Toyotas rule Monza WEC qualifying

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Toyotas rule Monza WEC qualifying

Le Mans/WEC

Toyotas rule Monza WEC qualifying

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Toyota Gazoo Racing scored a one-two in qualifying for tomorrow’s 6 Hours of Monza, Round 3 of the FIA World Endurance Championship as Argentina’s Jose Maria Lopez posted a 1m35.899s in the No. 7 Toyota GR010, just 0.062s ahead of the sister No. 8 car of Brendon Hartley.

The session had been led by both the No. 708 Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus of Pipo Derani and the No. 36 Alpine of Nicolas Lapierre before the Toyotas attacked again. A late-session red flag left just one flying lap available for any response, the Toyotas opting to stay on pit road, their challengers unable to better their pre-red flag efforts.

The Alpine third two-tenths behind the Toyotas ahead of the No. 708, a further half a second back.

In LMP2, 20 year old French driver Charles Milesi gave Team WRT its first WEC pole position, the silver-ranked driver posting a 1m38.527s that saw off the best efforts of a number of noteworthy scalps. His pole lap was just good enough to fend off a last gasp effort from United Autosports’ Filipe Albuquerque, the gap between the WRT man and United’s No. 22 just 0.03s. Dragonspeed USA’s former IndyCar man Ben Hanley finished the session third fastest ahead of Racing Team Nederland’s Nyck de Vries.

The red flag drama saw championship-leading team JOTA’s strategy go disastrously wrong after the team opted to change tires on both cars mid-session, ex-McLaren F1 driver Stoffel Vandoorne in a hurry to get a time on the board and losing over the curbs at the exit of the high-speed Lesmos, the No. 28 spinning and impacting the Tec-Pro barriers hard. The Belgian was unhurt but the car posted no lap time as a result.

Anthony Davidson managed to avoid the spinning sister car as he too was attempting to post a flier but at least was able to take advantage of the one-shot effort at the end of the session to post sixth fastest time behind the debuting No. 82 ORECA of Risi Competizione.

Kevin Estre set the pace for Porsche GT Team at Monza. Motorsport Images

In the earlier GT session it was a battle royal at the head of both classes.

Kevin Estre nailed his qualifying lap to put his No. 92 Porsche Team 911 RSR-19 on GTE Pro pole with a lap in 1m45.412s that was just 0.065s ahead of the No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari of Alessandro Pier Guidi. Gianmaria Bruni and Miguel Molina would repeat the Porsche/Ferrari order complete the class grid.

In GTE-Am, Ben Keating ran a very spirited session to claim an initially hotly contested pole position with a lap in 1m47.272s in the No. 33 TF Sport Aston Martin that was eventually good enough to fend off a hard-charging Francois Perrodo in the No. 83 AF Corse Ferrari by around a quarter of a second.

Roberto Lacorte claimed third slot on the class grid in the No. 47 Cetilar Ferrari a tenth clear of Egidio Perfetti’s No. 56 Project 1 Porsche.

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