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Porsche Storms to Pole for 6H COTA

Porsche locks out front row for WEC Six Hours of COTA…

Photo: Adrenal Media/WEC

Photo: Adrenal Media/WEC

Porsche will start Saturday’s Six Hours of Circuit of The Americas from the pole, following another dominant 1-2 qualifying run by the German manufacturer in the FIA World Endurance Championship.

A late flyer by Neel Jani saw the Swiss driver snatch pole from its sister entry, thanks to a 1:46.018 lap time with seconds remaining on clock of the 20-minute session.

Jani and co-driver Marc Lieb combined for a best two-lap average of 1:46.375, edging out the Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley-qualified No. 17 Porsche 919 Hybrid by 0.164 seconds.

It came after a boost-related issue for the No. 18 Porsche during Jani’s original flying lap. Jani got back in the car after Lieb’s qualifying lap to set the eventual quickest lap of the weekend.

Jani and Lieb will share driving duties with Romain Dumas tomorrow, leading another sweep of the front row for the World Championship-leading manufacturer.

The No. 8 Audi R18 e-tron quattro of Oliver Jarvis and Loic Duval was third with a 1:47.538 average, three-tenths quicker than the No. 7 Audi, which bounced back from an alternator issue in Free Practice 1.

The pair of Toyota TS040 Hybrids completed the top-six overall and in LMP1, again unable to challenge the front-running German prototypes.

KCMG provisionally captured a surprise pole in LMP2, after its Oreca 05 Nissan ground to a halt on-track in the opening moments of the prototype qualifying session.

The Matt Howson-driven entry was towed back to the pits, where the team quickly fixed the issue after the early red flag for the stoppage.

Howson and co-driver Richard Bradley combined for a best average of 1:56.834, some three-tenths quicker than the No. 26 G-Drive Racing Ligier JS P2 Nissan, which was second.

However, the stewards later decided to move the KCMG car to the rear of the field due to an infraction in qualifying, giving the pole to the No. 26 G-Drive entry.

The sister G-Drive entry was third, followed by the No. 30 Tequila Patron ESM Ligier-Honda, which had shown improved pace this weekend in the Florida-based team’s home race.

The Six Hours of COTA gets underway Saturday at 6 p.m. ET, live on FOX Sports 2.

RESULTS: Qualifying

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John


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