Fuji WEC: Bernhard and Webber claim pole position for Porsche

Timo Bernhard and Mark Webber claimed pole position for this weekend's Fuji round of the World Endurance Championship, as Porsche maintained its monopoly of the front row

Fuji WEC: Bernhard and Webber claim pole position for Porsche

Bernhard was the fastest of the first batch of drivers with a 1m22.888s before Webber went slightly faster with a 1m22.639s to lower their average to 1m22.763s.

That put them three tenths up on the second-placed Porsche 919 Hybrid qualified by Romain Dumas and Marc Lieb.

Dumas was second fastest to Bernhard with a 1m23.016s, but Lieb's fastest time of 1m23.275s on his first run dropped him to third position behind the best of the Audis, qualified by Andre Lotterer and Benoit Treluyer.

The German, unlike the sister car and the Audi, had been sent out on old tyres, but he just had time to come in for a new set of Michelins and post a 1m23.127s to pip the Audi R18 e-tron quattro drivers by one hundredth.

Bernhard said: "It's another pole for Porsche, but Audi pushed us much harder this time.

"The most important thing is that we got the point for pole to get closer to the #7 Audi [which leads the championship in the hands of Lotterer, Treluyer and March Fassler]."

Audi, which is running a new aerodynamic configuration at Fuji, took third and fourth positions, the second R18 of Lucas di Grassi and Loic Duval ending up a tenth-and-a-half behind its sister car with an average of 1m23.245s.

Toyota again took fifth and sixth positions, Kazuki Nakajima and Sebastien Buemi ending up with a 1m25.072s average.

G-DRIVE DOMINATES LMP2

Julien Canal and Sam Bird claimed pole in the LMP2 class aboard their G-Drive Ligier-Nissan JSP2.

Canal was fastest of the silver-rated drivers, although Bird was slightly slower than team-mate Gustavo Yacaman.

Their average of 1m31.529s was two tenths up on the second G-Drive Ligier that Ricardo Gonzalez qualified along with Yacaman.

AF Corse Ferrari drivers Davide Rigon and James Calado took their first WEC pole in the GTE Pro class.

Rigon was just pipped by team-mate Toni Vilander before Calado outperformed team leader Gianmaria Bruni.

Bruni had a second run on new tyres aboard his Ferrari 458 Italia, but was unable to improve his time.

That meant that Rigon and Calado's average of 1m38.403s gave them the top spot by just over a tenth.

GTE Am honours were taken by Gianluca Roda and Paolo Ruberti in the Larbre Chevrolet Corvette C7.R.

QUALIFYING RESULTS:

Pos Class Driver Team Car Time Gap
1 LMP1 T.Bernhard, M.Webber, B.Hartley Porsche Team Porsche 1m22.763s -
2 LMP1 R.Dumas, N.Jani, M.Lieb Porsche Team Porsche 1m23.071s 0.308s
3 LMP1 M.Fassler, A.Lotterer, B.Treluyer Audi Sport Team Joest Audi 1m23.082s 0.319s
4 LMP1 L.di Grassi, L.Duval, O.Jarvis Audi Sport Team Joest Audi 1m23.245s 0.482s
5 LMP1 A.Davidson, S.Buemi, K.Nakajima Toyota Racing Toyota 1m25.072s 2.309s
6 LMP1 A.Wurz, S.Sarrazin, M.Conway Toyota Racing Toyota 1m25.327s 2.564s
7 LMP1 A.Imperatori, D.Kraihamer, D.Abt Rebellion Racing Rebellion/AER 1m28.492s 5.729s
8 LMP1 N.Prost, M.Beche Rebellion Racing Rebellion/AER 1m28.641s 5.878s
9 LMP1 S.Trummer, P.Kaffer Team ByKolles CLM/AER 1m30.740s 7.977s
10 LMP2 R.Rusinov, J.Canal, S.Bird G-Drive Racing Ligier/Nissan 1m31.529s 8.766s
11 LMP2 G.Yacaman, P.Derani, R.Gonzalez G-Drive Racing Ligier/Nissan 1m31.750s 8.987s
12 LMP2 P.Ragues, O.Webb, C.Cumming Team SARD Morand Morgan/SARD 1m32.163s 9.400s
13 LMP2 M.Howson, R.Bradley, N.Tandy KCMG ORECA/Nissan 1m32.275s 9.512s
14 LMP2 N.Panciatici, P-L.Chatin, V.Capillaire Signatech Alpine Alpine/Nissan 1m32.483s 9.720s
15 LMP2 S.Sharp, R.Dalziel, D.H.Hansson Extreme Speed Motorsports Ligier/HPD 1m32.558s 9.795s
16 LMP2 N.Leventis, D.Watts, J.Kane Strakka Racing Gibson/Nissan 1m33.490s 10.727s
17 LMP2 E.Brown, J.van Overbeek, J.Fogarty Extreme Speed Motorsports Ligier/HPD 1m34.892s 12.129s
18 GTE Pro D.Rigon, J.Calado AF Corse Ferrari 1m38.295s 15.532s
19 GTE Pro G.Bruni, T.Vilander AF Corse Ferrari 1m38.403s 15.640s
20 GTE Pro A.MacDowall, F.Rees, S.Mucke Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 1m38.540s 15.777s
21 GTE Pro R.Lietz, M.Christensen Porsche Team Manthey Porsche 1m38.751s 15.988s
22 GTE Pro P.Pilet, F.Makowiecki Porsche Team Manthey Porsche 1m38.864s 16.101s
23 GTE Pro D.Turner, J.Adam Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 1m38.979s 16.216s
24 GTE Pro C.Nygaard, M.Sorensen Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 1m39.028s 16.265s
25 GTE Am V.Shaytar, A.Bertolini, A.Basov SMP Racing Ferrari 1m40.128s 17.365s
26 GTE Am P.D.Lana, P.Lamy, M.Lauda Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 1m40.442s 17.679s
27 GTE Am F.Perrodo, E.Collard, R.Aguas AF Corse Ferrari 1m40.516s 17.753s
28 GTE Am P.Dempsey, P.Long, M.Seefried Dempsey Racing - Proton Porsche 1m41.055s 18.292s
29 GTE Am F.Castellacci, L.Griffin, S.Hall Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 1m41.181s 18.418s
30 GTE Am C.Ried, K.Al Qubaisi, E.Bamber Abu Dhabi-Proton Racing Porsche 1m48.415s 25.652s
31 GTE Am G.Roda, P.Ruberti, N.Sylvest Larbre Competition Chevrolet - -

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