WEC: Porsche earns front row for Sao Paulo; Mark Webber’s car on pole


Porsche appears to be the team to beat in Brazil for tomorrow’s World Endurance Championship season finale at Interlagos.

After leading this morning’s third practice session for the 6 Hours of Sao Paulo, the twin 919 Hybrids locked out the front row in qualifying with Mark Webber and Timo Bernhard pushing the No. 20 to pole with a four-lap average of 1 minute, 17.676 seconds.

On the outside of Row 1 will be Porsche’s sister car, the No. 14 919 Hybrid. Neel Jani and Marc Lieb put the car P2 with an average of 1 minute, 17.783 seconds.

Porsche is coming off their first LMP1 double-podium run in the most recent WEC race in Bahrain, and are now looking to claim their first WEC LMP1 win in the final event of 2014.

Anthony Davidson and Sebastien Buemi, the newly crowned WEC driver’s champs from Toyota, put their No. 8 TS040 Hybrid third on the grid with an average of 1 minute, 18.070 seconds.

The No. 2 Audi R18 e-tron quattro of Marcel Fassler and Benoit Treluyer will start fourth (average of 1 minute, 18.889 seconds), while the soon-to-retire Tom Kristensen and Lucas di Grassi put the No. 1 Audi in sixth directly behind the No. 7 Toyota.

In LMP2, current class championship leader G-Drive Racing earned their seventh pole of the year – and perhaps their most critical one – for Olivier Pla, Roman Rusinov, and their No. 26 Ligier/Nissan (which they’ll share Sunday with Julien Canal).

Their average of 1 minute, 24.463 seconds was enough to beat out the No. 47 KCMG Oreca/Nissan for top honors. Meanwhile, title rival Sergey Zlobin of SMP Racing will have to start fourth after his No. 27 Oreca/Nissan (shared with Nicolas Minassian and Maurizio Mediani) qualified with an average of 1 minute, 25.400 seconds.

Aston Martin had themselves a great day in the GT-based categories with their Vantage V8s. In GTE-Pro, Stefan Mucke and Darren Turner earned the pole in the No. 97 Aston with an average of 1 minute, 30.111 seconds, and in GTE-Am, the No. 98 and No. 95 Astons swept the front row altogether.

Only the efforts of the No. 92 Porsche Team Manthey 911 RSR (second in GTE-Pro with an average of 1 minute, 30.259 seconds) stopped Aston Martin from taking a 1-2 qualifying finish in both GT classes.

The 6 Hours of Sao Paulo is scheduled to begin tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. ET.