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FIA WEC

Porsche Takes Pole for 6H Silverstone

Brendon Hartley, Mark Webber on pole for 6H Silverstone…

Photo: FIA WEC

Photo: FIA WEC

Porsche will start Sunday’s Six Hours of Silverstone from the pole, following a sweep of the front row for the German manufacturer in the season-opening round of the FIA World Endurance Championship.

Brendon Hartley and Mark Webber took their No. 17 Porsche 919 Hybrid to a best two-lap average of 1:39.721, outpacing their sister entry by more than six-tenths in the revised-for-2015 qualifying format.

It marked a dominant run for the second-year LMP1 operation, capitalizing on the single-lap advantage of its 8 MJ hybrid system, and also using two sets of tires, another new option allowed this year.

Hartley and Webber will share driving duties with Timo Bernhard in tomorrow’s opening round.

Neel Jani and Romain Dumas combined for a 1:40.340 average in their No. 18 Porsche, which edged out the Oliver Jarvis and Lucas Di Grassi-qualified No. 8 Audi R18 e-tron quattro by just 0.012 seconds.

The No. 1 Toyota TS040 Hybrid of Anthony Davidson and Kazuki Nakajima was 0.030 seconds further back in fourth, while the No. 7 Audi, qualified by Andre Lotterer and Marcel Fassler, completed the top-five.

G-Drive Racing took top qualifying honors in LMP2, with the Russian-backed squad also securing the top two positions in class.

Ricardo Gonzalez and Pipo Derani, in his FIA WEC debut, pedaled the No. 28 Ligier JS P2 Nissan to a 1:48.021 average, edging out the No. 26 G-Drive car of Sam Bird and Julien Canal by just 0.062 seconds.

It gave the OAK Racing-run squad a dominant qualifying effort, with the closest competitor, the No. 47 KCMG Oreca 05 Nissan, more than 1.3 seconds behind.

2013 LMP2 World Champion Gonzalez and Derani will share the wheel of their entry with Gustavo Yacaman on Sunday.

Matt Howson and Porsche factory driver Nick Tandy put the debuting No. 47 KCMG Oreca 05 Nissan in third, followed by the No. 36 Signatech Alpine A450b Nissan in fourth.

The No. 30 Tequila Patron HPD ARX-03b of Ryan Dalziel and David Heinemeier Hansson completed the top-five in class, but a distant 3.5 seconds from the new-generation LMP2 coupes.

The FIA WEC Six Hours of Silverstone gets underway Sunday at 12 p.m. local, with live coverage on FOX Sports 1 beginning at 7 a.m. ET.

RESULTS: Qualifying (LMP1/LMP2)

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

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