Rebellion Racing’s Gustavo Menezes and Norman Nato combined Saturday (Feb. 22) to set an average lap speed at 114.632 mph. That average speed was more than good enough to give Rebellion Racing the overall pole for Sunday’s Lone Star Le Mans at Circuit of the Americas, the fifth round of the 2019-20 FIA World Endurance Championship.
Menezes and Nato’s average lap was more than 1.6 seconds faster than Toyota GAZOO Racing’s No. 7 TS050-Hybrid for Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez. The No. 8 Toyota of Brendon Hartley and Kazuki Nakajima was third fastest. The late withdrawal of Team LNT’s Ginetta G60-LT-P1s mean that only three cars will contest the LMP1 class this weekend.
LMP2 saw Cool Racing’s Antonin Borga and Nicolas Lapierre claim the class pole with a lap average at 112.150 mph, good for fourth overall. Lapierre’s best lap was faster than two of the Toyota drivers.
Borga and Lapierre’s average lap was one-sixth of a second faster than United Autosports’ Filipe Albuquerque and Phil Hanson. Signatech Alpine Elf’s Thomas Laurent and Pierre Ragues will start third in class in their Alpine A470-Gibson (a rebadged ORECA 07-Gibson), while Jackie Chan DC Racing’s Gabriel Aubry and Will Stevens will start fourth. JOTA Sport’s Anthony Davidson and Roberto Gonzalez will start fifth.
Aston Martin Racing’s Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorensen claimed the GTE-Pro pole in their Aston Martin Vantage AMR with a lap average of 102.096 mph. The lap was two-tenths of a second faster than teammates Alex Lynn and Maxime Martin. AF Corse’s James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi will start third in class in their Ferrari, while Porsche GT Team’s Gianmaria Bruni and Richard Lietz will be fourth in their Porsche 911 RSR-19.
Team Project 1’s Matteo Cairoli and Egidio Perfetti won the GTE-Am pole with a lap average at 101.271 mph in their previous generation Porsche 911 RSR. That average was a mere four-hundredths of a second faster than Aston Martin Racing’s Paul Dalla Lana and Ross Gunn. Dalla Lana is back is back in the car after being forced to miss the Rolex 24 at Daytona due to an Achilles injury.
TF Sport’s Charlie Eastwood and Salih Yoluc will start third in class in their Aston Martin, followed by the Porsche of Dempsey-Proton Racing’s Matt Campbell and Christian Ried. AF Corse’s Nicklas Nielsen and Francois Perrodo will start fifth in class in their Hublot-sponsored Ferrari.
2020 LONE STAR LE MANS STARTING GRID
The Lone Star Le Mans is scheduled to go green at 1:00 p.m. ET Sunday afternoon. Coverage will start at 12:30 p.m. ET on Motor Trend and run through 2:00 p.m. At that point, coverage will move to MotorTrendOnDemand.com until 6:00 p.m. The coverage then returns to Motor Trend for the final hour and post-race coverage.
About the author
Phil Allaway has three primary roles at Frontstretch. He's the manager of the site's FREE e-mail newsletter that publishes Monday-Friday and occasionally on weekends. He keeps TV broadcasters honest with weekly editions of Couch Potato Tuesday and serves as the site's Sports Car racing editor.
Outside of Frontstretch, Phil is the press officer for Lebanon Valley Speedway in West Lebanon, N.Y. He covers all the action on the high-banked dirt track from regular DIRTcar Modified racing to occasional visits from touring series such as the Super DIRTcar Series.
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