Austin WEC: Rebellion grabs third straight pole

Rebellion Racing scored its third straight FIA World Endurance Championship pole position, trouncing the Toyotas to top qualifying for Sunday’s Lone Star Le Mans.

Gustavo Menezes and Norman Nato sealed the top stop ahead of the best of the Toyotas after the team swapped the engine in the back of its solo Rebellion R-13 as a result of a sudden failure halfway through the second practice period. 

Menezes went quickest on the first runs with a 1m47.674s and then Nato set a 1m48.087s before a brief red-flag period. The Frenchman improved to a 1m47.387s after the interruption to give the Rebellion a 1m47.530s average.

Jose Maria Lopez and Mike Conway took second in the more heavily penalised of the two Toyota TS050 Hybrids, the #7 car.

Lopez was third0fastest after his run with a 1m48.634s, which Conway followed with a 1m49.688s to yield a 1m49.161s average. 

Kazuki Nakajima had been eight tenths quicker than Lopez in the first runs with a 1m47.891s, but Brendon Hartley lost his first lap to a track limits violation. 

He managed a 1m50.971s on his final lap before the chequered flag, which gave the #8 Toyota a 1m49.431s average. 

Nicolas Lapierre and Antonin Borga took the LMP2 pole aboard the Cool Racing Oreca.

Lapierre was second fastest after the first runs with a 1m49.343s, while Borga managed a 1m50.478s. That yielded a 1m49.910s average, which was a tenth up on the 1m50.073s from Filipe Albuquerque and Phil Hanson in the United Autosports Oreca.

Nyck de Vries set the fastest P2 time aboard the Racing Team Nederland Oreca with a 1m48.696s, which briefly split the Toyotas during the first runs. 

GTE Pro points leaders Marco Sorensen and Nicki Thiim took the class pole in the #95 Aston Martin Vantage GTE. 

Sorensen led the way after the first runs on a 2m00.742s before his teammate maintained the top spot on his first run. Thiim then improved on his lap, getting down to a 2m00.725s to give them a 2m00.733s average and a two-tenth margin over the second-placed Porsche 911 RSR-19 of Michael Christensen and Kevin Estre. 

Christensen was only fifth in class after his run on a 2m01.106s, but Estre’s 2m00.798s brought their average down to 2m00.952s. 

Alex Lynn and Maxime Martin took third in the second of the Astons with a 2m01.029s average. 

Gianmaria Bruni, who had been second after his lap, and Richard Lietz ended up just over one hundredth back in fourth with 2m01.049s. 

The two AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTEs brought up the rear of the GTE Pro field after both lost times for track limits violations. James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi edged out teammates Davide Rigon and Miguel Molina for fifth by four hundredths.

GTE Am pole went to the Project 1 Porsche 911 RSR qualified by Matteo Cairoli and Egidio Perfetti from the Aston Martin of Paul Dalla Lana and Ross Gunn.

LMP qualifying times:

Cla # Drivers Car Class Avg Time Gap
1 1 Bruno Senna
Gustavo Menezes
Norman Nato
Rebellion R13 LMP1 1’47.530  
2 7 Mike Conway
Kamui Kobayashi
Jose Maria Lopez
Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 1’49.161 1.631
3 8 Sébastien Buemi
Kazuki Nakajima
Brendon Hartley
Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 1’49.431 1.901
4 42 Nicolas Lapierre
Antonin Borga
Alexandre Coigny
Oreca 07 LMP2 1’49.910 2.380
5 22 Philip Hanson
Filipe Albuquerque
Paul di Resta
Oreca 07 LMP2 1’50.073 2.543
6 36 Thomas Laurent
Andre Negrao
Pierre Ragues
Alpine A470 LMP2 1’50.984 3.454
7 37 Ho-Pin Tung
Gabriel Aubry
Will Stevens
Oreca 07 LMP2 1’51.354 3.824
8 38 Roberto Gonzalez
Antonio Felix da Costa
Anthony Davidson
Oreca 07 LMP2 1’51.592 4.062
9 33 Mark Patterson
Kenta Yamashita
Anders Fjordbach
Oreca 07 LMP2 1’51.747 4.217
10 21 Henrik Hedman
Ben Hanley
Colin Braun
Oreca 07 LMP2 1’52.765 5.235
11 29 Frits van Eerd
Giedo van der Garde
Nyck de Vries
Oreca 07 LMP2 1’53.131 5.601
12 47 Roberto Lacorte
Andrea Belicchi
Giorgio Sernagiotto
Dallara P217 LMP2 1’54.305 6.775

GTE qualifying times:

Cla # Drivers Car Class Avg Time Gap
1 95 Marco Sorensen
Nicki Thiim
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE PRO 2’00.733  
2 92 Michael Christensen
Kevin Estre
Porsche 911 RSR – 19 LMGTE PRO 2’00.952 0.219
3 97 Alex Lynn
Maxime Martin
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE PRO 2’01.029 0.296
4 91 Gianmaria Bruni
Richard Lietz
Porsche 911 RSR – 19 LMGTE PRO 2’01.049 0.316
5 51 James Calado
Alessandro Pier Guidi
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 2’01.190 0.457
6 71 Davide Rigon
Miguel Molina
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 2’01.229 0.496
7 56 Egidio Perfetti
Laurents Hörr
Matteo Cairoli
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 2’02.784 2.051
8 98 Paul Dalla Lana
Darren Turner
Ross Gunn
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE AM 2’02.830 2.097
9 63 Jan Magnussen
Mike Rockenfeller
Chevrolet Corvette C8.R LMGTE PRO 2’02.967 2.234
10 77 Christian Ried
Riccardo Pera
Matt Campbell
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 2’03.110 2.377
11 83 François Perrodo
Emmanuel Collard
Nicklas Nielsen
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 2’03.376 2.643
12 57 Ben Keating
Felipe Fraga
Jeroen Bleekemolen
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 2’03.450 2.717
13 54 Thomas Flohr
Francesco Castellacci
Giancarlo Fisichella
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 2’03.462 2.729
14 90 Salih Yoluc
Charles Eastwood
Jonathan Adam
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE AM 2’03.464 2.731
15 88 Bret Curtis
Adrien de Leener
Thomas Preining
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 2’03.682 2.949
16 70 Motoaki Ishikawa
Olivier Beretta
Kei Cozzolino
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 2’03.781 3.048
17 86 Michael Wainwright
Andrew Watson
Benjamin Barker
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 2’04.296 3.563
18 62 Bonamy Grimes
Johnny Mowlem
Charles Hollings
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 2’04.832 4.099

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