went to the no13 Rebellion Racing R-One.

The fastest LMP2 lap was set by the no26 G-Drive Racing Oreca-Nissan for the sixth time in 2016 with Rene Rast and Roman Rusinov posting a 1m49.612 combined lap time, just 0.018s ahead of the no36 Signatech Alpine of Stephane Rachelmi and Gustavo Menezes. 

However in post qualifying scrutineering the car was found to not have the mesh covers fitted to the brake ducts and was therefore not in compliance with the homologation.  The qualifying times were cancelled and the no26 G-Drive Racing Oreca will start the race at the back of the grid (Stewards Decision no15).

This promotes the no36 Signatech Alpine to pole position, with the no44 Manor Oreca-Nissan starting from the front row. The no43 RGR Sport Ligier was classified 3rd and will start from row 2 of the LMP2 grid.

Aston Martin Storm to Double Pole in Bahrain

A front row lockout was achieved by Aston Martin Racing in the LMGTE PRO qualifying, with the no97 Vantage of Darren Turner and Jonny Adam edging out their teammates, and championship leaders, Marco Sorensen and Nicki Thiim.  The two lap average time was 1m56.953, which was achieved after both drivers posted a 1m56.953 lap, they were identical down to the thousandth of a second.  The time was just 0.128 seconds ahead of their Danish teammates

The no51 AF Corse Ferrari of Gianmaria Bruni and James Calado were third fastest, just ahead of the no67 Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK Ford GT of Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell.

The 1 point for pole position has meant that the gap between the leaders Ferrari and Aston Martin is now just 9 points in the FIA World Cup for GT Manufacturers ahead of tomorrow’s race.

The LMGTE AM qualifying was full of drama and excitement as Pedro Lamy in the no98 Aston Martin Racing Vantage snatched pole position away from Francois Perrodo in the no83 AF Corse Ferrari after the Frenchman pitted for new tyres and duly set the pole time with 18 seconds left on the clock. 

Perrodo knew that the single point for pole position would be enough for him, along with Emmanuel Collard and Rui Aguas to become champions before tomorrows race.  However it wasn’t to be after Lamy’s last flying lap gave him and Paul Dalla Lana an average lap time of 1m59.879 compared to 2m00.227 for the no83 car.

This means there are 24 points separating the two cars ahead of tomorrow’s race and nothing less than a win for the no98 Aston Martin Racing Vantage will suffice. The no83 AF Corse Ferrari just has to finish the race to be crowned LMGTE AM Champions.

The 6 Hours of Bahrain will get underway tomorrow, Saturday 19 November, at 17h00 (local) and will conclude at 23h00.