Toyota claims pole for WEC Total 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps

Track action (Photo by Melissa Warren)Kamui Kobayashi and Mike Conway take pole position with a combined average time of 1m54.488s in No.7 car, with Kobayashi setting outright quickest lap of 1m54.488s, to seal a first Toyota pole at Spa.


Mike Conway (TS050 HYBRID #7) said: “They were a strong couple of laps between me and Kamui. The car felt good on my lap so I just let it do its thing really. It’s nice to get that point on the board for pole position and to start from the front row. Our team-mates kept us honest as always and it’s great for the team to be one-two in qualifying; we’ll try to convert it into a win tomorrow.”

Kamui Kobayashi (TS050 HYBRID #7) said: “Thanks to all the team for their hard work over the winter. They did a great job today and Mike set a really strong lap time. We are in different situation compared to last year but we worked hard to become stronger and we have shown this in qualifying. But the race is most important so that is our main focus now.”

The No.8 Toyota TS050-HYBRID was second as Fernando Alonso and Kazuki Nakajima lap 0.379s off the sister car.

Kazuki Nakajima (TS050 HYBRID #8) said: “It was a bit of a tricky qualifying with the long delays. I made a small mistake in first sector but that was my only regret. The car felt good to drive but we believe we can still fine-tune it for the race. We need to maximise the car because it’s going to be a challenge, especially to look after the tyres. It’s going to be a long race but this is a good start to the season for the team.”

Fernando Alonso (TS050 HYBRID #8) said: “It was a good qualifying session and I enjoyed every single corner. I’m happy with the lap and the experience. There was a little bit of lap time to find, especially in the middle sector where I had some moments in turn eight and nine but I put a clean lap together then Kazuki did a great job with his lap. One-two for the team in the first qualifying of the season is good. There are a long six hours ahead of us but definitely we want to stay at the front.”

The No.1 Rebellion Racing Rebellion R13-Gibson took third as Neel Jani and Bruno Senna finished as best non-Hybrid entry with the No.3 Rebellion car of Gustavo Menezes and Thomas Laurent placing fourth.

The session was interrupted by two red flags. The first for the No.17 SMP Racing BR Engineering BR1-AER which stopped on track with a technical problem. Car will start from rear of grid.

The second red flag caused by accident to DragonSpeed entry driven by Pietro Fittipaldi at Eau Rouge. The session was delayed 40-minutes as Fittipaldi received medical attention for suspected leg fractures. The Brazilian was transported to Liege hospital and his condition is not life-threatening.

The official WEC statement read: The driver, who was conscious at all times, was attended immediately by the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps Medical Services and FIA Medical Delegate Jacques Tropenat, extracted from the car and taken by helicopter to the Centre Hospitalier de la Citadelle de Liège with suspected fractures to both legs. He is accompanied by the DragonSpeed Team Manager and his condition is not life-threatening.

The Signatech Alpine Matmut took pole in LMP2 with Nicolas Lapierre and Pierre Thiriet setting an average time of 2m02.405s. The 2016 champions are 0.1s ahead of G-Drive Racing car driven by Jean-Eric Vergne and Andrea Pizzitola. The No.38 Jackie Chan DC Racing LMP2 car of Ho-Pin Tung and Gabriel Aubry will start third.

Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell took pole position in LMGTE Pro as they combined to average 2m12.947s in the No.67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Team UK entry. Priaulx and Tincknell set their first pole position since Silverstone last season. Olivier Pla and Stefan Mücke make it a Ford GT 1-2 lock-out as they lapped just 0.083s behind their teammates. Pla set a fastest overall time on 2m12.420s.

Track action (Photo by Melissa Warren) Track action (Photo by Melissa Warren) Track action (Photo by Melissa Warren) Track action (Photo by Melissa Warren) Track action (Photo by Melissa Warren)

 

 

 

The Porsche GT Team line-up third and fourth on the LMGTE Pro grid.

Gimmi Bruni and Richard Lietz in the No.91 car are ahead on the grid of the sister car No.92 Porsche 911 RSR of Michael Christensen and Kevin Estre. Reigning champions James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi place fifth on LMGTE Pro grid in No.51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE Evo.

