Portimao WEC: Alpine beats Toyotas to maiden pole

Alpine edged out Toyota to claim pole position for this weekend's Portimao 8 Hours FIA World Endurance Championship round in a closely-fought qualifying session.

LMP2 teams swept practice for the 8 Hours of Portimao, but the hypercars surged to the top when it mattered the most, with the gap between the two classes nearly nine tenths of a second in qualifying.

Matthieu Vaxiviere claimed the top spot by less than a tenth of a second from the best of the Toyotas in the hands of Brendon Hartley. 

Vaxiviere set the initial pace aboard the solo Alpine A480-Gibson LMP1 car, but needed a second run on a fresh set of tyres to secure the pole thanks to a big improvement from Hartley in the #8 Toyota GR010 Hybrid.

The Kiwi had languished down in fifth in the times behind the best of the LMP2s after his first run, but his second run would have given him the the pole had not Vaxiviere not found just over a tenth.

Vaxiviere ended up on a 1m30.364s, which compared with 1m36.458s for Hartley. 

Mike Conway was initially just a fraction behind the Alpine with a 1m30.540s, but the Brit failed to improve on his second run in the #7 Toyota and dropped to third. 

The new Glickenhaus 007 LMH ended up only 11th in the times behind seven LMP2 cars despite an improvement to 1m32.167s from Richard Westbrook on his second run. 

That was a couple of tenths slower than the Brit had managed in final free practice on the way to fourth in the times ahead of the two Toyotas.

Tom Blomqvist came out on top in intra-team battle at JOTA for the LMP2 pole. 

The Briton initially trailed teammate Antonio Felix da Costa, but both went for second runs aboard their Oreca 07-Gibsons in the short 10-minute session. 

Blomqvist found a couple of tenths to get down to a 1m31.210s, while Da Costa didn't improve on his first run time of 1m31.255s. 

Job van Uitert took third in P2 and first in the Pro/Am sub-class aboard Racing Team Nederland's Oreca courtesy of a 1m31.545s. 

Paul di Resta took fourth for reigning P2 champion team United Autosports despite multiple track-limits violations. The Scot managed to get down to a 1m31.598s, which put him just ahead of Robin Frijns in the WRT Oreca.

Porsche driver Kevin Estre made it two poles in two races in GTE Pro. 

The Frenchman's 1m37.986s lap aboard his factory Porsche 911 RSR-19 put him three tenths clear of James Calado's AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE Evo. 

Calado's 1m38.359s lap gave him a slender margin of just three hundredths over Gianmaria Bruni in the second of the Porsches. 

Daniel Serra ended up fourth in the times in the second Ferrari: the Brazilian initially lost his only lap to a  track limits violation and before the time was reinstated.

Egidio Perfetti jumped ahead of Christian Ried in an all-Porsche battle for pole in GTE Am right at the end of 10-minute session for GT machinery.

The WEC 8 Hours of Portimao starts on Sunday June 13 at 11:00 local time (+1 GMT) and will be streamed live on Motorsport.tv.

Hypercar and LMP2 results:

