Austin WEC: Tandy grabs last-gasp pole for #1 Porsche despite scare

Neel Jani and Nick Tandy took pole position for Porsche in qualifying for the Austin FIA World Endurance Championship round. 

Austin WEC: Tandy grabs last-gasp pole for #1 Porsche despite scare
#8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050 Hybrid: Stéphane Sarrazin, Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima
#2 Porsche LMP Team Porsche 919 Hybrid: Timo Bernhard, Earl Bamber, Brendon Hartley
#8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050 Hybrid: Stéphane Sarrazin, Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima
#36 Signatech Alpine A470 Gibson: Andre Negrao, Gustavo Menezes, Nicolas Lapierre
#36 Signatech Alpine A470 Gibson: Andre Negrao, Gustavo Menezes, Nicolas Lapierre
#8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050 Hybrid: Stéphane Sarrazin, Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima
#24 CEFC Manor Oreca 07 Gibson: Matt Rao, Ben Hanley, Jean-Eric Vergne
#95 Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage: Nicki Thiim, Marco Sorensen
#71 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE: Davide Rigon, Sam Bird
#1 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid: Neel Jani, Andre Lotterer, Nick Tandy
#36 Signatech Alpine A470 Gibson: Andre Negrao, Gustavo Menezes, Nicolas Lapierre

Jani had been fastest after the first runs on a 1m44.656s aboard the #1 Porsche 919 Hybrid, but Tandy had his almost identical time of 1m44.659s deleted for a track limits violation. 

He subsequently had to pit for fuel and was sent out on the tyres that Jani had used, posting a 1m44.827s after the chequered flag had fallen. That gave them a 1m44.741s average, which was more than two tenths clear of championship-leading teammates Timo Bernhard and Earl Bamber. 

Tandy said: "I took too much kerb on the inside of Turn 19 and that threw me off on the outside.

"I had to come in for fuel and they took Neel's tyres out of the oven rather than sending me back out on the set that had cooled down on my in-lap. The experience from my first run was beneficial on the second."

Bernhard had been only three hundredths behind Jani on a 1m44.685 after the first runs, but Bamber could only set a 1m45.30s. 

The best of the Toyota TS050 HYBRIDs was more than a second and a half behind on the aggregate times in the hands of Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima. Buemi had trailed teammate Kamui Kobayashi, but Nakajima promoted the car to third after the second runs. 

Both Toyotas only used one set of tyres during qualifying.

Signatech scores another LMP2 pole

The Signatech Alpine team followed up on its LMP2 pole in Mexico City last month with another in Austin. 

Andre Negrao had been only seventh after the first runs aboard their Oreca 07 on a 1m54.374s after making "three mistakes". Lapierre then set a 1m53.675s to give than a 1m54.024s that put them on pole by more than four tenths. 

Mathias Beche and David Heinemeier Hansson took second in the best of the Rebellion Orecas. 

Beche's 1m53.249s had put him second fastest to teammate Bruno Senna's 1m53.081s after the first runs, but Heinemeier Hansson went four tenths quicker than Julien Canal in the sister car. 

Beche and Heinemeier Hansson's 1m54.275s average gave them a three tenths margin over Oliver Jarvis and Thomas Laurent in the championship-leading Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca. 

No stopping Ferrari in GTE Pro

Davide Rigon and Sam Bird took their second consecutive pole – and third of the season – in GTE Pro for the factory AF Corse Ferrari team. 

Rigon led the way after the first runs in the #71 Ferrari 488 GTE with a 2m02.993s before Bird posted a 2m03.122s on the same set of tyres that his teammate had used.

That gave them a 2m03.057s average, which put them almost exactly two tenths up on Ganassi Ford duo Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell. Priaulx had been second to Rigon in the first runs before Tincknell ended up third fastest on used tyres in their Ford GT to give them a 2m03.256s average. 

Marco Sorensen was second fastest for Aston Martin after the first runs, before Nicki Thiim jumped ahead of the Ford with a new-tyre run, although not by enough of a margin to promote them in the order. The second AF Ferrari was fourth in the hands of Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado.

