Porsche’s no. 18 car storms to Nürburgring WEC pole


NÜRBURGRING – Porsche extended its perfect qualifying record in the 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship season by recording a one-two finish in Saturday’s session at the Nürburgring.

Following its first pole of the year at Le Mans in June, the no. 18 car stormed to the top of the timesheets as Romain Dumas and Marc Lieb shared driving duties for the session.

Their combined average of 1:36.473 was enough to give them pole position by just 0.069 seconds, edging out the sister no. 17 Porsche piloted by Mark Webber and Timo Bernhard in qualifying.

Once again, Audi struggled to put up much of a fight to Porsche over one lap, finishing a second behind in third and fourth place with the no. 8 leading the no. 7 car.

Toyota’s focus on damage limitation continued in qualifying as its cars finished fifth and sixth. The no. 1 of Anthony Davidson and Sebastien Buemi finished 2.2 seconds down on P1, whilst the no. 2 of Alexander Wurz and Stephane Sarrazin finished a further six-tenths behind.

Coming off the back of his Le Mans victory in June with Porsche, Nick Tandy adjusted quickly to life in LMP2 by producing a blistering final lap to give KCMG’s no. 47 car its second pole position of the season. The no. 26 G-Drive of Sam Bird and Julien Canal finished second, whilst the no. 36 Signatech Alpine car rounded out the top three.

In GTE Pro, AF Corse managed to comfortably see off the threat posed by Aston Martin Racing and Porsche in qualifying by finishing first and second, with the no. 51 of Gianmaria Bruni and Toni Vilander secure class pole.

The no. 95 of Marco Sorensen and Christoffer Nygaard had been at the top of the timesheets following the first runs, but a poor lap from Nygaard dragged their average down to leave them third in the class standings. Porsche’s no. 92 and no. 91 finished fourth and fifth, whilst the no. 99 and no. 97 AMR cars struggled to P6 and P7 in class.

SMP Racing’s no. 72 Ferrari ended AMR’s streak of pole positions in 2015 by topping the GTE Am class, beating the no. 98 of Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda by almost half a second.

Dalla Lana’s hopes of taking a fourth pole of the season were dashed when his car stopped on his final lap, meaning they could only finish second ahead of the no. 77 Dempsey Proton Racing car of Patrick Dempsey and Patrick Long.

The 2015 6 Hours of Nürburgring kicks off at 1pm CET tomorrow.