Cla # Drivers Car Class Avg Time Gap
1 36 Brazil Andre Negrao
France Nicolas Lapierre
France Matthieu Vaxiviere
Alpine A480 HYPERCAR 1'30.364  
2 8 Switzerland Sébastien Buemi
Japan Kazuki Nakajima
New Zealand Brendon Hartley
Toyota GR010 - Hybrid HYPERCAR 1'30.458 0.094
3 7 United Kingdom Mike Conway
Japan Kamui Kobayashi
Argentina Jose Maria Lopez
Toyota GR010 - Hybrid HYPERCAR 1'30.540 0.176
4 28 Indonesia Sean Gelael
Belgium Stoffel Vandoorne
United Kingdom Tom Blomqvist
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'31.210 0.846
5 38 Mexico Roberto Gonzalez
Portugal Antonio Felix da Costa
United Kingdom Anthony Davidson
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'31.255 0.891
6 29 Netherlands Frits van Eerd
Netherlands Giedo van der Garde
Netherlands Job Van Uitert
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'31.545 1.181
7 22 United Kingdom Philip Hanson
United Kingdom Wayne Boyd
United Kingdom Paul di Resta
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'31.598 1.234
8 31 Netherlands Robin Frijns
Austria Ferdinand Habsburg
France Charles Milesi
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'31.648 1.284
9 34 Poland Jakub Smiechowski
Switzerland Louis Deletraz
United Kingdom Alex Brundle
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'31.737 1.373
10 70 Switzerland Esteban Garcia
Switzerland Mathias Beche
France Norman Nato
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'31.854 1.490
11 709 Australia Ryan Briscoe
France Romain Dumas
United Kingdom Richard Westbrook
Glickenhaus 007 LMH HYPERCAR 1'32.167 1.803
12 21 Sweden Henrik Hedman
Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya
United Kingdom Ben Hanley
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'32.526 2.162
13 20 Denmark Jan Magnussen
Denmark Anders Fjordbach
Denmark Dennis Andersen
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'32.626 2.262
14 1 Colombia Tatiana Calderon
Germany Sophia Flörsch
Netherlands Beitske Visser
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'32.748 2.384
15 44 Slovakia Miro Konopka
United Kingdom Oliver Webb
United Kingdom Tom Jackson
Ligier JSP 217 LMP2 1'34.224 3.860

GTE results:

Cla # Drivers Car Class Avg Time Gap
1 92 France Kevin Estre
Switzerland Neel Jani
Denmark Michael Christensen
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 LMGTE PRO 1'37.986  
2 51 Italy Alessandro Pier Guidi
United Kingdom James Calado
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 1'38.359 0.373
3 91 Italy Gianmaria Bruni
Austria Richard Lietz
France Frédéric Makowiecki
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 LMGTE PRO 1'38.389 0.403
4 56 Norway Egidio Perfetti
Italy Matteo Cairoli
Italy Riccardo Pera
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 LMGTE AM 1'40.191 2.205
5 77 Germany Christian Ried
Australia Jaxon Evans
Australia Matt Campbell
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 LMGTE AM 1'40.236 2.250
6 47 Italy Roberto Lacorte
Italy Giorgio Sernagiotto
Italy Antonio Fuoco
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 1'40.885 2.899
7 54 Switzerland Thomas Flohr
Italy Francesco Castellacci
Italy Giancarlo Fisichella
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 1'41.001 3.015
8 85 Switzerland Rahel Frey
Denmark Michelle Gatting
Italy Manuela Gostner
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 1'41.085 3.099
9 83 France François Perrodo
Denmark Nicklas Nielsen
Italy Alessio Rovera
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 1'41.141 3.155
10 57 Japan Takeshi Kimura
Denmark Mikkel Jensen
Australia Scott Andrews
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 1'41.276 3.290
11 98 Canada Paul Dalla Lana
Brazil Augusto Farfus
Brazil Marcos Gomes
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE AM 1'41.366 3.380
12 777 Japan Satoshi Hoshino
Japan Tomonobu Fujii
United Kingdom Andrew Watson
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE AM 1'41.499 3.513
13 86 United Kingdom Michael Wainwright
United Kingdom Benjamin Barker
United Kingdom Tom Gamble
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 LMGTE AM 1'41.604 3.618
14 33 United States Ben Keating
Dylan Pereira
Brazil Felipe Fraga
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE AM 1'41.993 4.007
15 60 Italy Claudio Schiavoni
Italy Andrea Piccini
Italy Matteo Cressoni
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 1'42.521 4.535
16 88 United States Dominique Bastien
Germany Marco Seefried
France Julien Andlauer
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 LMGTE AM 1'43.374 5.388
17 52 Brazil Daniel Serra
Spain Miguel Molina
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 1'44.377 6.391
 
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