Shanghai WEC: Toyota claims another front row lockout
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:
|1||7|| Kamui Kobayashi |
Jose Maria Lopez
|Toyota TS050 Hybrid||LMP1||1'42.931|
|2||8|| Fernando Alonso |
|Toyota TS050 Hybrid||LMP1||1'43.159||0.228|
|3||1|| Andre Lotterer |
|4||17|| Stéphane Sarrazin |
|BR Engineering BR1||LMP1||1'43.870||0.939|
|5||3|| Mathias Beche |
|6||10|| Renger van der Zande |
|BR Engineering BR1||LMP1||1'44.612||1.681|
|7||11|| Jenson Button |
|BR Engineering BR1||LMP1||1'44.789||1.858|
|8||4|| Oliver Webb |
|ENSO CLM P1/01||LMP1||1'46.353||3.422|
|9||38|| Ho-Pin Tung |
|10||37|| Nabil Jeffri |
|11||31|| Anthony Davidson |
|12||36|| Nicolas Lapierre |
|13||28|| Loic Duval |
|14||29|| Giedo van der Garde |
Nyck de Vries
Frits van Eerd
|15||50|| Enzo Guibbert |
|Ligier JSP 217||LMP2||1'51.925||8.994|
|1||81|| Nick Catsburg |
|BMW M8 GTE||LMGTE PRO||1'58.441|
|2||66|| Stefan Mücke |
|Ford GT||LMGTE PRO||1'58.464||0.023|
|3||97|| Maxime Martin |
|Aston Martin Vantage AMR||LMGTE PRO||1'58.832||0.391|
|4||92|| Michael Christensen |
|Porsche 911 RSR||LMGTE PRO||1'58.801||0.360|
|5||82|| Antonio Felix da Costa |
|BMW M8 GTE||LMGTE PRO||1'59.012||0.571|
|6||95|| Nicki Thiim |
|Aston Martin Vantage AMR||LMGTE PRO||1'59.144||0.703|
|7||67|| Harry Tincknell |
|Ford GT||LMGTE PRO||1'58.914||0.473|
|8||91|| Gianmaria Bruni |
|Porsche 911 RSR||LMGTE PRO||1'59.258||0.817|
|9||51|| James Calado |
Alessandro Pier Guidi
|Ferrari 488 GTE EVO||LMGTE PRO||1'59.401||0.960|
|10||71|| Sam Bird |
|Ferrari 488 GTE EVO||LMGTE PRO||1'59.359||0.918|
|11||64|| Oliver Gavin |
|Chevrolet Corvette C7R||LMGTE PRO||1'59.802||1.361|
|12||98|| Pedro Lamy |
Paul Dalla Lana
|Aston Martin Vantage||LMGTE AM||2'00.880||2.439|
|13||77|| Christian Ried |
|Porsche 911 RSR||LMGTE AM||2'01.528||3.087|
|14||54|| Giancarlo Fisichella |
|Ferrari 488 GTE||LMGTE AM||2'00.281||1.840|
|15||88|| Matteo Cairoli |
Khaled Al Qubaisi
|Porsche 911 RSR||LMGTE AM||2'00.128||1.687|
|16||90|| Jonathan Adam |
|Aston Martin Vantage||LMGTE AM||2'02.020||3.579|
|17||61|| Matthew Griffin |
Mok Weng Sun
|Ferrari 488 GTE||LMGTE AM||2'00.804||2.363|
|18||56|| Jörg Bergmeister |
|Porsche 911 RSR||LMGTE AM||2'01.357||2.916|
|19||86|| Michael Wainwright |
|Porsche 911 RSR||LMGTE AM||2'01.155||2.714|
|20||70|| Olivier Beretta |
Eddie Cheever III
|Ferrari 488 GTE||LMGTE AM||2'01.309||2.868|
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