Fuji WEC: Kobayashi, Lopez lead all-Toyota front row
A track limits violation meant Fernando Alonso and Sebastien Buemi were pipped to pole by Toyota teammates Jose Maria Lopez at this weekend's Fuji FIA World Endurance Championship event.
Alonso topped the times in the #8 Toyota TS050 Hybrid after the first runs with a 1m23.203s that put him just over two tenths up on the 1m23.437s from Lopez.
Kobayashi then went quickest during the second runs with a 1m23.678s, which fell six thousandths short of ousting the sister car from pole.
But when Buemi lost his 1m23.900s to a track limits infringement and could only follow it up with a 1m24.094s, his and Alonso's average dropped below that of their teammates.
Lopez and Kobayashi ended up on 1m23.557s, which put them a shade over one hundredth up on Alonso and Buemi's 1m23.648s.
Lopez said: "My lap was okay. I didn't have maximum confidence, but I new I was close enough for Kamui to do his job because he is always quick around here."
The two Rebellion-Gibson R-13 LMP1s both ended up with a second of the Toyota TS050s following the latest Equivalence of Technology changes made in the lead-up to and during the event.
Andre Lotterer's best lap in the #1 Rebellion Racing entry was only eight tenths off Alonso's pace. He and teammate Neel Jani ended up a similar margin off the pole with a 1m24.359s average.
That put them just under two tenths up on the 1m24.533s average of the second Rebellion qualified by Gustavo Menezes and Thomas Laurent.
SMP Racing took fifth and sixth positions with its pair of AER-engined BR Engineering BR1s.
Jenson Button just pipped Stephane Sarrazin on the first runs, but Egor Orudzhev then went a second quicker than Vitaly Petrov to reverse the positions of the two BR1s in the final qualifying order.
Anthony Davidson and Roberto Gonzalez took LMP2 pole aboard the DragonSpeed Oreca on Michelin types.
Davidson set the fastest P2 time of the session with a 1m28.011s, which Gonzalez followed up on with a 1m29.802s.
That was enough to give them a 1m28.906s average and a half second advantage over the #37 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca qualified by Jazeman Jaafar and Nabil Jeffri.
The second of the Dunlop-shod DCR Orecas qualified third in the hands of Stephane Richelmi and Gabriel Aubry.
The new Aston Martin Vantage GTE claimed its first class pole position in GTE Pro with Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorensen.
Thiim topped the times after the first runs with a session-best 1m35.884s, before Sorensen followed it up with a 1m36.302s.
That gave the Danish duo an 1m36.093s average, which gave them the pole by nearly two tenths from the MTEK BMW M8 GTE shared by Tom Blomqvist and Antonio Felix da Costa.
Blomqvist was the only driver other than Thiim to break the 1m36m barrier. His 1m35.930s combined with da Costa's 1m36.621s to give them a 1m36.275s average.
Alex Lynn and Maxime Martin in the second Aston were a further tenth back in 1m36.362s.
Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell took fourth in the best of the Ganassi-run Ford GTs with a 1m36.453s average.
Top Ferrari drivers were Davide Rigon and Sam Bird in fifth with a 1m35.584s average, while the fastest Porsche drivers were Gianmaria Bruni and Richard Lietz in eighth.
Matteo Cairoli and WEC debutant Satoshi Hoshino took GTE Am pole for the Dempsey-Proton Porsche team.
LMP1 and LMP2 results:
|1||7|| Kamui Kobayashi |
Jose Maria Lopez
|Toyota TS050 Hybrid||LMP1||1'23.557|
|2||8|| Fernando Alonso |
|Toyota TS050 Hybrid||LMP1||1'23.648||0.091|
|3||1|| Andre Lotterer |
|4||3|| Mathias Beche |
|5||17|| Stéphane Sarrazin |
|BR Engineering BR1||LMP1||1'24.744||1.187|
|6||11|| Jenson Button |
|BR Engineering BR1||LMP1||1'25.146||1.589|
|7||4|| Oliver Webb |
|ENSO CLM P1/01||LMP1||1'26.579||3.022|
|8||10|| Ben Hanley |
|BR Engineering BR1||LMP1||1'26.713||3.156|
|9||31|| Anthony Davidson |
|10||37|| Nabil Jeffri |
|11||38|| Ho-Pin Tung |
|12||36|| Nicolas Lapierre |
|13||28|| Jean-Eric Vergne |
|14||29|| Giedo van der Garde |
Nyck de Vries
Frits van Eerd
|15||50|| Romano Ricci |
|Ligier JSP 217||LMP2||1'32.677||9.120|
|1||95|| Nicki Thiim |
|Aston Martin Vantage AMR||LMGTE PRO||1'36.093|
|2||82|| Antonio Felix da Costa |
|BMW M8 GTE||LMGTE PRO||1'36.275||0.182|
|3||97|| Maxime Martin |
|Aston Martin Vantage AMR||LMGTE PRO||1'36.362||0.269|
|4||67|| Harry Tincknell |
|Ford GT||LMGTE PRO||1'36.453||0.360|
|5||71|| Sam Bird |
|Ferrari 488 GTE EVO||LMGTE PRO||1'36.542||0.449|
|6||51|| James Calado |
Alessandro Pier Guidi
|Ferrari 488 GTE EVO||LMGTE PRO||1'36.544||0.451|
|7||81|| Nick Catsburg |
|BMW M8 GTE||LMGTE PRO||1'36.737||0.644|
|8||91|| Gianmaria Bruni |
|Porsche 911 RSR||LMGTE PRO||1'36.776||0.683|
|9||66|| Stefan Mücke |
|Ford GT||LMGTE PRO||1'36.967||0.874|
|10||92|| Michael Christensen |
|Porsche 911 RSR||LMGTE PRO||1'37.109||1.016|
|11||88|| Matteo Cairoli |
|Porsche 911 RSR||LMGTE AM||1'38.336||2.243|
|12||98|| Pedro Lamy |
Paul Dalla Lana
|Aston Martin Vantage||LMGTE AM||1'38.400||2.307|
|13||77|| Christian Ried |
|Porsche 911 RSR||LMGTE AM||1'38.524||2.431|
|14||56|| Jörg Bergmeister |
|Porsche 911 RSR||LMGTE AM||1'38.578||2.485|
|15||90|| Jonathan Adam |
|Aston Martin Vantage||LMGTE AM||1'38.598||2.505|
|16||61|| Matthew Griffin |
Mok Weng Sun
|Ferrari 488 GTE||LMGTE AM||1'39.330||3.237|
|17||86|| Michael Wainwright |
|Porsche 911 RSR||LMGTE AM||1'39.355||3.262|
|18||54|| Giancarlo Fisichella |
|Ferrari 488 GTE||LMGTE AM||1'39.371||3.278|
|19||70|| Olivier Beretta |
Eddie Cheever III
|Ferrari 488 GTE||LMGTE AM||1'39.885||3.792|
WEC issues mid-weekend LMP1 EoT change
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