Shanghai WEC: Toyota claims another front row lockout

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Shanghai WEC: Toyota claims another front row lockout
By: Gary Watkins
Nov 17, 2018, 6:56 AM

Toyota swept the top two positions in qualifying for this weekend's Shanghai FIA World Endurance Championship round, seeing off a challenge from top privateer squad Rebellion Racing.

Kamui Kobayashi and Mike Conway took pole position at the end of a session in which Toyota came under pressure in qualifying for the first time of the 2018/19 WEC superseason. 

They ended up with a 1m42.931s average in the #7 Toyota TS050 Hybrid, which was only three tenths up on the #1 Rebellion-Gibson R-13 qualified by Bruno Senna and Andre Lotterer. 

Kobayashi's first-run time of 1m43.329s edged out teammate Fernando Alonso by three tenths before Conway posted a 1m43.155s to go just two hundredths quicker than Kazuki Nakajima. 

Both Kobayashi and Alonso then went again, the Japanese driver going four tenths quicker than his teammate on the way to the fastest time of the session, a 1m42.708s.

That meant Kobayashi and Conway finished with a 1m42.931s average, four tenths up on Alonso and Nakajima's 1m43.139s.

Lotterer also went again on a fresh set of rubber and found seven tenths to improve to a 1m42.869s to lower the #1 Rebellion's average to 1m43.218s.

Kobayashi said: "The track was improving and Mike did a great lap, so I went again, which was important because it was quite tight at the end."

SMP Racing's lead BR Engineering BR1 qualified by Stephane Sarrazin and Egor Orudzhev took fourth with a 1m43.879s average, three tenths up on the fifth-placed #3 Rebellion of Mathias Beche and Thomas Laurent. 

The DragonSpeed BR1 driven by Ben Hanley and Renger van der Zande edged out the second of the AER-engined SMP cars qualified by Jenson Button and Vitaly Petrov for sixth.

The Jackie Chan DC Racing squad took the LMP2 pole with Gabriel Aubry and Ho-Pin Tung.

They ended up on a 1m48.888s average aboard their Jota-run Oreca 07, which put them a quarter of a second up on the sister car qualified by Nabil Jeffri and Jazeman Jaafar. 

Nicolas Lapierre set the fastest P2 time of the session in the Signatech Oreca on a 1m48.598s, but Pierre Thiriet ended up more than three seconds slower after a spin. 

That dropped them to fourth behind the DragonSpeed Oreca qualified by Pastor Maldonado and Roberto Gonzalez.

Ford pips BMW to GTE pole

Ford claimed a last-gasp pole position in GTE Pro after Stefan Mucke went out for a second run in the car he shares with Olivier Pla. 

The German found over a second with a 1m56.464s lap aboard the #66 Ford GT to snatch pole away from the BMW M8 GTE of Nicky Catsburg and Martin Tomczyk. 

The Ford duo ended up on 1m58.627s average, which was two tenths clear of the BMW drivers' 1m58.874s.

Maxime Martin and Alex Lynn took third in the best of the  Aston Martin Vantage GTEs with a 1m59.000s, which was just three hundredths faster than the lead Porsche 911 RSR of Michael Christensen and Kevin Estre. 

Antonio Felix da Costa and Tom Blomqvist ended up fifth in the second MTEK BMW. 

The two AF Corse Ferraris took ninth and 10th places, qualifying only ahead of the Chevrolet Corvette C7.R.

Pedro Lamy and Paul Dalla Lana claimed their fifth consecutive GTE Am pole position at Shanghai for Aston Martin.

LMP qualifying results:

