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Duval, di Grassi score WEC pole for Audi in Mexico City

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Audi bounced back from Porsche’s domination at the Nürburgring last month to score pole position for the FIA World Endurance Championship round in Mexico City with the no. 8 R18 car shared by Loic Duval and Lucas di Grassi.

Duval and di Grassi teamed up to post a two-lap average of 1:25.069, good enough for Audi’s third pole position of the 2016 WEC season and the first for the no. 8 crew.

The Le Mans-winning no. 2 Porsche 919 Hybrid will line up second on the grid at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez as Neel Jani and Romain Dumas finished just 0.042 seconds behind.

Audi’s no. 7 car shared by Andre Lotterer and Marcel Fassler qualified third, two-tenths of a second further back. The pair will race without regular teammate Benoit Treluyer on Saturday, the Frenchman ruled out through injury.

Porsche’s no. 1 car was fourth ahead of the pair of Toyota TS050 Hybrids, the no. 5 finishing within nine-tenths of a second of the pole time.

In LMP2, the RGR Sport by Morand team enjoyed a memorable maiden home qualifying session by taking pole position with its no. 43 Ligier Nissan.

Ricardo Gonzalez and Bruno Senna posted a combined average of 1:35.485 to finish three-tenths of a second clear at the top of the timesheets. The no. 43 Signatech Alpine entry was second ahead of the no. 42 Strakka Racing Gibson-Nissan.

Aston Martin Racing enjoyed a sweep of the GTE classes, locking out the front row in Pro with its no. 95 and no. 97 cars.

Nicki Thiim and Marco Sørensen combined for a two-lap average of 1:40.458, edging out the sister AMR entry by one-tenth of a second. The no. 51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE was half a second further back in third place.

The no. 98 Aston Martin Vantage V8 shared by Pedro Lamy and Paul Dalla Lana swept to pole in GTE Am, finishing four-tenths clear of the no. 88 Abu Dhabi Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR.

The FIA WEC 6 Hours of Mexico kicks off at 1:30pm local time on Saturday in Mexico City.

Video highlights from Stage 12 of Dakar Rally, 2 stages remain

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Thursday’s Stage 12 of the 40th Dakar Rally not only closed the overall standings gap in at least two classes (cars and trucks), two other classes (bikes and quads) failed to get going due to weather conditions.

The full video highlights of Stage 12 will air on NBCSN on Friday at 7 pm ET, but here are some of the highlights from Thursday’s action:

CARS

2018 Dakar Rally: Nasser Al-Attiyah wins Stage 12 of cars

BIKES

 Stage 12 cancelled due to weather conditions

 

TRUCKS

Ton van Genugten edged out Martin Kolomy in Stage of, while Federico Villagra and Eduard Nikolaev both faced an uphill battle to finish fourth and third respectively.

QUADS

Even though the Quads were also impacted by weather issues on Thursday, Ignacio Casale, the 2014 Dakar winner, continues to make his case for a second overall victory in the quads.