Austin WEC: Rebellion grabs third straight pole

Rebellion Racing scored its third straight FIA World Endurance Championship pole position, trouncing the Toyotas to top qualifying for Sunday's Lone Star Le Mans.

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Gustavo Menezes and Norman Nato sealed the top stop ahead of the best of the Toyotas after the team swapped the engine in the back of its solo Rebellion R-13 as a result of a sudden failure halfway through the second practice period. 

Menezes went quickest on the first runs with a 1m47.674s and then Nato set a 1m48.087s before a brief red-flag period. The Frenchman improved to a 1m47.387s after the interruption to give the Rebellion a 1m47.530s average.

Jose Maria Lopez and Mike Conway took second in the more heavily penalised of the two Toyota TS050 Hybrids, the #7 car.

Lopez was third-fastest after his run with a 1m48.634s, which Conway followed with a 1m49.688s to yield a 1m49.161s average. 

Kazuki Nakajima had been eight tenths quicker than Lopez in the first runs with a 1m47.891s, but Brendon Hartley lost his first lap to a track limits violation. 

He managed a 1m50.971s on his final lap before the chequered flag, which gave the #8 Toyota a 1m49.431s average. 

Nicolas Lapierre and Antonin Borga took the LMP2 pole aboard the Cool Racing Oreca.

Lapierre was second fastest after the first runs with a 1m49.343s, while Borga managed a 1m50.478s. That yielded a 1m49.910s average, which was a tenth up on the 1m50.073s from Filipe Albuquerque and Phil Hanson in the United Autosports Oreca.

Nyck de Vries set the fastest P2 time aboard the Racing Team Nederland Oreca with a 1m48.696s, which briefly split the Toyotas during the first runs. 

GTE Pro points leaders Marco Sorensen and Nicki Thiim took the class pole in the #95 Aston Martin Vantage GTE. 

Sorensen led the way after the first runs on a 2m00.742s before his teammate maintained the top spot on his first run. Thiim then improved on his lap, getting down to a 2m00.725s to give them a 2m00.733s average and a two-tenth margin over the second-placed Porsche 911 RSR-19 of Michael Christensen and Kevin Estre. 

Christensen was only fifth in class after his run on a 2m01.106s, but Estre's 2m00.798s brought their average down to 2m00.952s. 

Alex Lynn and Maxime Martin took third in the second of the Astons with a 2m01.029s average. 

The two AF Corse-run Ferrari 488 GTEs took fourth and sixth after both lost times for track limits violations. 

James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi just edged out the Porsche of Gianmaria Bruni and Richard Lietz for fourth, while Davide Rigon and Miguel Molina ended up sixth ahead of the solo Corvette C8.R of Jan Magnussen and Mike Rockenfeller

GTE Am pole went to the Project 1 Porsche 911 RSR qualified by Matteo Cairoli and Egidio Perfetti from the Aston Martin of Paul Dalla Lana and Ross Gunn.

LMP qualifying times:

Cla # Drivers Car Class Avg Time Gap
1 1 Brazil Bruno Senna
United States Gustavo Menezes
France Norman Nato
Rebellion R13 LMP1 1'47.530
2 7 United Kingdom Mike Conway
Japan Kamui Kobayashi
Argentina Jose Maria Lopez
Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 1'49.161 1.631
3 8 Switzerland Sébastien Buemi
Japan Kazuki Nakajima
New Zealand Brendon Hartley
Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 1'49.431 1.901
4 42 France Nicolas Lapierre
Switzerland Antonin Borga
Switzerland Alexandre Coigny
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'49.910 2.380
5 22 United Kingdom Philip Hanson
Portugal Filipe Albuquerque
United Kingdom Paul di Resta
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'50.073 2.543
6 36 France Thomas Laurent
Brazil Andre Negrao
France Pierre Ragues
Alpine A470 LMP2 1'50.984 3.454
7 37 China Ho-Pin Tung
France Gabriel Aubry
United Kingdom Will Stevens
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'51.354 3.824
8 38 Mexico Roberto Gonzalez
Portugal Antonio Felix da Costa
United Kingdom Anthony Davidson
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'51.592 4.062
9 33 United States Mark Patterson
Japan Kenta Yamashita
Denmark Anders Fjordbach
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'51.747 4.217
10 21 Sweden Henrik Hedman
United Kingdom Ben Hanley
United States Colin Braun
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'52.765 5.235
11 29 Netherlands Frits van Eerd
Netherlands Giedo van der Garde
Netherlands Nyck de Vries
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'53.131 5.601
12 47 Italy Roberto Lacorte
Italy Andrea Belicchi
Italy Giorgio Sernagiotto
Dallara P217 LMP2 1'54.305 6.775

GTE qualifying times:

Cla # Drivers Car Class Avg Time Gap
1 95 Denmark Marco Sorensen
Denmark Nicki Thiim
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE PRO 2'00.733
2 92 Denmark Michael Christensen
France Kevin Estre
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 LMGTE PRO 2'00.952 0.219
3 97 United Kingdom Alex Lynn
Belgium Maxime Martin
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE PRO 2'01.029 0.296
4 51 United Kingdom James Calado
Italy Alessandro Pier Guidi
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 2'01.031 0.298
5 91 Italy Gianmaria Bruni
Austria Richard Lietz
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 LMGTE PRO 2'01.049 0.316
6 71 Italy Davide Rigon
Spain Miguel Molina
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 2'01.229 0.496
7 56 Norway Egidio Perfetti
Germany Laurents Hörr
Italy Matteo Cairoli
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 2'02.784 2.051
8 98 Canada Paul Dalla Lana
United Kingdom Darren Turner
United Kingdom Ross Gunn
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE AM 2'02.830 2.097
9 90 Turkey Salih Yoluc
Ireland Charles Eastwood
United Kingdom Jonathan Adam
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE AM 2'02.909 2.176
10 63 Denmark Jan Magnussen
Germany Mike Rockenfeller
Chevrolet Corvette C8.R LMGTE PRO 2'02.967 2.234
11 77 Germany Christian Ried
Italy Riccardo Pera
Australia Matt Campbell
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 2'03.110 2.377
12 83 France François Perrodo
France Emmanuel Collard
Denmark Nicklas Nielsen
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 2'03.376 2.643
13 57 United States Ben Keating
Brazil Felipe Fraga
Netherlands Jeroen Bleekemolen
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 2'03.450 2.717
14 54 Switzerland Thomas Flohr
Italy Francesco Castellacci
Italy Giancarlo Fisichella
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 2'03.462 2.729
15 88 United States Bret Curtis
Belgium Adrien de Leener
Austria Thomas Preining
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 2'03.682 2.949
16 70 Japan Motoaki Ishikawa
Monaco Olivier Beretta
Japan Kei Cozzolino
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 2'03.781 3.048
17 62 United Kingdom Bonamy Grimes
United Kingdom Johnny Mowlem
United Kingdom Charles Hollings
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 2'03.964 3.231
18 86 United Kingdom Michael Wainwright
United Kingdom Andrew Watson
United Kingdom Benjamin Barker
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 2'04.296 3.563
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