Toyota front row for WEC finale

Toyota front row for WEC finale

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Toyota front row for WEC finale

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Toyota drivers Alex Wurz and Kazuki Nakajima claimed pole position for this weekend’s World Endurance Championship finale in Bahrain.

The duo, who will share their TS030 Hybrid with Nicolas Lapierre in Saturday’s six-hour race, led a Toyota one-two with an average time at the end of the aggregate qualifying session of 1m42.449s. That put them a shade over three tenths of a second clear of teammates Stephane Sarrazin and Anthony Davidson.

Wurz, who set the fastest lap of the session with a 1m42.170s, said: “Audi’s free practice time from this morning worried us, but the track was very quick. We went into qualifying and did our best. The car balance was very good, so I am very happy.”

Davidson explained that he had to abort the second lap of his run when he encountered traffic and lost tire temperature when he pushed again to complete his run.

The two Audis ended up third and fourth, with Andre Lotterer and Marcel Fassler heading Loic Duval and Allan McNish.

Lotterer and Fassler claimed a 1m42.976s average, which was a less than two tenths ahead of their teammates. Both R18 e-tron quattro crews complained of tyre degradation over the course of the 20-minute qualifying system.

LMP2 honours were taken by the AF Corse-run Pecom ORECA-Nissan 03 shared by Nicolas Minassian and Pierre Kaffer. The class pole marked a return to form for the Michelin-equipped Pecom team, which endured two difficult races in the run-up to Bahrain. Its four-lap average of 1m50.941s was a tenth up on the G-Drive/Delta-ADR Nissan-ORECA qualifyed by John Martin and Mike Conway.

OAK Racing duo Olivier Pla and Alex Brundle were third in P2 in their Morgan-Nissan LMP2, which was three places ahead of teammates and championship rivals Bertrand Baguette and Martin Plowman.

PORSCHE 1-2 IN GTE PRO

Porsche’s evolution version of its 911 RSR outpaced its rivals from Aston Martin and Ferrari to take GTE Pro pole in the hands of Richard Lietz and Marc Lieb. They shaded Manthey teammates Patrick Pilet and Jorg Bergmeister in the second factory Porsche despite Lieb having to abort his first lap and come into the pits after his 911 jammed in third gear.

Championship leader Stefan Mucke and Darren Turner ended up third in GTE Pro in their Aston Martin Vantage GTE, one place and one hundredth ahead of championship rival Gianmaria Bruni’s Ferrari.

Aston Martin Racing took GTE Am pole with Nicki Thiim and Christoffer Nygaard.

Pos  Cl     Drivers                         Team/Car                Time       Cl Gap 1.  P1     Wurz/Lapierre/Nakajima          Toyota                  1m42.449s 2.  P1     Davidson/Buemi/Sarrazin         Toyota                  1m42.781s  +0.332s 3.  P1     Lotterer/Treluyer/Fassler       Audi                    1m42.976s  +0.527s 4.  P1     Kristensen/Duval/McNish         Audi                    1m43.145s  +0.696s 5.  P1     Belicchi/Beche/Prost            Rebellion Lola-Toyota   1m46.728s  +4.279s 6.  P2     Perez Companc/Minassian/Kaffer  Pecom ORECA-Nissan      1m50.941s 7.  P2     Rusinov/Martin/Conway           Delta-ADR ORECA-Nissan  1m51.003s  +0.062s 8.  P2     Pla/Heinemeier Hansson/Brundle  OAK Morgan-Nissan       1m51.718s  +0.777s 9.  P2     Wirdheim/Reip/Lancaster         Greaves Zytek-Nissan    1m51.841s  +0.900s10.  P2     Giroix/Kerr/Dolby               Delta-ADR ORECA-Nissan  1m52.133s  +1.192s11.  P2     Baguette/Gonzalez/Plowman       OAK Morgan-Nissan       1m52.377s  +1.436s12.  P2     Weeda/Liuzzi/Auer               Lotus                   1m53.217s  +2.276s13.  P2     Holzer/Kraihamer/Charouz        Lotus                   1m53.584s  +2.643s14.  P2     Nicolet/Ihara/Cheng             OAK Morgan-Nissan       1m54.033s  +3.092s15.  GTE P  Lieb/Lietz                      Manthey Porsche         1m58.833s16.  GTE P  Bergmeister/Pilet               Manthey Porsche         1m58.960s  +0.127s17.  GTE P  Turner/Mucke                    Aston Martin            1m59.038s  +0.205s18.  GTE P  Bruni/Vilander                  AF Ferrari              1m59.049s  +0.216s19.  GTE P  Lamy/Senna/Stanaway             Aston Martin            1m59.167s  +0.334s20.  GTE P  Kobayashi/Fisichella            AF Ferrari              1m59.459s  +0.626s21.  GTE A  Nygaard/Poulsen/Thiim           Aston Martin            2m00.303s22.  GTE A  Potolicchio/Aguas/Rigon         8Star Ferrari           2m00.337s  +0.034s23.  GTE A  Hall/Goethe/Campbell-Walter     Aston Martin            2m00.496s  +0.193s24.  GTE A  Perrodo/Collard/Griffin         AF Ferrari              2m00.527s  +0.224s25.  GTE A  Narac/Vernay/Palttala           Imsa Porsche            2m00.880s  +0.577s26.  GTE A  Ried/Roda/Ruberti               Proton Porsche          2m01.290s  +0.987s27.  GTE A  Krohn/Jonsson/Mediani           Krohn Ferrari           2m01.563s  +1.260s28.  GTE A  Bornhauser/Canal/Rees           Larbre Corvette         2m03.236s  +2.933s

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