BMW will start sixth with the No.82 BMW M8 GTE of Antonio Felix Da Costa and Tom Blomqvist.

Dempsey-Proton Porsche claimed pole in LMGTE Am class with Christian Ried and Matt Campbell. The German/Australian pairing set an average time of 2m16.357s and Campbell set fastest time of 2m14.790s. Just 0.002s separated the pole sitters from the No.98 Aston Martin Racing pairing of Pedro Lamy and Paul Dalla Lana. Team Project 1 with drivers Jörg Bergmeister and Egidio Perfetti start in third.

Qualifying results LMP
1ST TOYOTA GAZOO RACING: CONWAY M. KOBAYASHI K. LOPEZ J.
#7 Toyota TS050 - Hybrid 1:54.679 1:54.488 1'54.583
2ND TOYOTA GAZOO RACING: BUEMI S. NAKAJIMA K. ALONSO F.
#8 Toyota TS050 – Hybrid 1:55.143 1:54.781 1'54.962 +0.379
3RD REBELLION RACING: JANI N. LOTTERER A. SENNA B.
#1 Rebellion R13 - GIBSON 1:56.586 1:56.264 1'56.425 +1.842
4TH REBELLION RACING: BECHE M. LAURENT T. MENEZES G.
#3 Rebellion R13 – GIBSON 1:56.756 1:57.228 1'56.992 +2.409
5TH SMP RACING: ALESHIN M. PETROV V.
#11 BR ENGINEERING BR1 - AER 1:58.141 1:58.354 1'58.247 +3.664
6TH BYKOLLES RACING TEAM: WEBB O. KRAIHAMER D. DILLMANN T.
#4 ENSO CLM P1/01 - Nismo 1:59.189 1:58.206 1'58.697 +4.114
7TH DRAGONSPEED: HEDMAN H. HANLEY B. FITTIPALDI P.
#10 BR ENGINEERING BR1 - GIBSON 1:59.158 1'59.158 +4.575
8TH SIGNATECH ALPINE MATMUT: LAPIERRE N. NEGRÃO A. THIRIET P.
#36 Alpine A470 - Gibson 2:01.476 2:03.334 2'02.405 +7.822
9TH G-DRIVE RACING: RUSINOV R. VERGNE J. PIZZITOLA A.
#26 Oreca 07 - Gibson 2:01.568 2:03.290 2'02.429 +7.846
10TH JACKIE CHAN DC RACING: TUNG H. AUBRY G. RICHELMI S.
#38 Oreca 07 – Gibson 2:02.663 2:02.986 2'02.824 +8.241
11TH JACKIE CHAN DC RACING: JAAFAR J. TAN W. JEFFRI N.
#37 Oreca 07 - Gibson 2:01.824 2:04.222 2'03.023 +8.440
12TH DRAGONSPEED: GONZALEZ R. MALDONADO P. BERTHON N.
#31 Oreca 07 - Gibson 2:02.527 2:04.314 2'03.420 +8.837
13TH TDS RACING: PERRODO F. VAXIVIERE M. DUVAL L.
#28 Oreca 07 - Gibson 2:02.021 2:07.385 2'04.703 +10.120
14TH RACING TEAM NEDERLAND: VAN EERD F. VAN DER GARDE G. LAMMERS J.
#29 DALLARA P217 GIBSON 2:03.920 2:07.084 2'05.502 +10.919
15TH LARBRE COMPETITION: CREED E. RICCI R. CANAL J.
#50 LIGIER JSP217 - Gibson 2:03.022 2:08.456 2'05.739 +11.156

