Porsche claimed its second consecutive pole and third of the FIA WEC season following a dominant qualifying run by Romain Dumas and Neel Jani Friday at Bahrain International Circuit.
The No. 14 Porsche 919 Hybrid completed a best four-lap average of 1:43.145 in the 25-minute prototype qualifying session, outpacing the championship-leading No. 8 Toyota TS040 Hybrid by 0.265 seconds.
It marked back-to-back poles for Jani and Dumas, who will be joined in the cockpit by Marc Lieb in Saturday’s Six Hours of Bahrain.
While Anthony Davidson and Sebastien Buemi look to lock up the championship tomorrow starting from second on the grid, the sister No. 20 Porsche, qualified by Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernhard will roll off from third on the grid.
The No. 7 Toyota and No. 2 Audi R18 e-tron quattro completed the top-five overall and in LMP1-H, with the No. 1 Audi not setting a time due to its second complete rebuild of the weekend due to tub damage.
The Tom Kristensen, Loic Duval and Lucas Di Grassi-driven entry will start from the rear of the LMP1 field tomorrow, after getting dispensation from the FIA.
Rebellion Racing’s Nick Heidfeld and Nicolas Prost claimed LMP1-L pole honors in their No. 12 Rebellion R-One Toyota. The duo’s 1:47.047 was nearly four seconds slower than the pole-winning Porsche’s best average.
In LMP2, G-Drive Racing claimed its sixth pole in seven races this year, with Olivier Pla and Roman Rusinov completing a 1:50.236 average in their Dunlop-shod Ligier JS P2 Nissan.
It was enough to outpace the championship-leading No. 27 SMP Racing Oreca 03R Nissan of Nic Minassian and Maurizio Mediani by 0.703 seconds.
Pla and Rusinov will be joined by Julien Canal on Saturday.
Minassian and Mediani’s co-driver, Sergey Zlobin’s lead has been reduced to seven points as a result of G-Drive’s pole.
The No. 37 SMP Oreca-Nissan will line up third in class, ahead by the freshly rebuilt No. 47 KCMG Oreca-Nissan following its opening lap accident in Shanghai.
The FIA WEC Six Hours of Bahrain takes the green flag Saturday at 3 p.m. local (7 a.m. ET).