Silverstone WEC: Audi stuns Porsche to lock out front row

Audi will start the first race of the new FIA WEC season with both cars on the front row, as the #7 car of Andre Lotterer and Marcel Fassler secured pole position at a damp Silverstone.

Silverstone WEC: Audi stuns Porsche to lock out front row
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On a drying track, a stunning laptime of 1m53.705s from Lotterer in the first part of the session catapulted the #7 R18 e-tron quattro - which had struggled for pace in comparison to Porsche during Friday practice - to the top of the timesheets.

Taking over at the halfway stage, Fassler managed to nudge down the #7 car's average to a 1m53.204s to claim an unlikely pole, just 0.104s up on the #8 machine of Loic Duval and Lucas di Grassi.

The Brazilian set the fastest time of the session, a 1m52.911s, and looked set to improve by enough to grab pole before running across the grass on his last flying lap at Club corner.

Reigning champions Mark Webber and Brendon Hartley were forced to be content with third with an average time of 1m54.150s in the #1 919 Hybrid, just under a second behind the leading Audi.

The sister #2 car of Neel Jani and Romain Dumas was close behind on a 1m54.299s, easily clear of the Toyotas, which struggled badly for pace in the tricky conditions after a promising showing in practice.

The #6 TS050 Hybrid (driven by Mike Conway and Stephane Sarrazin) will start fifth, one place ahead of the #5 of Anthony Davidson and Kazuki Nakajima.

Honours in the LMP1-L category went to the ByKolles Racing Team, after Rebellion Racing failed to get either of its cars out with both drivers.

The #12 car of Nick Heidfeld and Nelson Piquet Jr suffered a mid-session electronics issue, while the sister #13 car failed to start at all.

G-Drive takes LMP2 pole

In the LMP2 class, it was the reigning champion G-Drive squad that ended qualifying on top, as Rene Rast and Roman Rusinov combined to produce an average time of 2m08.479s in the #26 Oreca.

It was Pipo Derani in the ESM-run Ligier who set the best time in class, a 2m07.315s, but the team was demoted to second on an average of 2m09.632s once Chris Cumming took the wheel of the #31 car.

Third was the #43 RGR Sport by Morand (Filipe Albuquerque/Ricardo Gonzalez), ahead of the #27 and #37 BR01 machines and the #45 Manor (Matt Rao/Richard Bradley), which completed the top six.

Ferrari on top in GTE Pro

As expected, the two AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTEs proved the cars to beat in the GTE Pro class, the #71 machine of Davide Rigon and Sam Bird topping the times with a combined 2m12.440s.

The #51 of James Calado had been faster in the opening runs, but teammate Gianmaria Bruni failed to complete a lap in the second segment, relegating the duo to the back of the grid.

That allowed the #77 Dempsey-Proton Porsche (Richard Lietz/Michael Christiansen) to grab second in class, albeit 1.4s down on the #71, with the two Ford GTs taking third and fourth places, the #66 of Stefan Mucke and Olivier Pla ahead.

In GTE-Am, it was the #88 Abu Dhabi-Proton Porsche of Klaus Bachler and Khaled Al-Qubaisi that set the pace, some two seconds ahead of the #78 KCMG Porsche. 

Qualifying results:

