Audi has locked out the front row for Sunday’s Six Hours of the Circuit of The Americas, following a dominant run in qualifying for the fifth round of the FIA World Endurance Championship.
Allan McNish and Loic Duval combined for a four-lap average of 1:48.355. The No. 2 Audi R18 e-tron quattro edged out the sister No. 1 diesel-powered hybrid of Andre Lotterer and Marcel Fassler of by 0.262 seconds.
It marked another commanding performance for the German manufacturer, although aided by an incident for the contending Toyota, which suffered contact with a Lotus LMP2 car for the second consecutive event.
Stephane Sarrazin’s hopes of recording a quick lap were dashed when the No. 32 Lotus T128 of Jan Charouz made contact with the Frenchman’s No. 8 Toyota TS030 Hybrid heading into the uphill Turn 1. Sarrazin and co-driver Sebastien Buemi were third with a 1:49.696 average.
G-Drive Racing by Delta-ADR’s Mike Conway and John Martin took class pole in LMP2, thanks to a 1:54.951 average in their No. 26 Oreca 03 Nissan. The pairing edged out the two OAK Racing Morgan-Nissans, which ended up second and third in class.
Aston Martin Racing claimed top qualifying honors again in GTE-Pro, with the No. 99 Vantage V8 of Bruno Senna and Fred Makowiecki combining for an average of 2:04.628.
The duo edged out the No. 91 Porsche AG Team Manthey entry of Patrick Pilet and Joerg Bergmeister by 0.270 seconds.
Aston Martin Racing’s No. 98 car of Pedro Lamy and Richie Stanaway, which qualified on pole in Brazil, had to settle for third in class on Saturday.
A late flyer by Rui Aguas gave 8Star Motorsports its first class pole of the year in GTE-Am. Aguas combined with Matteo Malucelli for a 2:06.515 average in the American-entered Ferrari F458 Italia they will share with team owner Enzo Potolicchio on Sunday.
The No. 95 Aston Martin was second in class, followed by the No. 61 AF Corse Ferrari, which completed the top-three in class.
The Six Hours of the Circuit of The Americas takes the green Sunday at 12 p.m. ET, with live coverage at: http://live.fiawec.com.Allan McNish, Audi Sport Team Joest, COTA, Loic Duval, Sports Cars