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Nissan

FIA WEC, 6 Hours of Bahrain - LMP Qualifying

Early risers in the 20 minute LMP qualifying session were the #2 Audi and #7 Toyota, McNish and Lapierre on driving duty respectively.

A 1:46.352 from the Toyota was bettered though by 1:46.084 from the Scot – Early advantage Audi.

The only other car on track was the #41 Zytek Nissan, Christian Zugel following the Gentlemen first tenet with regard to the potential daylight running for the race starters (who in LMP2 and GTE AM have to qualify).  Zugel had a quick and harmless spin but recovered in good time to see McNish storm around in an improved 1:45.814.

Lapierre aborted his second lap but was on it again next time around, he improved but only by a tenth, still 4 tenths down on the Audi.

12 minutes remaining and Fassler was on track in the #1 Audi with P2 cars also beginning to emerge to challenge the sole time set so far, a 1:58.6 from Zugel.

Giroix bettered that immediately in the #29 Lola Nissan as the timing screens flashed up a yellow flag warning for a bollard on the racing line at the exit of T1 –

Red Flag – and it was a short one to allow a marshal to recover the errant bollard, the clock stopped with just a few seconds over half distance to go, Fassler ready at pit exit to go again.

The Swiss driver’s first effort was good enough for third, despite a wild moment running wide on that lap.

In LMP2 Pla, Minassian and then Kraihamer took turns at the top of the tree before Sarrazin banged in a 1:51.895 for Starworks with rossiter and rusinov popping up second and third fastest – 5 minutes remained.

Fassler improved, and by a margin – second fastest and just 0.074 behind the provisional pole time, McNish’s day done – he was out of the car and watching the screens anxiously – The point for pole here might make a difference in the Drivers Championship.

Sarrazin improved too, by half a tenth as John Martin closed in, now second fastest ij the ADR Delta Oreca with Minassian in the Pecom version now third.

In the LMP1 Privateer ranks the #13 car is not taking part in qualifying – reason unknown as yet – Jani sets a time 1:47.638 that the HPDs are struggling to match, an intra-marque tussle sees Chandhok ahead of Watts before the Englishman makes it stick, he’s still 8 tenths shy of the Lola Toyota though.

Fassler pits – Toyota were not responding so it was a pole for Allan McNish and Audi Sport – reducing the points gap in the Drivers World Championship to 6.5 points

GG