Marcel Fässler/André Lotterer/Benoît Tréluyer third in fastest Audi
Lucas di Grassi/Loïc Duval/Oliver Jarvis in fourth place
Audi makes up one second in lap times
Audi came closer to the top in qualifying for round six of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) in Japan. While the gap to the fastest time in the previous event still amounted to 1.3 seconds, the best Audi R18 e-tron quattro trailed the leader in qualifying by just a little less than three tenths of a second at Fuji.
“The many sports car fans in Japan can look forward to a thrilling race,” said Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich following the final qualifying session. “Our developments since the summer have paid off.” For the race at Fuji, Audi developed a modified body based on its efficiency aerodynamics. It combines low drag with good downforce levels.
André Lotterer and Benoît Tréluyer in the number ‘7’ Audi R18 e-tron quattro achieved a combined lap time of 1m 23.082s – corresponding to grid position three and a gap of 0.319 seconds to the top. “Our car felt good,” said Tréluyer, who posted the best time of all Audi drivers. “The set-up is well-balanced. The team did a good job.”
The number ‘8’ Audi trailed the sister car with a gap of 163 thousandths of a second. “We managed to make a good step since Le Mans,” said Loïc Duval. “In the past, the track at Fuji didn’t suit us so well. That makes being so close on Porsche’s heels even sweeter.”
Chris Reinke, Head of LMP at Audi Sport, looks toward round six of the season that will start on Sunday at 11.00, local time, with optimism: “Audi is back again. Qualifying was spectacular. Positions kept shifting all the way up to the end. The narrow gaps give rise to hope for a good race.”
In Germany, the race will be broadcast at full length on Sunday, October 11, from 04.00 to 10.15 (CEST) by Eurosport. Frank Biela, a five-time Le Mans winner with Audi, will be one of the co-commentators of the program.
1 Bernhard/Hartley/Webber (Porsche) 1m 22.763s
2 Dumas/Jani/Lieb (Porsche) 1m 23.071s
3 Fässler/Lotterer/Tréluyer (Audi R18 e-tron quattro) 1m 23.082s
4 Di Grassi/Duval/Jarvis (Audi R18 e-tron quattro) 1m 23.245s
5 Buemi/Davidson/Nakajima (Toyota) 1m 25.072s
6 Conway/Sarrazin/Wurz (Toyota) 1m 25.327s
7 Abt/Imperatori/Kraihamer (Rebellion) 1m 28.492s
8 Beche/Prost (Rebellion) 1m 28.641s
9 Kaffer/Trummer (CLM-AER) 1m 30.740s
10 Bird/Canal/Rusinov (Ligier-Nissan) 1m 31.529s