As the sun went down and the track lights came on, Aston Martin Racing did the double (well, a triple actually) and put both their Pro and Am cars onto pole position. In GTE Pro, Darren Turner & Jonny Adam put the #97 Vantage V8 onto pole position with an average time of 1:56.953, followed by teammates Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorrenson just 0.128s behind in the #95 car. James Caldo in the #51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 took the third fastest spot clocking in an average time of 1:57.891. The BoP’d Ford GTs were fourth (#67) and sixth (#66).
In GTE Am, everything went down to the very last lap with Pedro Lamy in the #98 Vantage snatched pole position from Francois Perrodo in the #83 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia ducking to an average of 1:59.879 – Brilliant Work. The top three was rounded out by the Labre Competition Corvette with an average of 2:00.938. The point gained by Aston Martin for this evening’s pole position ensures that the title chance in Am remains alive, no matter how slim, and a class win and DNF for the Ferrari would hand the crown to the British Team.
In the second session, Audi laid out their plans to go out in style with Lucas DiGrassi and Oliver Jarvis taking LMP1 and overall pole position with an average lap of 1:39.207. Brendan Hartley and Timo Bernhard in the #1 Porsche 919 Hybrid took second spot on the grid some 0.264 seconds behind. The sister Porsche driven by Mark Lieb and Neel Jani closed out the top three setting a 1:39.669. Neither Toyota fared well with the fastest being Mike Conway’s #6 TS050 Hybrid in fifth place. In what was essentially a one-horse race, Rebellion took the privateer’s pole with a 1:45.091 average. The ByKolles finished behind the entire LMP2 pack some 6.4s behind the Rebellion.
In LMP2, honours went to G-Drive with their Oreca 05 setting a 1:49.672 average laptime. Having tied up the class win in Shanghai, the Signatech Alpine continued to push and took the second spot, just 0.018s behind the Alpine. Third spot went to the #44 Manor clocking in a 1:50.034 average.
So with Audi claiming their last pole in their last endurance race, Aston Martin Racing ‘doing the double’ to keep their Am Championship hopes alive and 0.4s separating the top three LMP2 cars tomorrow is shaping up to be one hell of a season finale!