Mark Webber excluded from qualifying

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Mark Webber has been excluded from qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix after his car failed to return to the pits due to a fuel shortage.

The Red Bull driver was forced to stop out on track during Q2 due to a fuel shortage, although he did manage to qualify 14th thanks to the time he had already set. However, Webber will now start from the back of the grid following the ruling from the FIA.

Cars are required to produce a fuel sample at the end of each session for the FIA, and the governing body has ruled that Webber would not have been able to supply this had he returned to the pits.

The team have confirmed that his car was under-fueled due to a technical problem.

“A fuel browser problem caused an incorrect fuel measurement to be delivered to Mark’s car,” the team revealed on Twitter.

This is a similar problem to the one Sebastian Vettel faced at last year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, where he received the same penalty as Webber has today.

However, Webber was well aware that he could face such a sanction.

“It was a lack of fuel pressure so I couldn’t get back, so we stopped the car and qualifying was over before it started really,” he explained to the media.

“We’ll see what the rules are. I’m sure we’ll go through the process. It may be a double whammy.”

Webber will be able to start on fresh tires tomorrow, but the Australian driver did not hide his disappointment over the result.

“I think everyone’s in a similar boat saving tires. The option is not really the tire for this track. It’s completely wrong.”

To make the situation all the more painful for Webber, he believes that he could have challenged the front runners for pole position, which was eventually claimed by Lewis Hamilton.

“This is disappointing. Q1 went very well for me and the car has been quick all weekend.”

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Starting lineup grid for IMSA Petit Le Mans: Tom Blomqvist puts MSR on pole position

Petit Le Mans lineup
IMSA
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IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship contender Tom Blomqvist put the Meyer Shank Racing Acura at the front of the starting lineup for the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta.

Blomqvist turned a 1-minute, 8.55-second lap on the 2.54-mile circuit Friday to capture his third pole position for MSR this season. Earl Bamber qualified second in the No. 02 Cadillac for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Ricky Taylor was third in the No. 10 Acura of Wayne Taylor Racing, which enters Saturday’s season finale with a 19-point lead over the No. 60 of Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis (who will be joined by Helio Castroneves) for the 10-hour race.

PETIT LE MANS STARTING GRID: Click here for the starting lineup l Lineup by car number

PETIT LE MANS: Info on how to watch

With the pole, MSR sliced the deficit to 14 points behind WTR, which will field the trio of Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque and Brendon Hartley in Saturday’s race.

“We really needed to put the car in this kind of position,” Blomqvist said. “It makes our life a little less stressful tomorrow. It would have given the No. 10 a bit more breathing space. It’s going to be a proper dogfight tomorrow. The guys gave me such a great car. It’s been fantastic this week so far, and it really came alive. I’m hugely thankful to the boys and girls at MSR for giving me the wagon today to execute my job.

“That was a big effort from me. I knew how important it was. It’s just awesome for the guys to give them some sort of reward as well. It’s always nice to be quick. If you do the pole, you know you’ve got a quick car.”

Though WTR has a series-leading four victories with the No. 10, MSR won the Rolex 24 at Daytona and has five runner-up finishes along with its three poles.

The strong performances of the ARX-05s ensure that an Acura will win the final championship in IMSA’s premier Daytona Prototype international (DPi) division, which is being rebranded as Grand Touring Prototype in the move to LMDh cars next season.

Taylor qualified third despite sliding into the Turn 5 gravel during the closing minutes of qualifying while pushing to gain points.

“Qualifying was important for points,” Taylor said. “Going into it, if we outqualified the No. 60 Meyer Shank Acura, they had a lot to lose in terms of championship points. So, we were trying to increase the gap over 20 points which would’ve made a big difference for tomorrow. We would have loved to get the pole and qualify ahead of the No. 60, but in the scheme of the points, it didn’t change a whole lot. I’m feeling good since it’s such a long race, and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura team does such a good job strategizing and putting us in a good position.

“I’m very confident in our lineup and our team compared to them over the course of 10 hours. I’d put my two teammates up against those guys any day. I think we are all feeling optimistic and strong for tomorrow.”

In other divisions, PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports (LMP2), Riley Motorsports (LMP3), VasserSullivan (GTD Pro) and Paul Miller Racing (GTD) captured pole positions.

The broadcast of the 10-hour race will begin Saturday at 12:10 p.m. ET on NBC, moving at 3 p.m. to USA Network.


QUALIFYING

Results

Results by class

Fastest lap by driver

Fastest lap by driver after qualifying

Fastest lap by driver and class after qualifying

Fastest lap sequence in qualifying

Best sector times in qualifying

Time cards in qualifying

PRACTICE RESULTS: Session I l Session II l Session III