Bahrain WEC: Conway, Lopez put #7 Toyota on pole for decider

Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez outpaced their Toyota teammates to claim pole position for the 2019/20 FIA World Endurance Championship finale in Bahrain this weekend. 

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The qualifying drivers of the #7 Toyota TS050 Hybrid ended up more than seven tenths clear of Brendon Hartley and Kazuki Nakajima in the two-car battle for the overall pole for Saturday's eight-hour race. 

Conway lapped in 1m40.114s to better Hartley's 1m41.252s by more than a second on the first runs. Nakajima's 1m41.744s was only four tenths down on the 1m41.381s from Lopez on the second runs. 

That meant the pole-winning #7 Toyota ended up with a 1m40.747s average compared with the #8 car's 1m41.498s. 

The gap between the two cars is more than the 0.54s worth of performance handicaps carried by the #8 car under the LMP1 success handicap system for this event.. 

United Autosports grabbed LMP2 pole right at the end of the prototype session. 

Paul di Resta was quickest after the first runs in the team's Oreca 07 with a 1m46.768s and then Phil Hanson appeared to have done enough for United to claim a fourth pole of the season with 1m47.356s. But Hanson's time was deleted for a track limits violation, which meant he had to go for another lap. 

He then posted a 1m48.112s, which was enough to give United the pole by nearly eight tenths over the Jackie Chan DC Racing Orea qualified by Will Stevens and Gabriel Aubry. 

Stevens had been third after the first runs with a 1m47.537s before silver-rated driver Aubry's best of 1m48.939s moved them up a position. 

The Signatech Alpine Oreca of Pierre Ragues and Thomas Laurent took third in class with an average of 1m48.470s. 

JOTA drivers Antonio Felix da Costa and Roberto Gonzalez took fourth ahead of the Racing Team Nederland Oreca in which Nyck de Vries had been second after the first runs. 

GTE: Porsche on pole after lap reinstated

Points leaders Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorensen initially appeared to bag a last-gasp class pole for Aston Martin ahead of Porsche, before Kevin Estre and Michael Christensen were awarded the top spot after the session when a deleted lap was reinstated.

Sorensen found just over two tenths on his second lap aboard the #95 Aston Martin Vantage GTE to leapfrog the #92 Porsche 911 RSR-19 shared by Estre and Christensen.

Christensen topped the times after the first run with a 1m56.405s, which put him a more than two tenths up on the 1m56.675s set by Thiim. 

Sorensen's 1m56.614s just edged out Estre's 1m56.774s, but the Aston driver went for a second lap and improved to a 1m56.367s. That gave the Aston Martin duo a 1m56.521s average, just six hundredths up on Christensen and Estre's 1m56.589s.

But after the session ended, officials gave Christensen a lap back that he had previously lost due to track limits. The Dane had been denied a time of 1m56.236s on his second flying lap. That put the Porsche 0.016s ahead of the Aston Martin on the lap average, with 1m56.505s.

James Calado and Daniel Serra took third place for Ferrari. Calado was fourth after the first runs about the best of the AF Corse-run Ferrari 488 GTE Evos behind Porsche driver Gianmaria Bruni, but Serra went a second faster than Richard Lietz to move up a position. 

Calado and Serra ended up with a 1m56.706s average, which compared with Bruni and Lietz's 1m57.124s. 

The second Ferrari shared by Miguel Molina and Davide Rigon ended up fifth ahead of the Aston driven by Maxime Martin and Richard Westbrook. 

GTE Am honours went to the factory-run Aston qualified by Ross Gunn and Paul Dalla Lana with a 1m58.356s average.

Gunn topped the class leaderboard after the first runs, while Dalla Lana cemented the top spot. Second went to the TF Sport Aston driven by Jonny Adam and Salih Yoluc, while Kei Cozzolino and Bon Grimes were third in the AF-run Red River Ferrari. 

Bahrain WEC - Qualifying results:

Cla # Drivers Car Class Time Gap
1 7 United Kingdom Mike Conway
Japan Kamui Kobayashi
Argentina Jose Maria Lopez
Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 1'40.747  
2 8 Switzerland Sébastien Buemi
Japan Kazuki Nakajima
New Zealand Brendon Hartley
Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 1'41.498 0.751
3 22 United Kingdom Philip Hanson
Portugal Filipe Albuquerque
United Kingdom Paul di Resta
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'47.060 6.313
4 37 China Ho-Pin Tung
France Gabriel Aubry
United Kingdom Will Stevens
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'48.238 7.491
5 36 France Thomas Laurent
Brazil Andre Negrao
France Pierre Ragues
Alpine A470 LMP2 1'48.470 7.723
6 38 Mexico Roberto Gonzalez
Portugal Antonio Felix da Costa
United Kingdom Anthony Davidson
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'48.901 8.154
7 29 Netherlands Frits van Eerd
Netherlands Giedo van der Garde
Netherlands Nyck de Vries
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'50.339 9.592
8 47 Italy Roberto Lacorte
Italy Andrea Belicchi
Italy Giorgio Sernagiotto
Dallara P217 LMP2 1'51.079 10.332
9 92 Denmark Michael Christensen
France Kevin Estre
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 LMGTE PRO 1'56.505 15.758
10 95 Denmark Marco Sorensen
Denmark Nicki Thiim
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE PRO 1'56.521 15.774
11 51 United Kingdom James Calado
Brazil Daniel Serra
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 1'56.706 15.959
12 91 Italy Gianmaria Bruni
Austria Richard Lietz
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 LMGTE PRO 1'57.124 16.377
13 71 Italy Davide Rigon
Spain Miguel Molina
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 1'57.217 16.470
14 97 United Kingdom Richard Westbrook
Belgium Maxime Martin
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE PRO 1'57.376 16.629
15 98 Canada Paul Dalla Lana
Portugal Pedro Lamy
United Kingdom Ross Gunn
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE AM 1'58.356 17.609
16 90 Turkey Salih Yoluc
Ireland Charles Eastwood
United Kingdom Jonathan Adam
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE AM 1'58.799 18.052
17 62 United Kingdom Bonamy Grimes
Japan Kei Cozzolino
United Kingdom Colin Noble Jr.
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 1'58.868 18.121
18 56 Norway Egidio Perfetti
Netherlands Larry ten Voorde
Germany Jörg Bergmeister
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 1'58.896 18.149
19 54 Switzerland Thomas Flohr
Italy Francesco Castellacci
Italy Giancarlo Fisichella
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 1'58.960 18.213
20 57 United States Ben Keating
Dylan Pereira
Netherlands Jeroen Bleekemolen
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 1'59.039 18.292
21 83 France François Perrodo
France Emmanuel Collard
Denmark Nicklas Nielsen
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 1'59.349 18.602
22 88 United Arab Emirates Khaled Al Qubaisi
Jaxon Evans
Marco Holzer
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 1'59.424 18.677
23 86 United Kingdom Michael Wainwright
Belgium Alessio Picariello
United Kingdom Benjamin Barker
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 1'59.553 18.806
24 77 Germany Christian Ried
Italy Riccardo Pera
Norway Dennis Olsen
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 1'59.665 18.918
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