Nurburgring WEC: Toyota beats Porsche to pole

Toyota took pole position for the Nurburgring round of the World Endurance Championship with Jose Maria Lopez and Kamui Kobayashi.

Nurburgring WEC: Toyota beats Porsche to pole

They combined to take the Japanese manufacturer's third pole of the year by just over a tenth from Porsche's new high-downforce version of the latest 919 Hybrid.

Lopez was fastest after the first runs aboard the #7 Toyota TS050 Hybrid on a 1m38.083s, which Kobayashi followed up on with a 1m38.153s.

That gave them a 1m38.118s average and pole by just over a tenth of a second from Porsche drivers Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernhard.

Hartley was second-fastest after the first runs on a 1m38.292s, while Bernhard was a shade quicker on a 1m38.252s to lower their average to 1m38.272s.

Lopez, who has returned to the #7 car after driving Toyota's third entry at last month's Le Mans 24 Hours, said: "It was a good lap, but a bit of a surprise because Porsche had been so strong in free practice.

"It was my first qualifying attempt on quali settings, low fuel and new tyres, so I wasn't expecting to be so competitive."

Hartley and Bernhard ended up just six thousandths quicker on aggregate than the sister #1 car qualified by Neel Jani and Andre Lotterer.

Jani posted a 1m38.671s on his run, before Lotterer set the fastest time of the session with a 1m37.886s.

The second Toyota qualified by Kazuki Nakajima and Anthony Davidson was six tenths off pole, the Japanese driver setting his time on his third lap on the tyres.

G-Drive Racing again took LMP2 qualifying honours with its #26 Oreca shared by Ben Hanley and Pierre Thiriet.

Hanley, standing in for Alex Lynn, was fastest on the first runs with 1m44.331s before Thiriet posted a 1m45.671s to give them a 1m45.001s average.

That put them two tenths ahead of the #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca qualified by Thomas Laurent and Oliver Jarvis.

Third place when to the best of the Rebellion Orecas, the #31 car qualified by Bruno Senna and Julien Canal.

The #35 Signatech Alpine squad, which qualified fifth, has been handed a 30-second stop-and-go penalty in Sunday's race for dangerous driving.

Nelson Panciatici impeded Nakajima's Toyota during a hot lap, almost forcing the Japanese driver off the road at the fast Turn 12 right-hander as he swerved to warm up his tyres.

Porsche heads GTE qualifying

Porsche claimed its first GTE Pro pole position of the season with Michael Christensen and Kevin Estre.

Christensen led the times on his run with a 1m53.779s, before Estre posted a 1m54.235s to give the #91 Porsche 911 RSR a 1m54.007s average.

That gave them a three-tenths margin on the #95 Aston Martin Vantage GTE shared by Marco Sorensen and Nicki Thiim, who ended up with a 1m54.352s average.

The second Porsche qualified third in the hands of Richard Lietz and Frederic Makowiecki on 1m54.518s despite using only one set of tyres.

Ford took fourth on 1m54.691s with Olivier Pla and Stefan Mucke in the #66 Ganassi Ford GT.

The best of the AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTEs was a further tenth behind in fifth with Davide Rigon and Toni Vilander.

Pedro Lamy and Paul Dalla Lana took their third GTE Am pole position of the season in the #98 Aston Martin.

LMP qualifying results:

Pos.#DriversCarClassTimeGap
1 7 japan Kamui Kobayashi 
united_kingdom Mike Conway 
argentina Jose Maria Lopez 
Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 1'38.118  
2 2 germany Timo Bernhard 
new_zealand Brendon Hartley 
new_zealand Earl Bamber 
Porsche 919 Hybrid LMP1 1'38.272 0.154
3 1 germany Andre Lotterer 
switzerland Neel Jani 
united_kingdom Nick Tandy 
Porsche 919 Hybrid LMP1 1'38.278 0.160
4 8 united_kingdom Anthony Davidson 
japan Kazuki Nakajima 
switzerland Sébastien Buemi 
Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 1'38.703 0.585
5 26 russia Roman Rusinov 
france Pierre Thiriet 
united_kingdom Ben Hanley 
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'45.001 6.883
6 38 united_kingdom Oliver Jarvis 
china Ho-Pin Tung 
france Thomas Laurent 
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'45.197 7.079
7 31 brazil Bruno Senna 
france Julien Canal 
portugal Filipe Albuquerque 
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'45.649 7.531
8 13 brazil Pipo Derani 
denmark David Heinemeier Hansson 
switzerland Mathias Beche 
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'45.690 7.572
9 35 france Nelson Panciatici 
france Pierre Ragues 
brazil Andre Negrao 
Alpine A470 LMP2 1'45.777 7.659
10 25 russia Vitaly Petrov 
switzerland Simon Trummer 
mexico Roberto Gonzalez 
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'45.861 7.743
11 36 france Nicolas Lapierre 
united_states Gustavo Menezes 
united_kingdom Matt Rao 
Alpine A470 LMP2 1'45.940 7.822
12 37 china David Cheng 
france Tristan Gommendy 
united_kingdom Alex Brundle 
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'46.690 8.572
13 28 france François Perrodo 
france Emmanuel Collard 
france Matthieu Vaxivière 
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'46.714 8.596
14 24 spain Roberto Merhi 
switzerland Jonathan Hirschi 
thailand Tor Graves 
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'47.325 9.207
15 4 italy Marco Bonanomi 
united_kingdom Oliver Webb 
austria Dominik Kraihamer 
ENSO CLM P1/01 LMP1 1'47.485 9.367
16 34 united_kingdom Nigel Moore 
united_kingdom Philip Hanson 
Ligier JSP 217 LMP2 1'48.104 9.986

GT qualifying results:

Pos.#DriversCarClassAvg TimeGap
1 92 denmark Michael Christensen 
france Kevin Estre 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE PRO 1'54.007  
2 95 denmark Marco Sorensen 
denmark Nicki Thiim 
Aston Martin Vantage LMGTE PRO 1'54.352 0.345
3 91 austria Richard Lietz 
france Frédéric Makowiecki 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE PRO 1'54.518 0.511
4 66 germany Stefan Mücke 
france Olivier Pla 
Ford GT LMGTE PRO 1'54.694 0.687
5 71 finland Toni Vilander 
italy Davide Rigon 
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE PRO 1'54.757 0.750
6 67 united_kingdom Harry Tincknell 
guernsey Andy Priaulx 
Ford GT LMGTE PRO 1'54.807 0.800
7 51 united_kingdom James Calado 
italy Alessandro Pier Guidi
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE PRO 1'55.037 1.030
8 97 united_kingdom Darren Turner 
united_kingdom Jonathan Adam 
brazil Daniel Serra 
Aston Martin Vantage LMGTE PRO 1'55.382 1.375
9 98 portugal Pedro Lamy 
canada Paul Dalla Lana 
austria Mathias Lauda 
Aston Martin Vantage V8 LMGTE AM 1'56.721 2.714
10 77 germany Christian Ried 
italy Matteo Cairoli 
germany Marvin Dienst 
Porsche 911 RSR (991) LMGTE AM 1'57.129 3.122
11 54 italy Francesco Castellacci 
spain Miguel Molina 
switzerland Thomas Flohr 
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE AM 1'57.958 3.951
12 86 united_kingdom Michael Wainwright 
united_kingdom Ben Barker 
australia Nick Foster Jr. 
Porsche 911 RSR (991) LMGTE AM 1'58.027 4.020
13 61 ireland Matt Griffin 
singapore Mok Weng Sun 
japan Keita Sawa 
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE AM 1'58.335 4.328
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