Austin WEC: Audi locks out front row for 6 Hours of COTA

Audi dominated qualifying for the 6 Hours of COTA, locking out the front row in Austin as Porsche struggled to match its raw pace in warm conditions.

Austin WEC: Audi locks out front row for 6 Hours of COTA
LMP1 polesitters #7 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18: Marcel Fässler, Andre Lotterer, Benoit Tréluyer
#7 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18: Marcel Fässler, Andre Lotterer, Benoit Tréluyer
#1 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid: Timo Bernhard, Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley
#1 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid: Timo Bernhard, Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley
#2 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid: Romain Dumas, Neel Jani, Marc Lieb
LMP2 polesitters #36 Signatech Alpine A460: Gustavo Menezes, Nicolas Lapierre, Stéphane Richelmi
#36 Signatech Alpine A460: Gustavo Menezes, Nicolas Lapierre, Stéphane Richelmi
#95 Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage GTE: Marco Sorensen, Nicki Thiim
LM GTE Pro polesitters #95 Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage GTE: Marco Sorensen, Nicki Thiim
#5 Toyota Racing Toyota TS050 Hybrid: Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima, Anthony Davidson, #95 Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage GTE: Marco Sorensen, Nicki Thiim
LM GTE AM polesitters #98 Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage GTE: Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy, Mathias Lauda

After topping all the practice sessions, the #8 R18 – qualified by Lucas di Grassi and Oliver Jarvis – had to settle for second behind the pole-winning #7 car of Marcel Fassler and Andre Lotterer.

Despite losing Fassler’s quickest lap due to exceeding its energy limit, Lotterer produced a stunning 1m45.7s effort to give the car an average laptime of 1m45.842s – 0.141s quicker than the #8.

Porsche took third on the grid with the #1 919 Hybrid qualified by Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley, but there was a shock when its #2 car lost fourth place late on when Romain Dumas had his quickest lap deleted for exceeding track limits.

That handed fourth position to the #6 Toyota of Mike Conway and Kamui Kobayashi, the duo dragging absolutely everything from their car to scalp one of the Porsches by a tenth.

The #5 Toyota will start sixth, after Sebastien Buemi had a couple of laps deleted, with the Rebellion outpacing the ByKolles CLM in the battle of the non-hybrids.

The points-leading #36 Signatech Alpine scored its first LMP2 pole of the season thanks to Gustavo Menezes and Nicolas Lapierre.

The #44 Manor Oreca will start second, but the big news here was #26 G-Drive’s disastrous session – all of Alex Brundle’s timed laps were deleted for exceeding track limits, so although co-driver Roman Rusinov was third fastest, it mattered not.

The RGR Sport by Morand Ligier will start third instead.

Aston heads GT classes

Aston Martin continued its successful streak from Mexico, with Marco Sorensen and Nicki Thiim edging a narrow GTE Pro pole position by 0.042s from the #71 Ferrari of Davide Rigon and Sam Bird.

The #66 Ford of Stefan Mucke and Olivier Pla will start third, ahead of the #51 Ferrari.

In GTE Am, Paul Dalla Lana and Pedro Lamy topped the class to give Aston even more cheer, ahead of the #88 Porsche.

Austin LMP qualifying

PosDriversCarTimeGap
1   Andre Lotterer 
  Marcel Fassler 
  Benoit Tréluyer 
Audi R18 1'45.842  
2   Lucas di Grassi 
  Loic Duval 
  Oliver Jarvis 
Audi R18 1'45.983 0.141
3   Mark Webber 
  Timo Bernhard 
  Brendon Hartley 
Porsche 919 Hybrid 1'46.560 0.718
4   Stéphane Sarrazin 
  Kamui Kobayashi 
  Mike Conway 
Toyota TS050 Hybrid 1'47.218 1.376
5   Romain Dumas 
  Neel Jani 
  Marc Lieb 
Porsche 919 Hybrid 1'47.331 1.489
6   Anthony Davidson 
  Kazuki Nakajima 
  Sébastien Buemi 
Toyota TS050 Hybrid 1'48.584 2.742
7   Alexandre Imperatori 
  Dominik Kraihamer 
  Matheo Tuscher 
Rebellion R-One 1'53.646 7.804
8   Simon Trummer 
  Oliver Webb 
  Pierre Kaffer 
CLM P1/01 1'54.577 8.735
9   Nicolas Lapierre 
  Gustavo Menezes 
  Stéphane Richelmi 
Alpine A460 1'55.892 10.050
10   Roberto Merhi 
  Richard Bradley 
  Matthew Rao 
Oreca 05 1'56.873 11.031
11   Bruno Senna 
  Ricardo Gonzalez 
  Filipe Albuquerque 
Ligier JS P2 1'57.367 11.525
12   Nick Leventis 
  Jonny Kane 
  Lewis Williamson 
Gibson 015S 1'57.536 11.694
13   Nelson Panciatici 
  Ho-Pin Tung 
  David Cheng 
Alpine A460 1'58.060 12.218
14   Vitaly Petrov 
  Viktor Shaytar 
  Kirill Ladygin 
BR01 1'58.379 12.537
15   Pipo Derani 
  Ryan Dalziel 
  Chris Cumming 
Ligier JS P2 1'58.394 12.552
16   Maurizio Mediani 
  Nicolas Minassian 
BR01 1'58.769 12.927
17   Scott Sharp 
  Ed Brown 
  Johannes van Overbeek
Ligier JS P2 2'00.631 14.789
NC   Roman Rusinov 
  René Rast 
  Alex Brundle 
Oreca 05 1'57.208 11.366

Austin GT qualifying

PosDriversCarTimeGap
1   Marco Sorensen 
  Nicki Thiim 
Aston Martin Vantage V8 2'04.610  
2   Sam Bird 
  Davide Rigon 
Ferrari 488 GTE 2'04.652 0.042
3   Stefan Mücke 
  Olivier Pla 
Ford GT 2'04.804 0.194
4   Gianmaria Bruni 
  James Calado 
Ferrari 488 GTE 2'04.821 0.211
5   Darren Turner 
  Fernando Rees 
Aston Martin Vantage V8 2'04.889 0.279
6   Harry Tincknell 
  Andy Priaulx 
  Marino Franchitti 
Ford GT 2'05.057 0.447
7   Richard Lietz 
  Michael Christensen 
Porsche 911 RSR (2016) 2'06.060 1.450
8   Pedro Lamy 
  Paul Dalla Lana 
  Mathias Lauda 
Aston Martin Vantage V8 2'07.683 3.073
9   David Heinemeier Hansson
  Khaled Al Qubaisi 
  Kevin Estre 
Porsche 911 RSR 2'08.295 3.685
10   Christian Ried 
  Wolf Henzler 
  Joel Camathias 
Porsche 911 RSR 2'08.816 4.206
11   Michael Wainwright 
  Adam Carroll 
  Ben Barker 
Porsche 911 RSR 2'09.119 4.509
12   François Perrodo 
  Emmanuel Collard 
  Rui Aguas 
Ferrari F458 Italia 2'09.187 4.577
13   Pierre Ragues 
  Ricky Taylor 
  Lars Viljoen 
Chevrolet Corvette C7-Z06 2'09.190 4.580
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