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#DriversCarClassAvg TimeGap
11 Bruno Senna
Gustavo Menezes
Norman Nato
Rebellion R13LMP11’47.530 
27 Mike Conway
Kamui Kobayashi
Jose Maria Lopez
Toyota TS050 HybridLMP11’49.161 1.631
38 Sébastien Buemi
Kazuki Nakajima
Brendon Hartley
Toyota TS050 HybridLMP11’49.431 1.901
442 Nicolas Lapierre
Antonin Borga
Alexandre Coigny
Oreca 07LMP21’49.910 2.380
522 Philip Hanson
Filipe Albuquerque
Paul di Resta
Oreca 07LMP21’50.073 2.543
636 Thomas Laurent
Andre Negrao
Pierre Ragues
Alpine A470LMP21’50.984 3.454
737 Ho-Pin Tung
Gabriel Aubry
Will Stevens
Oreca 07LMP21’51.354 3.824
838 Roberto Gonzalez
Antonio Felix da Costa
Anthony Davidson
Oreca 07LMP21’51.592 4.062
933 Mark Patterson
Kenta Yamashita
Anders Fjordbach
Oreca 07LMP21’51.747 4.217
1021 Henrik Hedman
Ben Hanley
Colin Braun
Oreca 07LMP21’52.765 5.235
1129 Frits van Eerd
Giedo van der Garde
Nyck de Vries
Oreca 07LMP21’53.131 5.601
1247 Roberto Lacorte
Andrea Belicchi
Giorgio Sernagiotto
Dallara P217LMP21’54.305 6.775

GTE qualifying times:

Cla#DriversCarClassAvg TimeGap
195 Marco Sorensen
Nicki Thiim
Aston Martin Vantage AMRLMGTE PRO2’00.733 
292 Michael Christensen
Kevin Estre
Porsche 911 RSR – 19LMGTE PRO2’00.952 0.219
397 Alex Lynn
Maxime Martin
Aston Martin Vantage AMRLMGTE PRO2’01.029 0.296
491 Gianmaria Bruni
Richard Lietz
Porsche 911 RSR – 19LMGTE PRO2’01.049 0.316
551 James Calado
Alessandro Pier Guidi
Ferrari 488 GTE EVOLMGTE PRO2’01.190 0.457
671 Davide Rigon
Miguel Molina
Ferrari 488 GTE EVOLMGTE PRO2’01.229 0.496
756 Egidio Perfetti
Laurents Hörr
Matteo Cairoli
Porsche 911 RSRLMGTE AM2’02.784 2.051
898 Paul Dalla Lana
Darren Turner
Ross Gunn
Aston Martin Vantage AMRLMGTE AM2’02.830 2.097
963 Jan Magnussen
Mike Rockenfeller
Chevrolet Corvette C8.RLMGTE PRO2’02.967 2.234
1077 Christian Ried
Riccardo Pera
Matt Campbell
Porsche 911 RSRLMGTE AM2’03.110 2.377
1183 François Perrodo
Emmanuel Collard
Nicklas Nielsen
Ferrari 488 GTE EVOLMGTE AM2’03.376 2.643
1257 Ben Keating
Felipe Fraga
Jeroen Bleekemolen
Porsche 911 RSRLMGTE AM2’03.450 2.717
1354 Thomas Flohr
Francesco Castellacci
Giancarlo Fisichella
Ferrari 488 GTE EVOLMGTE AM2’03.462 2.729
1490 Salih Yoluc
Charles Eastwood
Jonathan Adam
Aston Martin Vantage AMRLMGTE AM2’03.464 2.731
1588 Bret Curtis
Adrien de Leener
Thomas Preining
Porsche 911 RSRLMGTE AM2’03.682 2.949
1670 Motoaki Ishikawa
Olivier Beretta
Kei Cozzolino
Ferrari 488 GTE EVOLMGTE AM2’03.781 3.048
1786 Michael Wainwright
Andrew Watson
Benjamin Barker
Porsche 911 RSRLMGTE AM2’04.296 3.563
1862 Bonamy Grimes
Johnny Mowlem
Charles Hollings
Ferrari 488 GTE EVOLMGTE AM2’04.832 4.099

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