Friday 18 November 2016

FIA WEC - 6 Hours of Bahrain: Audi takes pole position for its final race (update)

Pole position and the lap record for Audi's final race in the WEC tomorrow.
UPDATE: G-Drive racing loses its pole in LMP2

Lucas Di Grassi and Oliver Jarvis scored pole position for Audi in its final race in the FIA World Endurance Championship. Di Grassi nailed it hard with a new lap record at the end of the session, going round in an impressive 1.28.828, over half a second faster than any other LMP1 driver. Oliver Jarvis best time was 1.39.587, giving the #8 car an average time of 1.39.207 and pole position. After final practice this morning when Jarvis stopped his Audi R18 on track, the mechanics fitted a new engine in the car. 

Porsche took second and third this afternoon. Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley took second place in the dying seconds of the session with an average time of 1.39.471, 0.198 seconds faster than Marc Lieb & Neel Jani in the #2 Porsche 919. Fourth fastest was the second Audi, ahead of both Toyota's in which Mike Conway lots his fastest lap due to not respecting track limits. Rebellion took pole in the LMP1 L class, ByKolles not getting on track during the qualifying session.

In LMP2 G-Drive Racing continued on its momentum from the past 2 races and took pole position with an average time of 1.49.672 with Rene Rast & Roman Rusinov behind the wheel. Newly crowned champions Signatech Alpine share the first row, Gustavo Menezes & Stéphane Richelmi only 0.018 seconds short for pole. Third on the grid tomorrow will be the #44 Manor Oreca of Alex Lynn & Matt Rao. The #43 RGR Sport and #30 ESM round out the top five in class.

Update : #26 G-Drive racing loses pole position in LMP2 and has to start at the back of the grid. During post qualifying scrutineering it appeared that the car was not in compliance with the homologation form. The entries of both front brake cooling ducts not fitted with mesh. All qualifying times have been cancelled. Pole position in LMP2 now goes to the #36 Signatech Alpine, ahead of the #44 Manor and the #43 RGR Sport. 

Aston Martin continued to dominate the GTE Pro class, locking out the front row for the final race of 2016. Darren Turner & Jonny Adam took pole with the #97 Vantage V8 in 1.56.953, leaving the #95 sister car of Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorenson behind them. Third fastest was the #51 AF Corse Ferrari F488 of Gianmaria Bruni and James Calado. The #67 Ford and #71 Ferrari complete this afternoons top 5. Aston Martin's pole position reduces their deficit to Ferrari to 9 points, all will be still to play for in tomorrows race. 

Qualifying in GTE Am was a real cracker. François Perrodo and Rui Aguas seemed to be on track to clinch pole position and take another point in the championship, but a final flying lap by Pedro Lamy got the #98 Aston Martin on pole position. The #50 Larbre Competition Corvette took the third spot on the grid.

This mornings session ended under yellow, when Oliver Jarvis stopped his #8 Audi R18 on track. Timo Bernhard set the fastest time in the #1 Porsche 919, going round the track in 1.40.318. Oliver Jarvis in the #8 Audi was second quickest, despite the troubles at the end of the session, but almost half a second slower than Bernhard. Third place was for Mike Conway who was the fastest of the Toyota drivers.

Rene Rast drove a 1.50.431 in the #26 G-Drive Oreca, the fastest time in the LMP2 class. Both Alpines completed the top 3, the #36 Signatech Alpine ahead of the #35 Baxi DC Racing.  In GTE Pro all three manufacturers were in the top 3 of the session. Ferrari now fastest with Gianmaria Bruni in the #51 AF Corse 488 GTE. Second quickest was the #97 Aston Martin, beating the #66 Ford GT.

Emmanuel Collard was fastest in GTE-Am in his #83 Ferrari, ahead of Ben Barker in the #86 Gulf Porsche. Rounding out the top 3 was the #98 Aston Martin. 

The green flag for the 6 Hours of Bahrain will be waived tomorrow afternoon at 16.00h local time.