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.