Pedro Lamy and Paul Dalla Lana took their fifth GTE Am pole of the season in their Aston Martin Vantage GTE. 

LMP1/2 results:

Pos.#DriversCarClassTimeGap
1 1 germany Andre Lotterer 
switzerland Neel Jani 
united_kingdom Nick Tandy 
Porsche 919 Hybrid LMP1 1'44.741  
2 2 germany Timo Bernhard 
new_zealand Brendon Hartley 
new_zealand Earl Bamber 
Porsche 919 Hybrid LMP1 1'44.994 0.253
3 8 france Stéphane Sarrazin 
japan Kazuki Nakajima 
switzerland Sébastien Buemi 
Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 1'46.400 1.659
4 7 japan Kamui Kobayashi 
united_kingdom Mike Conway 
argentina Jose Maria Lopez 
Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 1'47.098 2.357
5 36 france Nicolas Lapierre 
brazil Andre Negrao 
united_states Gustavo Menezes 
Alpine A470 LMP2 1'54.024 9.283
6 13 brazil Nelson Piquet Jr. 
denmark David Heinemeier Hansson
switzerland Mathias Beche 
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'54.275 9.534
7 38 united_kingdom Oliver Jarvis 
china Ho-Pin Tung 
france Thomas Laurent 
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'54.315 9.574
8 31 brazil Bruno Senna 
france Julien Canal 
france Nicolas Prost 
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'54.394 9.653
9 26 russia Roman Rusinov 
france Pierre Thiriet 
united_kingdom Alex Lynn 
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'54.588 9.847
10 24 france Jean-Eric Vergne 
united_kingdom Ben Hanley 
united_kingdom Matt Rao 
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'55.186 10.445
11 37 china David Cheng 
france Tristan Gommendy 
united_kingdom Alex Brundle 
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'55.550 10.809
12 28 france François Perrodo 
france Emmanuel Collard 
france Matthieu Vaxiviere 
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'55.831 11.090
13 25 russia Vitaly Petrov 
switzerland Simon Trummer 
mexico Roberto Gonzalez 
Oreca 07 LMP2 no time -

GTE results:

Pos.#DriversCarClassAvg TimeGap
1 71 united_kingdom Sam Bird 
italy Davide Rigon 
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE PRO 2'03.057  
2 67 united_kingdom Harry Tincknell 
guernsey Andy Priaulx 
Ford GT LMGTE PRO 2'03.256 0.199
3 95 denmark Marco Sorensen 
denmark Nicki Thiim 
Aston Martin Vantage LMGTE PRO 2'03.308 0.251
4 51 united_kingdom James Calado 
italy Alessandro Pier Guidi
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE PRO 2'03.553 0.496
5 66 germany Stefan Mücke 
france Olivier Pla 
Ford GT LMGTE PRO 2'03.750 0.693
6 97 united_kingdom Darren Turner 
united_kingdom Jonathan Adam 
brazil Daniel Serra 
Aston Martin Vantage LMGTE PRO 2'04.051 0.994
7 91 austria Richard Lietz 
france Frédéric Makowiecki 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE PRO 2'04.323 1.266
8 92 denmark Michael Christensen 
france Kevin Estre 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE PRO 2'04.386 1.329
9 98 portugal Pedro Lamy 
canada Paul Dalla Lana 
austria Mathias Lauda 
Aston Martin Vantage V8 LMGTE AM 2'06.031 2.974
10 54 italy Francesco Castellacci 
spain Miguel Molina 
switzerland Thomas Flohr 
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE AM 2'07.203 4.146
11 61 ireland Matt Griffin 
singapore Mok Weng Sun 
japan Keita Sawa 
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE AM 2'07.532 4.475
12 77 germany Christian Ried 
italy Matteo Cairoli 
germany Marvin Dienst 
Porsche 911 RSR (991) LMGTE AM 2'08.126 5.069
13 86 united_kingdom Michael Wainwright 
united_kingdom Ben Barker 
united_kingdom Nick Foster 
Porsche 911 RSR (991) LMGTE AM 2'08.819 5.762
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