Bahrain WEC: Points-leading Porsche takes pole for season finale

Porsche’s Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernhard set pole position for the World Endurance Championship’s season finale at Bahrain, edging them – and Mark Webber – a step closer to the title.

Bahrain WEC: Points-leading Porsche takes pole for season finale
#17 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid: Timo Bernhard, Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley
#17 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid: Timo Bernhard, Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley
#7 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e-tron quattro: Marcel Fässler, Andre Lotterer, Benoit Tréluyer
#18 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid: Romain Dumas, Neel Jani, Marc Lieb
#36 Signatech Alpine A450b: Paul-Loup Chatin, Nelson Panciatici, Tom Dillmann
#98 Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage GTE: Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy, Mathias Lauda
#7 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e-tron quattro: Marcel Fässler, Andre Lotterer, Benoit Tréluyer
#2 Toyota Racing Toyota TS040 Hybrid: Alexander Wurz, Stéphane Sarrazin, Mike Conway
#51 AF Corse Ferrari 458 GTE: Gianmaria Bruni, Toni Vilander
#98 Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage GTE: Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy, Mathias Lauda
#98 Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage GTE: Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy, Mathias Lauda

Hartley set 1m39.802s on his first flying lap, despite a big oversteer moment at Turn 11. Bernhard made no such mistakes, and recorded an even faster 1m39.670s for an average of 1m39.736s. Mark Webber did not take part in qualifying.

The sister 919 Hybrid of Romain Dumas/Marc Lieb averaged 1m40.100s, 0.364s down on the points-leading car. The fastest driver on that crew, Neel Jani, did not qualify the car as Porsche wanted to ensure the point for pole went to the #17 car.

There was a tight battle between the Audis, with the Marcel Fassler/Andre Lotterer R18 just shading the Loic Duval/Oliver Jarvis car by a tenth of a second.

Toyota qualified in their usual P5 and P6 slots, with the #1 car beating #2 by three tenths.

In LMP2, the Signatech-run Alpine set the pace with Tom Dillmann initially, then Paul-Loup Chatin helped annex the pole despite the latter running wide at the final corner.

The KCMG Oreca of Matthew Howson and Nick Tandy was just 0.067s shy of the class pole average.

Julien Canal and Sam Bird qualified third, while the sister G-Drive Ligier of Ricardo Gonzalez/Pipo Derani qualified fourth, despite hitting Nick Leventis in the Strakka-run Gibson at Turn 1.

GT classes

Qualifying amid the GTE ranks got off to a false start when the circuit’s floodlights failed two minutes into the session.

After a 20-minute delay, Ferrari locked out a 1-2 in Pro with Toni Vilander and Gianmaria Bruni averaging 1m58.347s for their third pole of the season, 0.033s quicker than the sister AF Corse-run 458 Italia of Davide Rigon/James Calado.

The Marco Sorensen/Nicki Thiim Aston will start third in class, ahead of the sister Vantage V8 of Alex MacDowell and Richie Stanaway.

The top Porsche was the Patrick Pilet/Frederic Makowiecki in fifth, 0.6s off the pace.

Aston ruled the roost in Am, however, with Pedro Lamy/Paul Dalla Lana taking the top spot ahead of the Larbre Chevrolet Corvette Gianluca Roda/Paolo Ruberti and the SMP-run Ferrari of Victor Shaytar/Andrea Bertolini. 

Results: WEC 2015 Bahrain qualifying

PosDriverCarTime
Mark Webber 
Brendon Hartley 
Timo Bernhard 
Porsche 919 Hybrid  1:39.736 
Marc Lieb 
Romain Dumas 
Neel Jani 
Porsche 919 Hybrid  1:40.100 
Andre Lotterer 
Benoit Tréluyer 
Marcel Fassler 
Audi R18 e-tron  1:41.303 
Loic Duval 
Oliver Jarvis 
Lucas di Grassi 
Audi R18 e-tron  1:41.407 
Anthony Davidson 
Kazuki Nakajima 
Sébastien Buemi 
Toyota TS040 Hybrid  1:42.158 
Alexander Wurz 
Mike Conway 
Stéphane Sarrazin 
Toyota TS040 Hybrid  1:42.462 
Alexandre Imperatori 
Mathéo Tuscher  
Dominik Kraihamer 
Rebellion R-One  1:46.660 
Mathias Beche 
Nicolas Prost 
Rebellion R-One  1:46.918 
Pierre Kaffer 
Simon Trummer 
CLM P1/01  1:48.281 
10  Nelson Panciatici 
Paul-Loup Chatin 
Tom Dillmann 
Alpine A450b  1:49.993 
11  Matthew Howson 
Nick Tandy 
Richard Bradley 
ORECA 05  1:50.060 
12  Roman Rusinov 
Sam Bird 
Julien Canal 
Ligier JS P2  1:50.102 
13  Pipo Derani 
Gustavo Yacaman 
Ricardo Gonzalez 
Ligier JS P2  1:50.720 
14  Oliver Webb 
Chris Cumming 
Pierre Ragues 
Morgan LMP2 1:51.302 
15  David H-Hansson
Ryan Dalziel 
Scott Sharp 
Ligier JS P2  1:51.610 
16  Devi Markozov  
Nicolas Minassian 
Mikhail Aleshin 
BR Engineering BR01  1:52.020 
17  Jonny Kane 
Nick Leventis 
Danny Watts 
Gibson 015S  1:52.260 
18  Ed Brown 
Jon Fogarty 
Johannes van Overbeek
Ligier JS P2  1:55.472 
19  Toni Vilander 
Gianmaria Bruni 
Ferrari F458 Italia  1:58.347 
20  Davide Rigon 
James Calado 
Ferrari F458 Italia  1:58.380 
21  Nicki Thiim 
Christoffer Nygaard 
Marco Sørensen  
Aston Martin Vantage 1:58.659 
22  Alex MacDowall 
Richie Stanaway 
Fernando Rees 
Aston Martin Vantage 1:58.777 
23  Frédéric Makowiecki 
Patrick Pilet 
Porsche 911 RSR  1:58.988 
24  Jonathan Adam 
Darren Turner 
Aston Martin Vantage 1:59.111 
25  Richard Lietz 
Michael Christensen 
Porsche 911 RSR  1:59.807 
26  Pedro Lamy 
Paul Dalla Lana 
Mathias Lauda 
Aston Martin Vantage 2:00.522 
27  Gianluca Roda 
Kristian Poulsen 
Paolo Ruberti 
Chevrolet Corvette C7.R 2:00.944 
28  Aleksey Basov 
Andrea Bertolini 
Viktor Shaitar 
Ferrari F458 Italia  2:00.988 
29  Emmanuel Collard 
Matteo Cressoni 
François Perrodo 
Ferrari F458 Italia  2:01.796 
30  Christian Ried 
Patrick Long 
Marco Seefried 
Porsche 911 RSR  2:02.348 
31  Roald Goethe 
Francesco Castellacci 
Stuart Hall 
Aston Martin Vantage 2:03.517 
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