Audi will start Saturday’s inaugural Six Hours of Mexico presented by AT&T from the pole, in a hard-fought qualifying session for the fifth round of the FIA World Endurance Championship season.
Loic Duval and Lucas Di Grassi combined for a best two-lap average of 1:25.069 in their No. 8 Audi R18, edging out the No. 2 Porsche 919 Hybrid, qualified by Neel Jani and Marc Lieb, by just 0.042 seconds.
It was the German manufacturer’s third pole of the season but the first for Duval and Di Grassi, who will share driving duties with Oliver Jarvis tomorrow.
The No. 8 Audi retained pole despite a late red flag for a spin by the No. 36 Signatech Alpine A460 Nissan of Nicolas Lapierre, which set up a three-minute and 30-second shootout, but saw few improvements.
Marcel Fassler and Andre Lotterer qualified the No. 7 Audi in third. The pairing is again without Benoit Treluyer, following a late decision by Audi to keep the Frenchman on the sidelines as he continues his recovery from a back injury.
Defending World Champions Brendon Hartley and Mark Webber qualified the No. 1 Porsche in fourth, with the No. 5 Toyota TS050 Hybrid completing the top-five overall and in LMP1, which is without Anthony Davidson this weekend.
The No. 6 Toyota, which missed most of Thursday’s track action due to an accident from Stephane Sarrazin, will roll off sixth.
RGR Sport broke G-Drive Racing’s four-race pole streak to take top qualifying honors in LMP2, at the team’s home race.
Bruno Senna and team owner/driver Ricardo Gonzalez reeled off a best average of 1:35.485 in their No. 43 Ligier JS P2 Nissan to edge out Lapierre’s Signatech Alpine Nissan by 0.334 seconds.
It marked the Mexican team’s first class pole, in a season that’s been dominated by G-Drive in qualifying.
Senna and Gonzalez, who also serves as the race promoter, will team with Filipe Albuquerque on Saturday.
The No. 42 Strakka Racing Gibson 015S Nissan qualified a season-best third, ahead of the No. 26 G-Drive Oreca 05 Nissan, which made it four different constructors in the top-four.
The Six Hours of Mexico gets underway Saturday at 1:30 p.m. CT, with live coverage on FOX Sports 2.