Pos. # Drivers Car Class Avg Time Gap
1 7 Japan Kamui Kobayashi 
United Kingdom Mike Conway 
Argentina Jose Maria Lopez 
Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 1'42.931  
2 8 Spain Fernando Alonso 
Japan Kazuki Nakajima 
Switzerland Sébastien Buemi 
Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 1'43.159 0.228
3 1 Germany Andre Lotterer 
Brazil Bruno Senna 
Switzerland Neel Jani 
Rebellion R13 LMP1 1'43.218 0.287
4 17 France Stéphane Sarrazin 
Russian Federation Matevos Isaakyan 
Russian Federation Egor Orudzhev 
BR Engineering BR1 LMP1 1'43.870 0.939
5 3 Switzerland Mathias Beche 
France Thomas Laurent 
United States Gustavo Menezes 
Rebellion R13 LMP1 1'44.179 1.248
6 10 Netherlands Renger van der Zande 
United Kingdom Ben Hanley 
Australia James Allen 
BR Engineering BR1 LMP1 1'44.612 1.681
7 11 United Kingdom Jenson Button 
Russian Federation Vitaly Petrov 
Russian Federation Mikhail Aleshin 
BR Engineering BR1 LMP1 1'44.789 1.858
8 4 United Kingdom Oliver Webb 
France Tom Dillmann 
United Kingdom James Rossiter 
ENSO CLM P1/01 LMP1 1'46.353 3.422
9 38 China Ho-Pin Tung 
Monaco Stéphane Richelmi 
France Gabriel Aubry 
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'48.888 5.957
10 37 Malaysia Nabil Jeffri 
Malaysia Weiron Tan 
Malaysia Jazeman Jaafar 
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'49.138 6.207
11 31 United Kingdom Anthony Davidson 
Venezuela Pastor Maldonado 
Mexico Roberto Gonzalez 
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'49.857 6.926
12 36 France Nicolas Lapierre 
France Pierre Thiriet 
Brazil Andre Negrao 
Alpine A470 LMP2 1'50.206 7.275
13 28 France Loic Duval 
France François Perrodo 
France Matthieu Vaxiviere 
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'51.006 8.075
14 29 Netherlands Giedo van der Garde 
Netherlands Nyck de Vries 
Netherlands Frits van Eerd 
Dallara P217 LMP2 1'51.657 8.726
15 50 France Enzo Guibbert 
France Romano Ricci 
France Erwin Creed 
Ligier JSP 217 LMP2 1'51.925 8.994

GTE qualifying:

Pos. # Drivers Car Class Avg Time Gap
1 81 Netherlands Nick Catsburg 
Germany Martin Tomczyk 
BMW M8 GTE LMGTE PRO 1'58.441  
2 66 Germany Stefan Mücke 
France Olivier Pla 
Ford GT LMGTE PRO 1'58.464 0.023
3 97 Belgium Maxime Martin 
United Kingdom Alex Lynn 
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE PRO 1'58.832 0.391
4 92 Denmark Michael Christensen 
France Kevin Estre 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE PRO 1'58.801 0.360
5 82 Portugal Antonio Felix da Costa 
United Kingdom Tom Blomqvist 
BMW M8 GTE LMGTE PRO 1'59.012 0.571
6 95 Denmark Nicki Thiim 
Denmark Marco Sorensen 
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE PRO 1'59.144 0.703
7 67 United Kingdom Harry Tincknell 
Guernsey Andy Priaulx 
Ford GT LMGTE PRO 1'58.914 0.473
8 91 Italy Gianmaria Bruni 
Austria Richard Lietz 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE PRO 1'59.258 0.817
9 51 United Kingdom James Calado 
Italy Alessandro Pier Guidi 
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 1'59.401 0.960
10 71 United Kingdom Sam Bird 
Italy Davide Rigon 
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 1'59.359 0.918
11 64 United Kingdom Oliver Gavin 
United States Tommy Milner 
Chevrolet Corvette C7R LMGTE PRO 1'59.802 1.361
12 98 Portugal Pedro Lamy 
Canada Paul Dalla Lana 
Austria Mathias Lauda 
Aston Martin Vantage LMGTE AM 2'00.880 2.439
13 77 Germany Christian Ried 
Australia Matt Campbell 
Julien Andlauer 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 2'01.528 3.087
14 54 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella 
Italy Francesco Castellacci 
Switzerland Thomas Flohr 
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE AM 2'00.281 1.840
15 88 Italy Matteo Cairoli 
Riccardo Pera 
Khaled Al Qubaisi 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 2'00.128 1.687
16 90 United Kingdom Jonathan Adam 
Turkey Salih Yoluc 
Ireland Charles Eastwood 
Aston Martin Vantage LMGTE AM 2'02.020 3.579
17 61 Ireland Matthew Griffin 
Singapore Mok Weng Sun 
Japan Keita Sawa 
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE AM 2'00.804 2.363
18 56 Germany Jörg Bergmeister 
United States Patrick Lindsey 
Norway Egidio Perfetti 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 2'01.357 2.916
19 86 United Kingdom Michael Wainwright 
United Kingdom Benjamin Barker 
Thomas Preining 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 2'01.155 2.714
20 70 Monaco Olivier Beretta 
Italy Eddie Cheever III 
Japan Motoaki Ishikawa 
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE AM 2'01.309 2.868
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About this article

Series WEC
Event Shanghai
Teams Toyota Racing
Author Gary Watkins