Qualifying results LMGTE
1ST FORD CHIP GANASSI TEAM UK: PRIAULX A. TINCKNELL H. KANAAN T.
#67 Ford GT 2:12.604 2:13.290 2'12.947
2ND FORD CHIP GANASSI TEAM UK: MÜCKE S. PLA O. JOHNSON B.
#66 Ford GT 2:12.420 2:13.641 2'13.030 +0.083
3RD PORSCHE GT TEAM: LIETZ R. BRUNI G.
#91 Porsche 911 RSR 2:13.004 2:13.065 2'13.034 +0.087
4TH PORSCHE GT TEAM: CHRISTENSEN M. ESTRE K.
#92 Porsche 911 RSR 2:13.158 2:13.546 2'13.352 +0.405
5TH BMW TEAM MTEK: BLOMQVIST T. FELIX DA COSTA A.
#82 BMW M8 GTE 2:13.683 2:14.351 2'14.017 +1.070
6TH AF CORSE: PIER GUIDI A. CALADO J.
#51 Ferrari 488 GTE EVO 2:14.383 2:14.388 2'14.385 +1.438
7TH AF CORSE: RIGON D. BIRD S.
#71 Ferrari 488 GTE EVO 2:14.780 2:15.429 2'15.104 +2.157
8TH ASTON MARTIN RACING: LYNN A. MARTIN M. ADAM J.
#97 Aston Martin VANTAGE AMR 2:15.237 2:15.018 2'15.127 +2.180
9TH BMW TEAM MTEK: TOMCZYK M. CATSBURG N.
#81 BMW M8 GTE 2:15.121 2:15.164 2'15.142 +2.195
10TH ASTON MARTIN RACING: SØRENSEN M. THIIM N. TURNER D.
#95 Aston Martin VANTAGE AMR 2:15.757 2:16.251 2'16.004 +3.057
11TH DEMPSEY - PROTON RACING: RIED C. ANDLAUER J. CAMPBELL M.
#77 Porsche 911 RSR 2:14.790 2:17.924 2'16.357 +3.410
12TH ASTON MARTIN RACING: DALLA LANA P. LAMY P. LAUDA M.
#98 Aston Martin VANTAGE 2:15.430 2:17.289 2'16.359 +3.412
13TH TEAM PROJECT 1: BERGMEISTER J. LINDSEY P. PERFETTI E.
#56 Porsche 911 RSR 2:17.223 2:16.052 2'16.637 +3.690
14TH GULF RACING UK: WAINWRIGHT M. BARKER B. DAVISON A.
#86 Porsche 911 RSR 2:15.332 2:18.137 2'16.734 +3.787
15TH DEMPSEY - PROTON RACING: AL QUBAISI K. RODA G. CAIROLI M.
#88 Porsche 911 RSR 2:14.766 2:18.771 2'16.768 +3.821
16TH TF SPORT: YOLUC S. ALERS-HANKEY E. EASTWOOD C.
#90 Aston Martin VANTAGE 2:16.511 2:18.744 2'17.627 +4.680
17TH MR RACING: ISHIKAWA M. BERETTA O. CHEEVER E.
#70 Ferrari F488 GTE 2:16.560 2:20.464 2'18.512 +5.565
18TH SPIRIT OF RACE: FLOHR T. CASTELLACCI F. FISICHELLA G.
#54 Ferrari F488 GTE 2:16.919 2:20.916 2'18.917 +5.970
19TH CLEARWATER RACING: MOK W. SAWA K. GRIFFIN M.
#61 Ferrari F488 GTE 2:22.273 2:16.617 2'19.445 +6.498

Stop press
The No.7 Toyota Gazoo Racing entry which set the provisional pole position time this afternoon in qualifying for the total 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps will now start tomorrow’s race from the pit lane.

The car was deemed by the stewards to have run with an incorrect declaration of Fuel Flow Meter which was a breach of Article 6.1.4 of the Sporting Regulations. The decision saw the cancellation of all lap times in the qualifying session, meaning that the car will start from the pit lane only after the last car in the field has covered the first lap and following directions from the Race Director.
This means that the No.8 Toyota Gazoo Racing entry driven by Fernando Alonso, Kazuki Nakajima and Sebastien Buemi will now start from pole position. The Rebellion Racing R13 of Bruno Senna, Neel Jani and Andre Lotterer will now join the No.8 Toyota on the front-row of the grid.

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