WEC: Audi ends Porsche's pole streak

WEC: Audi ends Porsche's pole streak

Le Mans/WEC

WEC: Audi ends Porsche's pole streak


Audi dominated qualifying on a wet track for Sunday’s opening round of the World Endurance Championship at Silverstone.

Andre Lotterer and Marcel Fassler took pole position in the #7 Audi R18 e-tron quattro with an 1m53.204s average. That put them just a tenth up on the 1m53.308s average of the sister car qualified by Loic Duval and Lucas Di Grassi.

The two Porsche 919 Hybrids that had topped the times in free practice on Friday ended up nearly a second behind on the final aggregate times.

Lotterer was the quickest of the first batch of drivers with a 1m53.201s, which compared with Duval’s 1m53.705s.

Di Grassi went quicker than Lotterer when he jumped aboard the #8 Audi, setting a 1m52.991s as a dry line began to emerge, but Fassler’s 1m53.207s kept #7 just ahead in the averages.

“We were not expecting this, but it is difficult to expect anything in these conditions,” Lotterer said. “Today was a better day for us and it is a nice reward for the mechanics.”

The pole position was the first for Audi in the WEC since the Fuji round in 2013 and brought to an end an unbroken run for Porsche that stretched back to the Japanese fixture in 2014.

The quickest Porsche lap from Brendon Hartley vaulted the #1 car he qualified along with Mark Webber ahead of the sister car of Neel Jani and Romain Dumas. Webber and Hartley’s 1m54.150s average was just over a tenth up on that of their team-mates.

The two Toyota TS050 Hybrids were off the pace in fifth and sixth positions after encountering technical problems.

“We had a significant hiccup in terms of the controls about which I can’t go into detail,” said Anthony Davidson, who ended up sixth with Kazuki Nakajima. “We’ve never really run in the wet before with this car, so this shows how pushed for time we have been and how complex the car is.”

The ByKolles CLM-AER P1/01 took qualifying honors in the LMP1 privateer class with Oliver Webb and James Rossiter.

The fastest LMP2 lap of the session from Rene Rast put the G-Drive ORECA-Nissan 05 he shared with Roman Rusinov on the class pole. Rast went out on intermediate tires before returning to the pits for a set of Dunlop wets, on which he set a 2m07.374s. That gave him and Rusinov a 2m.08.479s average, which put them more than a second up on the best of the Extreme Speed Motorsports Ligier Nissan JSP2s qualified by Pipo Derani and Chris Cumming.

Davide Rigon and Sam Bird took top spot in GTE Pro for the factory AF Corse Ferrari team. They ended up with a 2m12.440s average aboard their 488 GTE, which was nearly a second and a half up on the second-placed Dempsey-Proton Porsche 911 RSR of Richard Lietz and Michael Christensen.

James Calado set the fastest GTE lap of the session in the sister AF car, but team-mate Gianmaria Bruni was unable to set a lap after a dashboard alarm came on and he was forced to return to the pits.

Klaus Bachler and Khaled Al Qubaisi took pole for Proton in GTE Am.


Pos Class Driver Team Car Time Gap
1 LMP1 M.Fassler, A.Lotterer, B.Treluyer Audi Sport Team Joest Audi 1m53.204s
2 LMP1 L.di Grassi, L.Duval, O.Jarvis Audi Sport Team Joest Audi 1m53.308s 0.104s
3 LMP1 T.Bernhard, M.Webber, B.Hartley Porsche Team Porsche 1m54.150s 0.946s
4 LMP1 R.Dumas, N.Jani, M.Lieb Porsche Team Porsche 1m54.266s 1.062s
5 LMP1 S.Sarrazin, M.Conway, K.Kobayashi Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota 1m58.200s 4.996s
6 LMP1 A.Davidson, S.Buemi, K.Nakajima Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota 2m00.109s 6.905s
7 LMP1 S.Trummer, O.Webb, J.Rossiter ByKOLLES Racing Team CLM/AER 2m08.332s 15.128s
8 LMP2 R.Rusinov, N.Berthon, R.Rast G-Drive Racing ORECA/Nissan 2m08.479s
9 LMP2 R.Dalziel, L.Derani, C.Cumming Extreme Speed Motorsports Ligier/Nissan 2m09.632s
10 LMP2 R.Gonzalez, F.Albuquerque, B.Senna RGR Sport by Morand Ligier/Nissan 2m10.295s
11 LMP2 N.Minassian, M.Mediani SMP Racing BR Engineering/Nissan 2m10.627s
12 LMP2 V.Petrov, K.Ladygin, V.Shaytar SMP Racing BR Engineering/Nissan 2m11.023s
13 LMP2 M.Rao, R.Bradley, R.Merhi Manor ORECA/Nissan 2m11.893s
14 LMP2 G.Menezes, N.Lapierre, S.Richelmi Signatech Alpine Alpine/Nissan 2m12.221s
15 GTE Pro D.Rigon, S.Bird AF Corse Ferrari 2m12.440s
16 LMP2 T.Graves, W.Stevens, J.Jakes Manor ORECA/Nissan 2m13.105s
17 LMP2 N.Leventis, D.Watts, J.Kane Strakka Racing Gibson/Nissan 2m13.729s
18 GTE Pro R.Lietz, M.Christensen Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche 2m13.822s
19 GTE Pro B.Johnson, S.Mucke, O.Pla Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK Ford 2m14.475s
20 LMP2 D.Cheng, H-Pin Tung, N.Panciatici Baxi DC Racing Alpine Alpine/Nissan 2m14.863s
21 GTE Am K.Al Qubaisi, D.Hansson, K.Bachler Abu Dhabi-Proton Racing Porsche 2m15.102s
22 GTE Pro M.Franchitti, A.Priaulx, H.Tincknell Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK Ford 2m17.367s
23 GTE Am C.Ried, W.Henzler, J.Camathias KCMG Porsche 2m17.399s
24 GTE Am Y.Yamagishi, P.Ragues, P.Ruberti Larbre Competition Chevrolet 2m18.344s
25 GTE Am M.Wainwright, A.Carroll, B.Barker Gulf Racing Porsche 2m19.084s
26 GTE Am F.Perrodo, E.Collard, R.Aguas AF Corse Ferrari 2m20.131s
27 LMP2 S.Sharp, E.Brown, J.van Overbeek Extreme Speed Motorsports Ligier/Nissan 2m20.410s
28 GTE Pro R.Stanaway, F.Rees Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 2m21.091s
29 GTE Pro N.Thiim, M.Sorensen, D.Turner Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 2m22.252s
30 GTE Am P.D.Lana, P.Lamy, M.Lauda Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 2m23.005s
31 LMP1 N.Prost, N.Piquet Jr., N.Heidfeld Rebellion Racing Rebellion/AER 2m07.841s
32 GTE Pro G.Bruni, J.Calado AF Corse Ferrari 2m11.589s
33 LMP1 M.Tuscher, D.Kraihamer, A.Imperatori Rebellion Racing Rebellion/AER


Originally on Autosport.com