Toyota claimed only its second pole position of this year’s World Endurance Championship at Shanghai.
Alex Wurz and Nicolas Lapierre followed up on their pole at the Silverstone season opener by setting a four-lap average of 1m48.013s aboard their Toyota TS030 Hybrid to edge out Audi drivers Marcel Fassler and Benoit Treluyer by just 0.089 second.
The Toyota duo had a couple of tenths in hand before Treluyer went out again at the end of the 20-minute session and improved the Audi R18 e-tron quattro’s average to close to within a tenth.
“Last year, this was our most competitive track and this year it looks good as well,” Lapierre said. “It’s looking better than ever before this season with two competitive cars, but we have to be careful. Benoit did a very good lap at the end.”
The second Toyota, shared in qualifying by Stephane Sarrazin and Sebastien Buemi, was third, a further six tenths down on the Audi with a 1m48.694s average. The championship-leading Audi, qualified by Allan McNish and Tom Kristensen, ended up more than a second behind its sister car in fourth place.
G-Drive/Delta-ADR drivers John Martin and Mike Conway dominated LMP2 aboard their ORECA-Nissan 03 to claim class pole by nearly eight tenths ahead of the best of the OAK Racing Morgan-Nissans shared by Olivier Pla and Alex Brundle.
Aston Martin Racing took pole position in both GTE classes. Darren Turner put in two laps in the Aston Martin Vantage GTE he shares with Stefan Mucke to leapfrog over the sister car qualified by Bruno Senna and Richie Stanaway to jump to the top of the times in the Pro division by just 0.019sec.
Christoffer Nygaard and Nicki Thiim won the Am class pole by just 0.015sec from the AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia shared by Marco Cioci and Matt Griffin.
Pos Cl Drivers Team/Car Time Gap 1. P1 Wurz/Lapierre Toyota 1m48.013s 2. P1 Lotterer/Treluyer/Fassler Audi 1m48.102s +0.089s 3. P1 Davidson/Buemi/Sarrazin Toyota 1m48.694s +0.681s 4. P1 Kristensen/Duval/McNish Audi 1m49.173s +1.160s 5. P1 Belicchi/Beche/Prost Rebellion Lola-Toyota 1m51.204s +3.191s 6. P2 Rusinov/Martin/Conway Delta-ADR ORECA-Nissan 1m55.423s 7. P2 Pla/Heinemeier Hansson/Brundle OAK Morgan-Nissan 1m56.210s +0.787s 8. P2 Shulzhitckiy/Lux/Wirdheim Greaves Zytek-Nissan 1m56.219s +0.796s 9. P2 Baguette/Gonzalez/Plowman OAK Morgan-Nissan 1m56.243s +0.820s10. P2 Graves/Kerr/Dolby Delta-ADR ORECA-Nissan 1m56.284s +0.861s11. P2 Perez Companc/Minassian/Kaffer Pecom ORECA-Nissan 1m56.971s +1.548s12. P2 Weeda/Liuzzi/Bouchut Lotus 1m57.531s +2.108s13. P2 Holzer/Kraihamer/Charouz Lotus 1m57.639s +2.216s14. P2 Nicolet/Ihara/Cheng OAK Morgan-Nissan 1m59.063s +3.640s15. GTE P Turner/Mucke Aston Martin 2m04.370s16. GTE P Lamy/Senna/Stanaway Aston Martin 2m04.389s +0.019s17. GTE P Lieb/Lietz Manthey Porsche 2m04.881s +0.511s18. GTE P Kobayashi/Vilander AF Ferrari 2m04.887s +0.517s19. GTE P Bergmeister/Pilet Manthey Porsche 2m05.049s +0.679s20. GTE P Bruni/Fisichella AF Ferrari 2m05.222s +0.852s21. GTE A Nygaard/Poulsen/Thiim Aston Martin 2m05.903s22. GTE A Gerber/Griffin/Cioci AF Ferrari 2m05.918s +0.015s23. GTE A Potolicchio/Aguas/Rigon 8Star Ferrari 2m06.150s +0.247s24. GTE A Ried/Roda/Ruberti Proton Porsche 2m06.416s +0.513s25. GTE A Narac/Vernay/Palttala Imsa Porsche 2m06.738s +0.835s26. GTE A Campbell-Walter/Hall/Adam Aston Martin 2m06.943s +1.040s27. GTE A Krohn/Jonsson/Mediani Krohn Ferrari 2m07.584s +1.681s28. GTE A Bornhauser/Canal/Rees Larbre Corvette 2m07.669s +1.766s