Porsche storms to pole in Brazil

November 29, 2014

Porsche storms to pole in Brazil

November 29, 2014

wec_brazil_saturday_qual2 40

Porsche locked down the front row of the grid for the final round of the FIA World Endurance Championship in Brazil with Mark Webber and Timo Bernhard scoring the pole aboard the No.20 Porsche 919 Hybrid.

At the start of the 25 minute session the two Porsches were quickly on the pace but were pushed hard by the No.8 Toyota of Anthony Davidson. Neel Jani in the No.14 919 and Mark Webber in the No.20 Porsche were putting in some sub 1 minute 18 second laps and at the end of the first two laps the No.14 Porsche led the way with the No.8 Toyota ahead of the No.20 Webber/Bernhard Porsche.

AUTO - WEC 6 HOURS OF SAO PAULO 2014With the driver changes completed the battle resumed for the last race start of the year and it was Marc Lieb who continued to keep the top spot, but was pushed all the way by Bernhard in the sister car, who was ahead of the No.8 Toyota of Sebastien Buemi and the No.2 Audi of Benoit Treluyer.

As the clock counted down the No.20 Porsche came back into the pits for Bernhard to hand it back to Webber. With minutes remaining the Australian lowered his average to move ahead of his teammates to claim the top spot for the first time in 2014.

”This was a really exciting qualifying. At my first attempt I messed it up and then Timo was super fast,” Webber said.

“But, as it is the average lap time what counts, I had to get back into the car and try to improve. Luckily it worked out, and with my last lap I was happy. Now we are looking forward to the race. Our positions couldn’t be better and we have a great team in the pits to do everything that is needed.”

The result was the first pole for the No.20 Porsche which will also be driven by Brendon Hartley tomorrow. It was also Porsche’s first 1-2 qualifying performance in LM P1 in the FIA WEC.

The gap between the two Porsches was only 0.107s after the four lap average, with the No.8 Toyota of World Champions elect Buemi and Davidson in third and 0.394s behind the lead car.

The two Audis were 4th and 6th, with the No.2 R18 out qualifying the No.1 car of Tom Kristensen and Lucas di Grassi by less than one tenth of a second. The two Audis were split by the No.7 Toyota TS040 of Stephane Sarrazin and Mike Conway.

In LMP1-L the honours went to the No.12 Rebellion Racing R-One of Nick Heidfeld and Mathias Beche, with their four-lap average finishing up as a time of 1:21.127, 0.5 seconds faster than the No.13 R-One and one second faster than the Lotus CLM-AER.

In LMP2 the G-Drive Racing Ligier of Roman Rusinov and Olivier Pla moved there championship aspirations a step closer to reality by claiming the championship point for pole position, their seventh of the year.

In the GTE ranks, Aston Martin proved its strong performances in the free practice sessions for the 6 Hours of Sao Paulo were no fluke as the British marque swept to pole position in both the LMGTE Pro and Am categories. In fact, had Porsche not intervened, Aston Martin Racing would have had a 1-2 in both classes.

Tomorrow’s 6 Hours of Sao Paulo goes green at 1:00pm (local) / 10:00am US Eastern, with the race in Brazil deciding the final four championships of the 2014 season.


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