Porsche confirmed the supreme one lap pace of the 919 Hybrid by taking pole position for the second race running with a four lap average of 1m 43.145s at the Bahrain International Circuit. As again, it was the #14 car of Neel Jani, Romain Dumas and Marc Lieb that was the fastest of all in qualifying for the penultimate round of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC).
As part of the line up of support races for the WEC round in Bahrain this weekend is the MRF Challenge that is holding its second round there.
Behind the Porsche and eager to take race victory on Saturday on account of better pace in the long run was the #8 Toyota of Anthony Davidson and Sebastien Buemi. Even if the WEC leading duo end up having a poor race, due to whatever reasons, they only need to cross the line in fifth place to seal the title. The Japanese manufacturer has been dominant all season but would regret not winning the most prestigious race on the calendar - the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Behind the Toyota came the other Porsche of Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernhard with a four lap average of 1m 44.191s - a second shy of its sister cars pace. It remains to be seen where the two 919 Hybrid cars finish in the race with the early part of the season providing plenty of evidence that the German manufacturer can’t convert its strong qualifying performance into race results on Saturday/Sunday.
The #7 Toyota was fourth quickest in qualifying with the #2 Audi of this year’s Le Mans winners Lotterer, Fassler, and Treluyer starting a position behind in fifth. The #1 Audi was confined to the pits during the session while the mechanics tirelessly worked on the car to repair the damage caused to the chassis yesterday.
In the LMP1-L sub category of the WEC, the Rebellion racing cars were again unchallenged by the Lotus team which had entered the championship mid-season. While the Rebellion R-One cars were lapping four seconds slower than their hybrid counterparts with laptimes ranging between 1:46s and 1:48s, the sole Lotus entry couldn’t even break the 1:50s barrier.
LMP2 POLE FOR G-DRIVE
The G-Drive entry of Rusinov/Pla/Canal continued where they left in Shanghai by taking pole position in the budget cap prototype category. The two Oreca cars of SMP Racing were second and third in qualifying, separated by two tenths of a second.
ASTON MARTIN LEAD THE WAY IN GTE CATEGORIES
In both the GTE categories, it was Aston Martin which led the way with British-German duo of Darren Turner and Stefan Mucke fastest of all in Pro category and Danish trio of Poulsen/Heinemeier/Thiim bringing double delight for the British luxury car manufacturer. The Ferraris were their closest rivals in both categories while Porsche failed to mount a challenge in either of them.
WEC BAHRAIN QUALIFYING - TOP FIVE
1. Dumas/Jani/Lieb Porsche 919 Hybrid 1m 43.145s
2. Davidson/Buemi Toyota TS040 Hybrid 1m 43.410s
3. Webber/Hartley/Bernhard Porsche 919 Hybrid 1m 44.191s
4. Wurz/Sarrazin/Conway Toyota TS040 Hybrid 1m 44.260s
5. Fassler/Lotterer/Treluyer Audi R18 e-tron 1m 45.599s