Bahrain WEC: Audi takes pole for farewell race

Audi will start its final race in the FIA World Endurance Championship from pole position, as the #8 car of Lucas di Grassi, Oliver Jarvis and Loic Duval beat the Porsches to the top spot in qualifying.

In the end, it was a scintillating lap of 1m38.828s by di Grassi in the closing stages of the session that ensured the Ingolstadt marque came out on top, with Jarvis' earlier time making for an average of 1m39.207s.

That was enough to overcome the #1 Porsche, started by Timo Bernhard, taken over by Brendon Hartley and then handed back to Bernhard, by 0.264s, with Bernhard's best effort a full half-second slower than that of di Grassi.

The points-leading sister #2 919 Hybrid, shared by Neel Jani and Marc Lieb, took the third spot, 0.198s behind the #1 machine and 0.462s behind pole on average times.

Audi's second car, the #7 of Andre Lotterer and Marcel Fassler, could only manage fourth quickest, as Lotterer failed to improve on his earlier time after taking back over the car from Fassler late in the session.

Toyota locked out the third row with its pair of TS050 Hybrids, neither of which seemed to have the pace when it mattered.

The title-contending #6 machine of Kamui Kobayashi and Mike Conway, who had a time deleted for a track limits violation, was fifth, 1.015s off the pace and half a second clear of the #5 car of Anthony Davidson and Kazuki Nakajima, who were also hobbled by having an early laptime deleted.

Rebellion Racing took LMP1 privateer pole in its last race in the division, as the ByKolles failed to set a time during qualifying.

LMP2 pole went to the #26 G-Drive Oreca of Rene Rast and Roman Rusinov, whose combined efforts produced an average of 1m49.672s.

That was 0.018s up on the #36 Signatech Alpine shared by Gustavo Menezes and Stephane Richelmi, while third place went to the best of the Manor Orecas, the #44 of Alex Lynn and Matt Rao.

Aston Martin sweeps GTE classes

In GTE-Pro, it was the #95 Aston Martin car of Darren Turner and Jonathan Adam that took pole position - with both drivers incredibly setting identical laptimes of 1m56.953s.

That gave the all-British duo a margin of 0.128s over the points-leading sister #95 car of Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorensen, who need to finish in third place on Saturday to be certain of the class title.

Ferrari supplied the closest opposition to Aston Martin, with the #51 car of Gianmaria Bruni and James Calado putting in an average time 0.427s off the pace, while the best of the Fords, the #67 of Harry Tincknell and Andy Priaulx, was fourth, a further half a second back.

Pole position for the #98 Aston Martin of Pedro Lamy and Paul Dalla Lana in GTE-Am ensures that the race for title honours in that class goes on, although the #83 AF Corse squad needs only to finish on Sunday to take the crown.

Qualifying results - LMP1 and LMP2

Cla#DriversCarClassTimeGap
1 8  Lucas di Grassi 
 Loic Duval 
 Oliver Jarvis 
Audi R18 LMP1 1'39.207  
2 1  Mark Webber 
 Timo Bernhard 
 Brendon Hartley 
Porsche 919 Hybrid LMP1 1'39.471 0.264
3 2  Romain Dumas 
 Neel Jani 
 Marc Lieb 
Porsche 919 Hybrid LMP1 1'39.669 0.462
4 7  Andre Lotterer 
 Marcel Fassler 
 Benoit Tréluyer 
Audi R18 LMP1 1'39.698 0.491
5 6  Stéphane Sarrazin 
 Kamui Kobayashi 
 Mike Conway 
Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 1'40.222 1.015
6 5  Anthony Davidson 
 Kazuki Nakajima 
 Sébastien Buemi 
Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 1'40.776 1.569
7 13  Alexandre Imperatori 
 Dominik Kraihamer 
 Matheo Tuscher 
Rebellion R-One LMP1 1'45.091 5.884
8 26  Roman Rusinov 
 René Rast 
 Alex Brundle 
Oreca 05 LMP2 1'49.672 10.465
9 36  Nicolas Lapierre 
 Gustavo Menezes 
 Stéphane Richelmi 
Alpine A460 LMP2 1'49.690 10.483
10 44  Richard Bradley 
 Matthew Rao 
 Alex Lynn 
Oreca 05 LMP2 1'50.034 10.827
11 43  Bruno Senna 
 Ricardo Gonzalez 
 Filipe Albuquerque 
Ligier JS P2 LMP2 1'50.410 11.203
12 30  Giedo van der Garde 
 Tom Dillmann 
 Sean Gelael 
Ligier JS P2 LMP2 1'50.685 11.478
13 45  Roberto Merhi 
 Julien Canal 
 Roberto Gonzalez 
Oreca 05 LMP2 1'50.800 11.593
14 31  Pipo Derani 
 Ryan Dalziel 
 Chris Cumming 
Ligier JS P2 LMP2 1'51.071 11.864
15 35  Paul-Loup Chatin 
 Ho-Pin Tung 
 David Cheng 
Alpine A460 LMP2 1'51.185 11.978
16 27  Maurizio Mediani 
 Nicolas Minassian 
 Mikhail Aleshin 
BR01 LMP2 1'51.427 12.220
17 37  Vitaly Petrov 
 Viktor Shaytar 
 Kirill Ladygin 
BR01 LMP2 1'51.475 12.268

Qualifying results - GTE

Cla#DriversCarClassAvg TimeGap
1 97  Darren Turner 
 Jonathan Adam 
Aston Martin Vantage V8 LMGTE PRO 1'56.953  
2 95  Marco Sorensen 
 Nicki Thiim 
Aston Martin Vantage V8 LMGTE PRO 1'57.081 0.128
3 51  Gianmaria Bruni 
 James Calado 
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE PRO 1'57.380 0.427
4 67  Harry Tincknell 
 Andy Priaulx 
Ford GT LMGTE PRO 1'57.891 0.938
5 71  Sam Bird 
 Davide Rigon 
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE PRO 1'58.201 1.248
6 66  Stefan Mücke 
 Olivier Pla 
Ford GT LMGTE PRO 1'58.504 1.551
7 77  Richard Lietz 
 Michael Christensen 
Porsche 911 RSR (2016) LMGTE PRO 1'58.882 1.929
8 98  Pedro Lamy 
 Paul Dalla Lana 
 Mathias Lauda 
Aston Martin Vantage V8 LMGTE AM 1'59.879 2.926
9 83  François Perrodo 
 Emmanuel Collard 
 Rui Aguas 
Ferrari F458 Italia LMGTE AM 2'00.227 3.274
10 50  Pierre Ragues 
 Ricky Taylor 
 Romain Brandela 
Chevrolet Corvette C7-Z06 LMGTE AM 2'00.938 3.985
11 86  Michael Wainwright 
 Adam Carroll 
 Ben Barker 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 2'02.112 5.159
12 78  Christian Ried 
 Wolf Henzler 
 Joel Camathias 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 2'39.576 42.623

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About this article
Series WEC
Event Bahrain
Track Bahrain International Circuit
Drivers Oliver Jarvis , Lucas di Grassi
Teams Aston Martin Racing , Audi Sport Team Joest
Article type Qualifying report