Mexico WEC: Porsche locks out front row, Ferrari on top in GT

Porsche blocked out the front row for the first time over a year in qualifying for this weekend's Mexico City round of the FIA World Endurance Championship.

Mexico WEC: Porsche locks out front row, Ferrari on top in GT
Polesitters Timo Bernhard, Earl Bamber, Brendon Hartley, Porsche Team
#1 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid: Neel Jani, Andre Lotterer, Nick Tandy
#7 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050 Hybrid: Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi, Jose Maria Lopez
#8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050 Hybrid: Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima
#36 Signatech Alpine A470 Gibson: Gustavo Menezes, Nicolas Lapierre, André Negaro
#36 Signatech Alpine A470 Gibson: Gustavo Menezes, Nicolas Lapierre, André Negaro
#38 DC Racing Oreca 07 Gibson: Ho-Pin Tung, Oliver Jarvis, Thomas Laurent
#31 Vaillante Rebellion Racing Oreca 07 Gibson: Julien Canal, Bruno Senna, Nicolas Prost
GTE polesitters Davide Rigon, Sam Bird, AF Corse
#95 Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage: Nicki Thiim, Marco Sorensen
#66 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT: Olivier Pla, Stefan Mücke
#77 Dempsey Proton Competition Porsche 911 RSR: Christian Ried, Matteo Cairoli, Marvin Dienst

Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernhard combined to give the #2 Porsche 919 Hybrid pole, ahead of team-mates Nick Tandy and Andre Lotterer. 

Hartley set the pace during the first runs with a 1m24.459s, which put him three tenths up on Mike Conway in the best of the Toyota TS050 Hybrids.

Lotterer was the fastest of the second batch of drivers with a 1m24.614s, but a 1m24.665s from Bernhard was enough to keep the #2 Porsche at the top of the timesheets.

Their 1m24.562s average was a tenth and a half quicker than the 1m24.710s average of their team-mates. 

Hartley said: "It was a tidy lap, but it was close. Our car has been really strong all weekend – we basically haven't changed it since we arrived.

"That's no mean feat given the altitude and shows that the team did a great job."

Toyota’s Jose Maria Lopez ended up a tenth slower than teammate Conway and was given another set of tyres to go again, but he had to abort his lap after being baulked by a LMP2 car. 

That left them third, another tenth back on 1m24.802s. Kazuki Nakajima and Sebastien Buemi qualified the second Toyota fourth, neither driver breaking the 1m25s barrier. 

Alpine grabs LMP2 pole

The Signatech Alpine squad took pole with Andre Negrao and Nicolas Lapierre. 

Silver-rated driver Negrao was fastest after the opening runs with a 1m32.775s, which Lapierre almost matched with a 1m32.844s. 

That gave them a 1m32.809s average, which put them three tenths up on the Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca qualified by Thomas Laurent and Ho-Pin Tung. 

Julien Canal and Bruno Senna were a further half a second back in third in the best of the Rebellion Orecas.

GTE-Pro pole for Ferrari

Davide Rigon and Sam Bird took a second GTE Pro pole of the season aboard the #71 AF Corse factory Ferrari 488 GTE. 

Rigon's 1m39.658s put the car third after he had to abort his first flying lap and go again.

Bird then set the fastest lap of the session with a 1m39.162s to give them an average of 1m32.425s and the class pole. 

Nicki Thiim set second fastest time of the 20-minute session in the fastest of the Aston Martin Vantage GTEs with a 1m39.270s. 

That vaulted the car he shares with Marco Sorensen up from seventh place after the first runs. 

Sorensen was given another run but didn't improve, the Danish duo ending up a tenth back on a 1m39.534s average.  

The two Ganassi Fords had been first and second after the first runs in the hands of Andy Priaulx and Stefan Mucke, but neither Harry Tincknell and Oliver Pla were able to match the pace of Bird and Thiim. 

The Fords ended up third and fourth, two and three tenths down respectively. 

Matteo Cairoli and Christian Ried took GTE Am pole in the Dempsey-Proton Porsche 911 RSR. They pipped Aston Martin duo Pedro Lamy and Paul Dalla Lana, who were bidding for a fourth class pole of the season, by a tenth. 