PosDriverTeamCarTime
1 GermanyAndre Lotterer 
FranceBenoit Tréluyer 
SwitzerlandMarcel Fassler 
Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 E-Tron Quattro '16 1:53.204
2 FranceLoic Duval 
United KingdomOliver Jarvis 
BrazilLucas di Grassi 
Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 E-Tron Quattro '16 1:53.308
3 AustraliaMark Webber 
New ZealandBrendon Hartley 
GermanyTimo Bernhard 
Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid '16 1:54.150
4 GermanyMarc Lieb 
FranceRomain Dumas 
SwitzerlandNeel Jani 
Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid '16 1:54.266
5 JapanKamui Kobayashi 
United KingdomMike Conway 
FranceStéphane Sarrazin 
Toyota Racing Toyota TS050 HYBRID 1:58.200
6 United KingdomAnthony Davidson 
JapanKazuki Nakajima 
SwitzerlandSébastien Buemi 
Toyota Racing Toyota TS050 HYBRID 2:00.109
7 United KingdomJames Rossiter 
United KingdomOliver Webb 
SwitzerlandSimon Trummer 
ByKOLLES Racing Team CLM P1/01 2:08.332
8 RussiaRoman Rusinov 
GermanyRené Rast 
FranceNathanael Berthon 
G-Drive Racing ORECA 05 2:08.479
9 United KingdomRyan Dalziel 
BrazilPipo Derani 
CanadaChris Cumming 
Extreme Speed Motorsports Ligier JS P2 2:09.632
10 MexicoRicardo Gonzalez 
PortugalFilipe Albuquerque 
BrazilBruno Senna 
RGR Sport by Morand Ligier JS P2 2:10.295
11 FranceNicolas Minassian 
ItalyMaurizio Mediani 
SMP Racing BR Engineering BR01 2:10.627
12 RussiaVitaly Petrov 
RussiaKirill Ladygin 
RussiaViktor Shaytar 
SMP Racing BR Engineering BR01 2:11.023
13 SpainRoberto Merhi 
United KingdomMatt Rao 
United KingdomRichard Bradley 
Manor ORECA 05 2:11.893
14 FranceNicolas Lapierre 
United StatesGustavo Menezes 
PolandStéphane Richelmi 
Signatech Alpine A460 2:12.221
15 ItalyDavide Rigon 
United KingdomSam Bird 
AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE 2:12.440
16 ThailandTor Graves 
United KingdomWill Stevens 
United KingdomJames Jakes 
Manor ORECA 05 2:13.105
17 United KingdomJonny Kane 
United KingdomNick Leventis 
United KingdomDanny Watts 
Strakka Racing Gibson 015S 2:13.729
18 AustriaRichard Lietz 
DenmarkMichael Christensen 
Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR 2:13.822
19 United StatesBilly Johnson 
FranceOlivier Pla 
GermanyStefan Mücke 
Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK Ford GT '16 2:14.475
20 FranceNelson Panciatici 
ChinaHo-Pin Tung 
ChinaDavid Cheng 
Baxi DC Racing Alpine Alpine A460 2:14.863
21 United Arab EmiratesKhaled Al Qubaisi 
DenmarkDavid Heinemeier Hansson 
AustriaKlaus Bachler 
Abu Dhabi-Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR 2:15.102
22 United KingdomAndy Priaulx 
United KingdomMarino Franchitti 
United KingdomHarry Tincknell 
Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK Ford GT '16 2:17.367
23 GermanyChristian Ried 
SwitzerlandJoel Camathias 
GermanyWolf Henzler 
KCMG Porsche 911 RSR 2:17.399
24 ItalyPaolo Ruberti 
JapanYutaka Yamagishi 
FrancePierre Ragues 
Larbre Compétition Chevrolet Corvette C7 GT3 2:18.344
25 United KingdomMike Wainwright 
United KingdomAdam Carroll 
United KingdomBen Barker 
Gulf Racing UK Porsche 911 RSR 2:19.084
26 FranceEmmanuel Collard 
PortugalRui Aguas 
FranceFrançois Perrodo 
AF Corse Ferrari F458 Italia 2:20.131
27 United StatesScott Sharp 
United StatesEd Brown 
United StatesJohannes van Overbeek 
Extreme Speed Motorsports Ligier JS P2 2:20.410
28 AustraliaRichie Stanaway 
BrazilFernando Rees 
Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage V8 2:21.091
29 DenmarkNicki Thiim 
DenmarkMarco Sorensen 
United KingdomDarren Turner 
Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage V8 2:22.252
30 PortugalPedro Lamy 
CanadaPaul Dalla Lana 
AustriaMathias Lauda 
Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage V8 2:23.005
31 BrazilNelson Piquet Jr. 
GermanyNick Heidfeld 
FranceNicolas Prost 
Rebellion Racing Rebellion R-One  
32 ItalyGianmaria Bruni 
United KingdomJames Calado 
AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE  
33 SwitzerlandAlexandre Imperatori 
SwitzerlandMatheo Tuscher 
AustriaDominik Kraihamer 
Rebellion Racing Rebellion R-One  
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