Shanghai WEC: Porsche survives track limits scare for pole

Porsche secured pole position for the WEC 6 Hours of Shanghai, as the combined efforts of Brendon Hartley and Mark Webber were enough for the top spot despite a track limits scare.

The #1 919 Hybrid of Hartley was the quickest car after the first runs, the New Zealander setting a benchmark of 1m44.747s to go two tenths clear of the opposition.

However, this laptime was soon deleted as Hartley exceeded track limits exiting the final corner, forcing him to take over from Webber again once the Australian had set his laptime.

With Webber posting a 1m44.618s, Hartley went even faster at the end of the session with a 1m44.307s, which together with his teammate's time produced an average of 1m44.462s.

That was a mere 0.060s up on the #5 Toyota of Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima, as the Swiss fell just short of dislodging the #1 car on his final lap, having started the car and then taking over again from Nakajima at the end in a bid to improve his time.

Audi made it three different manufacturers in the top three, as Oliver Jarvis and Loic Duval took the #8 car to third on the grid, 0.148s off pole.

Fourth was the #6 Toyota of Mike Conway and Stephane Sarrazin, followed by the #7 Audi of Benoit Treluyer and Marcel Fassler.

Marc Lieb suffered a similar problem to Porsche stablemate Hartley in the #2 entry, having his first laptime deleted for excess fuel consumption. Once back on track after Neel Jani's turn in the car, the German could only do enough for the sixth best average time.

Dominik Kraihamer and Alexandre Imperatori took pole position in the LMP1-L category for Rebellion Racing, five seconds off the pace of the best of the hybrids.

In LMP2, Alex Lynn pulled out the quickest laptime in class behind the wheel of #44 Manor to put the car he shares with Matt Rao and Richard Bradley on pole.

The trio ended up beating the #36 Signatech Alpine of Nicolas Lapierre and Gustavo Menezes by 0.157s, with the #30 ESM Ligier of Sean Gelael and Tom Blomqvist just a further 0.016s back in third.

Ford dominates in GTE

In the GTE-Pro division, Ford swept the front row with the #67 car of Harry Tincknell and Andy Priaulx beating the sister #66 car of Olivier Pla and Stefan Mucke to class pole.

Priaulx set the fastest time among the first drivers, a 2m01.543s, while Tincknell improved to a 2m01.240s when he took over to give the British duo an average of 2m01.391s.

That was enough to eclipse Pla and Mucke by 0.137s on average times, with the third-placed #95 Aston Martin of Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorensen a further half a second back in third.

Hit by an overnight reduction in boost pressure, Ferrari struggled to match the pace of its rivals, with Gianmaria Bruni and James Calado ending up fourth in the #51, 0.924s off the pace - with the #71 machine sixth, behind the #97 Aston Martin.

Pole in GTE-Am went to the #98 Aston Martin of Pedro Lamy and Paul Dalla Lana, whose average time of 2m04.997s put them 0.337s clear of the #83 AF Corse Ferrari of Emmanuel Collard and Francois Perrodo.

Qualifying results - LMP1 & LMP2 class:

Pos#DriversCarClassLapsTimeGap
1 1 Mark Webber
Timo Bernhard
Brendon Hartley
Porsche 919 Hybrid LMP1 9 1'44.462  
2 5 Anthony Davidson
Kazuki Nakajima
Sébastien Buemi
Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 9 1'44.522 0.060
3 8 Lucas di Grassi
Loic Duval
Oliver Jarvis
Audi R18 LMP1 9 1'44.610 0.148
4 6 Stéphane Sarrazin
Kamui Kobayashi
Mike Conway
Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 9 1'44.810 0.348
5 7 Andre Lotterer
Marcel Fassler
Benoit Tréluyer
Audi R18 LMP1 8 1'44.868 0.406
6 2 Romain Dumas
Neel Jani
Marc Lieb
Porsche 919 Hybrid LMP1 9 1'45.051 0.589
7 13 Alexandre Imperatori
Dominik Kraihamer
Matheo Tuscher
Rebellion R-One LMP1 7 1'49.828 5.366
8 44 Richard Bradley
Matthew Rao
Alex Lynn
Oreca 05 LMP2 8 1'54.225 9.763
9 36 Nicolas Lapierre
Gustavo Menezes
Stéphane Richelmi
Alpine A460 LMP2 9 1'54.382 9.920
10 30 Sean Gelael
Antonio Giovinazzi
Tom Blomqvist
Ligier JS P2 LMP2 9 1'54.398 9.936
11 26 Will Stevens
Roman Rusinov
Alex Brundle
Oreca 05 LMP2 8 1'54.759 10.297
12 43 Bruno Senna
Ricardo Gonzalez
Filipe Albuquerque
Ligier JS P2 LMP2 9 1'54.845 10.383
13 45 Mathias Beche
Tor Graves
Roberto Gonzalez
Oreca 05 LMP2 9 1'54.899 10.437
14 27 Maurizio Mediani
Nicolas Minassian
Mikhail Aleshin
BR01 LMP2 9 1'55.754 11.292
15 31 Pipo Derani
Ryan Dalziel
Chris Cumming
Ligier JS P2 LMP2 8 1'56.439 11.977
16 35 Paul-Loup Chatin
Ho-Pin Tung
David Cheng
Alpine A460 LMP2 9 1'57.111 12.649

Qualifying results - GTE

Cla#DriversCarClassAvg TimeGap
1 67  Harry Tincknell 
 Andy Priaulx 
Ford GT LMGTE PRO 2'01.391  
2 66  Stefan Mücke 
 Olivier Pla 
Ford GT LMGTE PRO 2'01.528 0.137
3 95  Marco Sorensen 
 Nicki Thiim 
Aston Martin Vantage V8 LMGTE PRO 2'02.040 0.649
4 51  Gianmaria Bruni 
 James Calado 
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE PRO 2'02.315 0.924
5 97  Darren Turner 
 Richie Stanaway 
Aston Martin Vantage V8 LMGTE PRO 2'02.432 1.041
6 71  Sam Bird 
 Davide Rigon 
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE PRO 2'02.866 1.475
7 77  Richard Lietz 
 Michael Christensen 
Porsche 911 RSR (2016) LMGTE PRO 2'03.767 2.376
8 98  Pedro Lamy 
 Paul Dalla Lana 
 Mathias Lauda 
Aston Martin Vantage V8 LMGTE AM 2'04.997 3.606
9 83  François Perrodo 
 Emmanuel Collard 
 Rui Aguas 
Ferrari F458 Italia LMGTE AM 2'05.334 3.943
10 88  David Heinemeier Hansson 
 Patrick Long 
 Khaled Al Qubaisi 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 2'05.466 4.075
11 78  Christian Ried 
 Wolf Henzler 
 Joel Camathias 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 2'06.344 4.953
12 86  Michael Wainwright 
 Adam Carroll 
 Ben Barker 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 2'07.712 6.321
13 50  Pierre Ragues 
 Ricky Taylor 
 Romain Brandela 
Chevrolet Corvette C7-Z06 LMGTE AM 2'07.857 6.466

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About this article
Series WEC
Event Shanghai
Track Shanghai International Circuit
Drivers Mark Webber , Andy Priaulx , Brendon Hartley , Harry Tincknell
Teams Ford Racing , Porsche Team
Article type Qualifying report