Porsche finished off their final LMP1 qualifying session in the WEC with pole position courtesy of a masterclass from Neel Jani and Nick Tandy Six Hours of Bahrain.
Both Porsche 919 Hybrids squandered the early part of their session, giving the number 7 TS050 Hybrid of Mike Conway the chance he needed to steal a potential top spot ahead of the number 2 Porsche of Brendon Hartley.
However it was Tandy who dug deep to find an extra half a second over the rest of his LMP1 contemporaries and coveted front row position.
“We only went back out because Neel did such a good lap” said Tandy.
“I made a big mistake on my flying lap. Luckily I could correct it later. It’s a good start to our final weekend.”
Jose Maria Lopez and Mike Conway would eventually split the Porsche’s, with the number 8 Toyota of Anthony Davidson finishing over a second in arrears back in fourth place.
Gustavo Menezes and Andre Negrao took LMP2 honours for Signatech Alpine’s A470 Gibson. Their time was three-tenths ahead of rising star Thomas Laurent in the in the 38 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca 07 Gibson and championship protagonists Bruno Senna and Julien Canal in the number 31 Vaillante Rebellion Oreca.
In GTE Pro, the 71 AF Corse Ferrari of Sam Bird and Davide Rigon smashed last year’s pole time with a 1:56.033 to finish three-tenths ahead of the number 97 Aston Martin Vantage, Darren Turner and Jonny Adam. The number 67 Ford GT of Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell finished third – one spot ahead of the championship leading number 51 Ferrari will start fourth.
GTE Am saw the Aston Martin Racing take their seventh pole of the season, with number 98 entry of Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda seize an extra point to extend their championship lead to 11 points.
The advantage gives the 98 car the option of finishing no lower than fourth to take the championship. Despite Matt Griffin proving fastest in practice, the number 61 Clearwater Racing Ferrari would finish second ahead of the Dempsey Proton Porsche in third.
After their fire in FP3, the Gulf Racing UK crew was forced to qualifying but are confident of making the race.
The 6 Hours of Bahrain begins 4 p.m. local time.
IMAGES: Adrenal Media/FIAWEC
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