Saturday 4 November 2017

FIA WEC - 6 Hours of Shanghai: Toyota takes pole position

The #7 Toyota Gazoo Racing TS050 of Conway, Kobayashi and Lopez will start from Pole for tomorrow’s penultimate round of the WEC, the Six Hours of Shanghai after Kamui Kobayashi set a stunning lap of 1.42.526 giving the car an average qualification time of 1.42.832.

© James Moy/Toyota Motorsport gmbh

“I'm really pleased even if the lap itself wasn't perfect. I didn't try new tyres before qualifying so it was tricky to adjust. But overall the car was really good and I was 100% confident in it. We have been strong all week; the team has done a great job so far.” said Kobayashi after the session.

Despite suffering traction problems Nick Tandy put in a spirited time to place the #1 Porsche 919 Hybrid onto the second of the front-row spots helping towards an average laptime of 1.43.272, just 0.4s behind the Toyota.  The #8 Toyota Gazoo Racing TS050 will start third with a 1.43.445 average and final place on the LMP1 grid goes to the #2 Porsche 919 with a qualifying average time of 1.43.497.

© Autowebbb/Nick Dungan

In the LMP2 class it was the #31 Rebellion team who claimed class pole setting a 1’49.217, closing down the gap with the #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing to 9 points in the championship. Recently crowned European Le Mans Series LMP2 Champion Léo Roussel shone in practice today as he graduated to the WEC, clocking in a 1:49.460 in the #26 G-Drive Oreca he shares with Roman Rusinov and Nico Muller, to give a qualifying average of 1’49.472, 0.2s behind the Rebellion car. Roussel and Müller both qualified the car. The second Rebellion, the #13 car will start third in class (1’49.694) with the #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca starting fourth. 

© Aston Martin Racing

In GTE PRO, Aston Martin will start at the front of the grid with the #95 car of Nicky Thiim and Marco Sorrenson clocking in a 1.59.697 average. Despite setting the fastest individual time by Michael Christensen (1.59.578) the #92 Porsche GT Team could only manage an average of 1’59.916 which placed them in second place for tomorrow’s race. Third grid position went to the #51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 with the #67 & #68 Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK GT's taking fourth and fifth grid positions respectively. The #97 Aston Martin of Darren Turner and Jonny Adam had a terrible time run nearly 1.5s off the pace and will start at the back or the class grid. 

© Aston Martin Racing

Aston Martin also took class pole in the LM GTE AM grid with the #98 car of Paul Dalla Lana and Pedro Lamy setting a 2’02.357 qualifying average. That's 7 out of 8 pole positions for the team and an extra point for the championship. The #77 Dempsey – Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR will start second and the #54 Spirit of Race Ferrari starts third. 

Clearwater Racing’s #61 Ferrari starts fourth in class and the final spot on the grid goes to the #86 Gulf Racing UK Porsche 911 RSR which struggled throughout and finished 17 seconds down on the leaders.

Qualifying highlights

The race will be green flagged at 11.00h tomorrow morning in Shanghai. 

Kristof Vermeulen
Part of this report was published at