P1/P2 qualifying results:

Pos.#DriversCarClassTimeGap
1 2 germany Timo Bernhard 
new_zealand Brendon Hartley 
new_zealand Earl Bamber 
Porsche 919 Hybrid LMP1 1'24.562  
2 1 germany Andre Lotterer 
switzerland Neel Jani 
united_kingdom Nick Tandy 
Porsche 919 Hybrid LMP1 1'24.710 0.148
3 7 japan Kamui Kobayashi 
united_kingdom Mike Conway 
argentina Jose Maria Lopez 
Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 1'24.802 0.240
4 8 united_kingdom Anthony Davidson 
japan Kazuki Nakajima 
switzerland Sébastien Buemi 
Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 1'25.378 0.816
5 36 france Nicolas Lapierre 
brazil Andre Negrao 
united_states Gustavo Menezes 
Alpine A470 LMP2 1'32.809 8.247
6 38 united_kingdom Oliver Jarvis 
china Ho-Pin Tung 
france Thomas Laurent 
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'33.105 8.543
7 31 brazil Bruno Senna 
france Julien Canal 
france Nicolas Prost 
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'33.605 9.043
8 26 russia Roman Rusinov 
france Pierre Thiriet 
united_kingdom Alex Lynn 
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'34.002 9.440
9 25 russia Vitaly Petrov 
switzerland Simon Trummer 
mexico Roberto Gonzalez 
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'34.051 9.489
10 13 brazil Nelson Piquet Jr. 
denmark David Heinemeier Hansson 
switzerland Mathias Beche 
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'34.122 9.560
11 37 china David Cheng 
france Tristan Gommendy 
united_kingdom Alex Brundle 
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'34.272 9.710
12 24 france Jean-Eric Vergne 
united_kingdom Ben Hanley 
united_kingdom Matt Rao 
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'34.483 9.921
13 28 france François Perrodo 
france Emmanuel Collard 
france Matthieu Vaxiviere 
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'35.365 10.803

GTE qualifying results:

Pos.#DriversCarClassAvg TimeGap
1 71 united_kingdom Sam Bird 
italy Davide Rigon 
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE PRO 1'39.425  
2 95 denmark Marco Sorensen 
denmark Nicki Thiim 
Aston Martin Vantage LMGTE PRO 1'39.534 0.109
3 67 united_kingdom Harry Tincknell 
guernsey Andy Priaulx 
Ford GT LMGTE PRO 1'39.640 0.215
4 66 germany Stefan Mücke 
france Olivier Pla 
Ford GT LMGTE PRO 1'39.728 0.303
5 97 united_kingdom Darren Turner 
united_kingdom Jonathan Adam 
brazil Daniel Serra 
Aston Martin Vantage LMGTE PRO 1'39.851 0.426
6 92 denmark Michael Christensen 
france Kevin Estre 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE PRO 1'39.870 0.445
7 51 united_kingdom James Calado 
italy Alessandro Pier Guidi
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE PRO 1'40.059 0.634
8 91 austria Richard Lietz 
france Frédéric Makowiecki 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE PRO 1'40.252 0.827
9 77 germany Christian Ried 
italy Matteo Cairoli 
germany Marvin Dienst 
Porsche 911 RSR (991) LMGTE AM 1'42.056 2.631
10 98 portugal Pedro Lamy 
canada Paul Dalla Lana 
austria Mathias Lauda 
Aston Martin Vantage LMGTE PRO 1'42.158 2.733
11 86 united_kingdom Michael Wainwright 
united_kingdom Ben Barker 
australia Nick Foster Jr. 
Porsche 911 RSR (991) LMGTE AM 1'42.965 3.540
12 61 ireland Matt Griffin 
singapore Mok Weng Sun 
japan Keita Sawa 
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE AM 1'43.296 3.871
13 54 italy Francesco Castellacci 
spain Miguel Molina 
switzerland Thomas Flohr 
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE AM 1'44.648 5.223
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Mexico WEC: Porsche stays on top in Saturday practice

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