Mexico WEC: Audi's di Grassi and Duval pip Porsche to pole

Audi drivers Loic Duval and Lucas di Grassi took a first World Endurance Championship pole position together at the Mexico City round

Mexico WEC: Audi's di Grassi and Duval pip Porsche to pole

Duval and di Grassi ended up with a 1m25.069s average aboard the #8 Audi R18 e-tron quattro, which gave them pole ahead of Porsche drivers Neel Jani and Marc Lieb by just 0.042 seconds.

Frenchman Duval had been third after the first runs behind team-mate Andre Lotterer and Jani.

Brazilian di Grassi then set the second fastest lap of the session to vault the #8 Audi ahead of its sister car and the Porsche, which ended up on a 1m25.111s.

Di Grassi, who has never previously been on pole in the WEC, said: "This track is amazing to drive on a pole lap - it was extremely difficult to nail it."

Duval's last pole came in his WEC championship year in 2013 with Allan McNish. He admitted to making a mistake on his first lap and then being too careful in the stadium sequence on his second.

The second-placed Porsche 919 Hybrid had been nearly three tenths ahead of the Audi after the first runs, but di Grassi's 1m24.838s lap eclipsed Lieb's best by a shade more than three tenths.

Lotterer set the best time of the session with a 1m24.763s but co-driver Marcel Fassler's first flying lap left the #7 car only fourth.

The Swiss then improved after a red flag by nearly a second to demote the second Porsche qualified by Brendon Hartley and Mark Webber to fourth.

The two Toyota TS050 HYBRIDs ended up fifth and sixth.

A 1m26.960s average for Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima left them nine tenths off the pace.

Mike Conway and Kamui Kobayashi were a further two tenths down in the second car.

Alex Imperatori and Dominik Kraihamer took LMP1 privateer honours in the solo Rebellion-AER R-One.

Race promoter Ricardo Gonzalez took pole in LMP2 together with Bruno Senna in the RGR Sport Ligier-Nissan JSP2.

Senna had been nearly a second faster than closest rival Gustavo Menezes in the Signatech Alpine ORECA-Nissan 05 after the first runs.

Nicolas Lapierre closed the gap in the Signatech car, but his improvement only brought it to within fourth tenths of the RGR duo's 1m35.485 average.

Aston Martin took its second consecutive pole position in GTE Pro with Marco Sorensen and Nicki Thiim.

Sorensen had trailed team-mate Richie Stanaway in the sister Vantage GTE by a tenth, but Thiim was able to outpace Darren Turner to the tune of three tenths.

That gave the Danish duo the pole with a two-lap average of 1m40.458s.

Factory Ferrari drivers Gianmaria Bruni and James Calado were four tenths back in third in the best of the AF Corse 488 GTEs.

Pedro Lamy and Paul Dalla Lana took a third class pole of the season in GTE Am aboard their Aston Martin before their car lost its times for a rideheight infringement.

That promoted the Abu Dhabi-Proton Porsche 911 RSR qualified by Patrick Long and Khaled Al Qubaisi to the class pole.

QUALIFYING RESULTS

Pos Class Driver Team Car Time Gap
1 LMP1 L.di Grassi, L.Duval, O.Jarvis Audi Sport Team Joest Audi 1m25.069s -
2 LMP1 R.Dumas, N.Jani, M.Lieb Porsche Team Porsche 1m25.111s 0.042s
3 LMP1 M.Fassler, A.Lotterer Audi Sport Team Joest Audi 1m25.350s 0.281s
4 LMP1 T.Bernhard, M.Webber, B.Hartley Porsche Team Porsche 1m25.400s 0.331s
5 LMP1 S.Buemi, K.Nakajima Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota 1m25.960s 0.891s
6 LMP1 S.Sarrazin, M.Conway, K.Kobayashi Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota 1m26.183s 1.114s
7 LMP1 M.Tuscher, D.Kraihamer, A.Imperatori Rebellion Racing Rebellion/AER 1m29.909s 4.840s
8 LMP1 S.Trummer, O.Webb, P.Kaffer ByKOLLES Racing Team CLM/AER 1m31.674s 6.605s
9 LMP2 R.Gonzalez, B.Senna, F.Albuquerque RGR Sport by Morand Ligier/Nissan 1m35.485s -
10 LMP2 G.Menezes, N.Lapierre, S.Richelmi Signatech Alpine Alpine/Nissan 1m35.819s -
11 LMP2 N.Leventis, L.Williamson, J.Kane Strakka Racing Gibson/Nissan 1m36.037s -
12 LMP2 R.Rusinov, R.Rast, A.Brundle G-Drive Racing ORECA/Nissan 1m36.063s -
13 LMP2 M.Rao, R.Bradley, P.Toledano Manor ORECA/Nissan 1m36.594s -
14 LMP2 R.Gonzalez, B.Junqueira, L.Diaz Greaves Motorsport Gibson/Nissan 1m36.914s -
15 LMP2 N.Minassian, M.Mediani SMP Racing BR Engineering/Nissan 1m37.102s -
16 LMP2 V.Petrov, V.Shaytar, K.Ladygin SMP Racing BR Engineering/Nissan 1m37.112s -
17 LMP2 D.Cheng, H-Pin Tung, N.Panciatici Baxi DC Racing Alpine Alpine/Nissan 1m37.482s -
18 LMP2 R.Dalziel, P.Derani, C.Cumming Extreme Speed Motorsports Ligier/Nissan 1m37.752s -
19 LMP2 S.Sharp, E.Brown, J.van Overbeek Extreme Speed Motorsports Ligier/Nissan 1m39.514s -
20 GTE Pro N.Thiim, M.Sorensen Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 1m40.458s -
21 GTE Pro R.Stanaway, D.Turner Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 1m40.600s -
22 GTE Pro G.Bruni, J.Calado AF Corse Ferrari 1m41.034s -
23 GTE Pro R.Lietz, M.Christensen Dempsey Racing - Proton Porsche 1m41.322s -
24 GTE Pro D.Rigon, S.Bird AF Corse Ferrari 1m41.426s -
25 GTE Pro S.Mucke, O.Pla Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK Ford 1m41.523s -
26 GTE Pro M.Franchitti, A.Priaulx, H.Tincknell Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK Ford 1m41.836s -
27 GTE Am K.Al Qubaisi, D.H.Hansson, P.Long Abu Dhabi-Proton Racing Porsche 1m42.839s -
28 GTE Am M.Wainwright, A.Carroll, B.Barker Gulf Racing Porsche 1m43.546s -
29 GTE Am C.Ried, W.Henzler, J.Camathias KCMG Porsche 1m43.603s -
30 GTE Am Y.Yamagishi, P.Ragues, R.Taylor Larbre Competition Chevrolet 1m43.738s -
31 GTE Am F.Perrodo, E.Collard, R.Aguas AF Corse Ferrari 1m43.880s -
- GTE Am P.D.Lana, P.Lamy, M.Lauda Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 1m42.437s -


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WEC Mexico: Porsche edges Audi by 0.1s in final practice

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