Aston Martin Racing swept GTE-Pro and GTE-Am qualifying honors for the third consecutive FIA WEC race, with the No. 97 Vantage GTE to lead the GTE-Pro field to the green in Saturday’s Six Hours of Bahrain.
Darren Turner and Stefan Muecke combined for a four-lap average of 1:58.805 in the 25-minute nighttime qualifying session. The No. 97 car outpaced the pair of AF Corse Ferrari F458 Italia GTs by more than three-tenths.
It marked the duo’s second consecutive pole, as they seek to repeat the success at Circuit of The Americas in September.
Championship leaders Gianmaria Bruni and Toni Vilander will roll off from second on the grid, followed by the the sister No. 71 entry of Davide Rigon and James Calado in third.
The No. 99 Craft-Bamboo Racing-backed Aston, qualified by Alex MacDowall and Fernando Rees, will start fourth, while the pair of Porsche Team Manthey Porsche 911 RSRs struggled in the 25-minute session and ended up fifth and sixth in class.
Nicki Thiim and Kristian Poulsen, meanwhile, claimed their first pole of the season in GTE-Am, thanks to their 1:59.589 average in the No. 95 Aston Martin.
The pairing edged out the sister No. 98 Aston, qualified by Christoffer Nygaard and Pedro Lamy, by 0.132 seconds.
Poulsen and co-driver David Heinemeier Hansson can lock up the GTE-Am title with a class win on Saturday.
Best of the rest honors in GTE-Am went to the No. 61 AF Corse Ferrari of Alessandro Pier Guidi and Jeff Segal, with a respectable 2:00.068 average in their orange-colored Prancing Horse.
The FIA WEC Six Hours of Bahrain takes the green flag Saturday at 3 p.m. local (7 a.m. ET).