Car number ‘1’ was clearly the faster one of the two Audi hybrid sports cars in qualifying at Shanghai. Marcel Fässler was the first driver to go out. On the average of his two fastest laps, he achieved the second-best time, trailing Toyota driver Alexander Wurz by a gap of 0.432 seconds. On his fastest lap, he even beat last year’s qualifying lap record by 261 thousandths. When Benoît Tréluyer followed Fässler, the Frenchman reduced the gap to the front runner on the average of his first two laps to 0.217 seconds. As Tréluyer was forced to run behind in traffic on his first outing, he pitted to refuel and to start another trial on the used tires, subsequently managing to set his personal best lap time of 1m 48.091s. Last year’s World Champion thereby reduced his gap to the number ‘7’ Toyota to 0.089 seconds and just barely missed grid position one together with his team-mates. With that, a string of five consecutive best times in WEC qualifying sessions came to an end for Audi.
In the number ‘2’ Audi R18 e-tron quattro, Allan McNish and Tom Kristensen on the average of the four fastest times achieved 1m 49.173s. Therefore, the leaders of the standings will be starting from the second row alongside the number ‘8’ Toyota. The grid positions, though, tend to be of secondary importance in the 6-hour race in the Chinese metropolis. The crucial aspects on the rough tarmac and in the tight combinations of turns are to tactically manage the race well and to treat the tires gently, as temperatures of clearly above 20 degrees centigrade are expected on Saturday.
The beginning of the seventh race of eight World Championship rounds is scheduled for 11:00 local time (4:00 CET). The race can be watched on the internet by live streaming on www.audi-motorsport.com and www.fiawec.com. Additionally, a 100-minute TV broadcast on Eurosport starts in Germany on Saturday at 8:35.