Toyota surprises in Sao Paulo with their first 2012 pole

Toyota claim maiden FIA WEC Pole

Alex Wurz timed his run to perfection and with just five minutes of the qualifying session remaining and secured the first pole position for the Toyota Racing TS030 – Hybrid with a 1m22.383 lap around the Interlagos track. The Austrian driver’s time was 0.784 seconds faster than the time set by Lucas di Grassi in the nr2 Audi R18 Ultra and a further 0.185s ahead of the nr1 Audi R18 e-tron quattro.

#7 Toyota Racing Toyota TS030 Hybrid: Alexander Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre
#7 Toyota Racing Toyota TS030 Hybrid: Alexander Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre

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The leading LMP1 Privateer was the nr12 Rebellion Racing Lola-Toyota of Neel Jani in 4th overall, with the nr21 Strakka Racing HPD-Honda of Danny Watts just 0.127s adrift in 5th overall.

There was a great battle for the LMP2 pole but Stephane Sarrazin in the nr44 Starworks Motorsports HPD-Honda took the top spot just ahead of John Martin in the nr25 ADR-Delta Oreca-Nissan and the nr26 Signatech Nissan Oreca-Nissan of Nelson Panciatici, with just 0.119 seconds splitting the three cars at the end of the 20-minute session.

Round 5 of the FIA World Endurance Championship, the 6 Hours of Sao Paulo, will start at 12 noon tomorrow afternoon, with live coverage online at

Alex Wurz,
nr7 Toyota Racing TS030-Hybrid LMP1 Pole Position

“Qualifying was really cool. We expected a really tough fight, especially as the car felt quite nervous in this morning’s practice. But the team did a good job on the set-up before qualifying and the car was very fast. The hybrid system was just amazing; it gave a big kick coming out of corners. Obviously it is a long race but to get pole position is a great feeling and it shows the car is very competitive. I am optimistic but don’t forget this is only our third race; it will be a difficult race against strong competition but we will go full attack tomorrow.”

Stéphane Sarrazin,
nr44 Starworks Motorsports HPD ARX 03b – Honda LMP2 8th Overall / Pole Position

“I am very happy for the team because we scored a point for the Championship. I am all the more pleased because we weren’t happy with the car in free practice. We therefore changed lots of things for qualifying and the car was much better. All the cars in the [LMP2] category are very close to each other so each detail can make a difference. We are going to attack and try to win the race, but above all we want to score lots of points. We have a good package so we have to go all out to try and win.”

Source: FIA World Endurance Championship

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About this article
Series WEC
Drivers Alexander Wurz , Stéphane Sarrazin , Neel Jani , Nicolas Lapierre , Lucas di Grassi , John Martin , Nelson Panciatici , Danny Watts
Teams Nissan Motorsport , Rebellion Racing , Toyota Racing , Strakka Racing , Signatech , Starworks Motorsports
Article type Qualifying report
Tags hybrid, rebellion, sao paulo, starworks, toyota, wec, wurz