FIA World Endurance Championship

Photo: Porsche

FIA WEC: Porsche sweep front row at COTA

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Porsche LMP Team swept the front row for Saturday’s Six Hours of COTA at the Circuit of the Americas, with the No. 1 Porsche 919 Hybrid of Nick Tandy, André Lotterer, and Neel Jani grabbing pole from the sister No. 2 entry for Earl Bamber, Timo Bernhard, and Brendon Hartley.

However, the result did not come without drama. Tandy’s initial time in the No. 1 machine was disallowed after he exceeded track limits on his run. As a result, Tandy went for broke on his last run, and his time of 1:44.827 was ultimately good enough to pip Bamber in the sister No. 2 entry.

Kaz Nakajima, in the No. 8 Toyota TS050 Hybrid for Toyota Gazoo Racing, qualified a somewhat disappointing third after he and teammates Sébastien Buemi and Stéphane Sarrazin led Free Practice 3 earlier in the day. Of note: Saarazin is filling in for the regular driver Anthony Davidson, who is missing this weekend’s race due to personal reasons.

In LMP2, pole went to the No. 36 Signatech Alpine Matmut Alpine A470 Gibson, in the hands of Nico Lapierre, Andre Negrao, and Gustavo Menezes. This is also the second consecutive pole for the No. 36 team.

Second went to the No. 13 Vaillante Rebellion Oreca 07 Gibson of Mathias Beche, David Heinemeier Hansson, and Nelson Piquet Jr. The No. 38 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca will start third in the hands of Ho-Pin Tung, Oliver Jarvis, and Thomas Laurent.

In GTE-Pro, the No. 71 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE will lead the field to green, with Sam Bird sharing duties with Davide Rigon.

Second was the No. 67 Ford GT from Ford Chip Ganassi Racing entry, with Harry Tincknell and Andy Priaulx driving, with third going to the N0. 95 Aston Martin Racing pair of Marco Sørensen and Nicki Thiim.

And in GTE-Am, pole went the No. 98 Aston Martin Vantage, with Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy, and Mathias Lauda at the helm for Aston Martin Racing. Second went to the No. 54 Spirit of Race Ferrari 488 GTE, in the hands of Thomas Flor, Miguel Molina, and Francesco Castellacci, while third went to the Clearwater Racing No. 61 Ferrari 488 GTE of Matt Griffin, Keita Sawa, Weng Sun Mok.

Saturday’s six-hour race begins at 1:00 p.m. ET.

QUALIFYING RESULTS: Overall, LMP1/LMP2, GTE-Pro/GTE-Am