Fuji WEC: #8 Toyota denies Porsche pole in dying seconds

Toyota snatched pole position from Porsche in the dying seconds of qualifying for tomorrow's Fuji round of the World Endurance Championship

Fuji WEC: #8 Toyota denies Porsche pole in dying seconds

Timo Bernhard and Mark Webber held the pole in their Porsche 919 Hybrid when the session was red-flagged with seven minutes to go.

Sebastien Buemi, who was second at the time together with Toyota team-mate Anthony Davidson, returned to the track after the stoppage and was able to lower the #8 TS040 HYBRID's four-lap average to snatch the top spot by four hundredths of a second.

Buemi, who reduced the #8 car's average to an eventual 1m26.886s, said: ""We struggled to warm up the tyres and once I jumped in the car, I could not match his [Webber's] lap times.

"I got quicker and quicker, but the red flag came in the lap I was hoping to improve a little bit.

"We had to wait a long time at the end of the pitlane and the tyres were not up to temperature and the first lap was a second off.

"I was quite desperate on the last lap because the car was getting better and better."

Davidson, who held the top spot after the first runs, ended up with the fastest time of the session courtesy of a 1m26.473s lap.

Webber, who did not go back out after the red flag, said that he wasn't overly disappointed to miss out on pole.

"We couldn't get much more out of the car: sure we were sitting in the pits, but it wasn't though we had made any mistakes," explained the Australian, who set two laps in the 1m26s bracket on the way to a 1m26.929s average.

"We would definitely have signed up for the front row before qualifying."

Neel Jani and Marc Lieb claimed third in the second Porsche with an average nearly four tenths behind their team-mates.

Alex Wurz and Kazuki Nakajima ended up fourth a further tenth behind on 1m27.437s.

The two Audis ended up closely matched in fifth and sixth positions as the last of the factory LMP1 cars with averages 1.2s off the pole.

Andre Lotterer overhauled the sister R18 e-tron quattro shared by Tom Kristensen and Loic Duval by five hundredths after taking over from Benoit Treluyer.

Roman Rusinov and Olivier Pla were quickest in LMP2 aboard the OAK/G-Drive Ligier-Nissan JSP2.

Their average of 1m33.062s was nearly half a second ahead of the OAK Racing Morgan-Judd/BMW LMP2 qualified by Alex Brundle and Gustavo Yacaman.

Fernando Rees and Alex MacDowall claimed a first pole position in GTE Pro aboard the #99 Aston Martin Vantage GTE.

Their four-lap average of 1m39.686s set on the soft Michelin tyre was three tenths quicker than that of team-mates Stefan Mucke and Darren Turner, who used medium-compound rubber.

Porsche drivers Frederic Makowiecki and Patrick Pilet took third place for Porsche aboard their factory Manthey-run 911 RSR.

GTE Pro points leaders Gianmaria Bruni and Toni Vilander ended up only fifth, behind their AF Corse Ferrari team-mates Davide Rigon and James Calado.

Aston also took GTE Am qualifying honours with Pedro Lamy and Christoffer Nygaard.

Pos Class Driver Team Car Time Gap Laps
1 LMP1 A.Davidson, S.Buemi Toyota Racing Toyota 1m26.886s - 4
2 LMP1 T.Bernhard, M.Webber, B.Hartley Porsche Team Porsche 1m26.929s 0.043s 4
3 LMP1 R.Dumas, N.Jani, M.Lieb Porsche Team Porsche 1m27.306s 0.420s 4
4 LMP1 A.Wurz, S.Sarrazin, K.Nakajima Toyota Racing Toyota 1m27.437s 0.551s 4
5 LMP1 M.Fassler, A.Lotterer, B.Treluyer Audi Sport Team Joest Audi 1m28.118s 1.232s 4
6 LMP1 L.di Grassi, L.Duval, T.Kristensen Audi Sport Team Joest Audi 1m28.165s 1.279s 4
7 LMP1 N.Prost, N.Heidfeld, M.Beche Rebellion Racing Rebellion/Toyota 1m31.751s 4.865s 4
8 LMP1 D.Kraihamer, A.Belicchi, F.Leimer Rebellion Racing Rebellion/Toyota 1m32.245s 5.359s 4
9 LMP2 R.Rusinov, O.Pla, J.Canal G-Drive Racing Ligier/Nissan 1m33.062s 6.176s 4
10 LMP2 M.Howson, R.Bradley, A.Imperatori KCMG ORECA/Nissan 1m33.847s 6.961s 4
11 LMP2 S.Zlobin, N.Minassian, M.Mediani SMP Racing ORECA/Nissan 1m34.328s 7.442s 4
12 LMP2 K.Ladygin, V.Shaytar, A.Ladygin SMP Racing ORECA/Nissan 1m35.006s 8.120s 4
13 LMP1 C.Bouchut, J.Rossiter, P.Kaffer Lotus/AER 1m35.414s 8.528s 4
14 GTE Pro A.MacDowall, D.O'Young, F.Rees Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 1m39.686s 12.800s 4
15 GTE Pro D.Turner, S.Mucke Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 1m40.031s 13.145s 4
16 GTE Pro F.Makowiecki, P.Pilet Porsche Team Manthey Porsche 1m40.145s 13.259s 4
17 GTE Pro D.Rigon, J.Calado AF Corse Ferrari 1m40.171s 13.285s 4
18 GTE Pro G.Bruni, T.Vilander AF Corse Ferrari 1m40.200s 13.314s 4
19 GTE Am P.D.Lana, P.Lamy, C.Nygaard Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 1m40.230s 13.344s 4
20 GTE Pro J.Bergmeister, R.Lietz Porsche Team Manthey Porsche 1m40.283s 13.397s 4
21 GTE Am S.Wyatt, M.Rugolo, A.Bertolini AF Corse Ferrari 1m40.624s 13.738s 4
22 GTE Am K.Poulsen, D.H.Hansson, N.Thiim Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 1m40.638s 13.752s 4
23 GTE Am B.Curtis, J.Bleekemolen, M.Skeen AF Corse Ferrari 1m40.676s 13.790s 4
24 GTE Am F.Perrodo, E.Collard, M.Vaxiviere Prospeed Competition Porsche 1m40.830s 13.944s 4
25 GTE Am C.Ried, K.Bachler, K.Al Qubaisi Proton Competition Porsche 1m40.995s 14.109s 4
26 GTE Am G.Roda, P.Ruberti, J.Segal 8 Star Motorsports Ferrari 1m41.019s 14.133s 4
- LMP2 K.Ihara, G.Yacaman, A.Brundle Oak Racing Morgan/Judd - - 4

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