WEC Fuji: Toyota locks out front row for home race

The two Toyotas were separated by just two hundredths of a second as they blocked out the front row for Sunday’s Fuji round of the FIA World Endurance Championship.

Kamui Kobayashi took the pole in the #7 Toyota GR010 Hybrid with a 1m29.234s on his first flying lap. 

Brendon Hartley’s first lap in the sister car was a 1m29.285s, before he made a minor improvement to 1m29.254s. 

Matthieu Vaxiviere took third position aboard the Alpine A480-Gibson, ending up only two tenths behind the Toyotas on a 1m29.446s. 

The two Peugeots were both within a second of the pace in fourth and fifth positions. 

A 1m30.00s from Jean-Eric Vergne in the #93 Peugeot 9X8 gave him fourth place, while Loic Duval ended up on a 1m30.152s in #94.

Read Also:

Antonio Felix da Costa took LMP2 pole for the Jota squad with a 1m31.649s aboard the #38 ORECA 07-Gibson LMP2. 

That put him half a second up on the pack after the first runs, but the gap was narrowed after all the leading runners went for further runs on a second set of tyres. 

Da Costa was unable to improve his time, but Nicklas Nielsen got down to a 1m31.929s in the AF Corse Pro/Am ORECA to take second position. 

Robin Frijns had qualified third in the #31 WRT ORECA on a 1m32.059s but had his laptime scratched for a track limits violation, dropping him to fourth behind Ferdinand Habsburg in the sister #41 Realteam by WRT car.

#92 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR - 19 GTE-PRO: Michael Christensen, Kevin Estre

#92 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR - 19 GTE-PRO: Michael Christensen, Kevin Estre

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

Porsche tops GTE Pro qualifying

Michael Christensen took pole position for Porsche in GTE Pro. 

The Dane grabbed the top spot on his first flying lap with a 1m36.371s aboard the #92 Porsche 911 RSR, which ended up nearly two tenths clear of James Calado in the fastest of the AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE Evos. 

Calado’s 1m36.566s gave him a similar margin over the second Porsche qualified by Gianmaria Bruni, who posted a 1m36.800s. 

Miguel Molina took fourth spot in the second of the Ferraris with a 1m36.851s set on his third flying lap. 

Corvette's Nick Tandy brought up the rear of the five-car GTE Pro class on a 1m37.127s. 

Ben Keating claimed a third pole of the season in GTE Am aboard the TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage GTE, pipping Sarah Bovy in the Iron Dames Ferrari by just five hundredths of a second. 

Keating set a 1m39.309s, which compared with Bovy’s 1m39.371s. 

Franck Dezoteux took third in the AF-run Spirit of Race Ferrari. 

The Fuji 6 Hours, the penultimate round of this year’s WEC, begins at 11:00 local time on Sunday.

WEC Fuji - Hypercar and LMP2 Qualifying Results

Cla # Drivers Car Class Avg Time Gap
1 7 United Kingdom Mike Conway
Japan Kamui Kobayashi
Argentina Jose Maria Lopez
Toyota GR010 - Hybrid HYPERCAR 1'29.234  
2 8 Switzerland Sébastien Buemi
New Zealand Brendon Hartley
Japan Ryo Hirakawa
Toyota GR010 - Hybrid HYPERCAR 1'29.254 0.020
3 36 Brazil Andre Negrao
France Nicolas Lapierre
France Matthieu Vaxiviere
Alpine A480 HYPERCAR 1'29.446 0.212
4 93 United Kingdom Paul di Resta
Denmark Mikkel Jensen
France Jean-Eric Vergne
Peugeot 9X8 HYPERCAR 1'30.000 0.766
5 94 France Loic Duval
United States Gustavo Menezes
United Kingdom James Rossiter
Peugeot 9X8 HYPERCAR 1'30.152 0.918
6 38 Mexico Roberto Gonzalez
Portugal Antonio Felix da Costa
United Kingdom Will Stevens
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'31.649 2.415
7 83 France François Perrodo
Denmark Nicklas Nielsen
Italy Alessio Rovera
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'31.929 2.695
8 41 Portugal Rui Andrade
Austria Ferdinand Habsburg
France Norman Nato
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'32.143 2.909
9 31 Indonesia Sean Gelael
Netherlands Robin Frijns
Belgium Dries Vanthoor
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'32.210 2.976
10 10 Netherlands Renger van der Zande
Ireland Ryan Cullen
France Sébastien Bourdais
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'32.297 3.063
11 22 United Kingdom Philip Hanson
Portugal Filipe Albuquerque
United States Will Owen
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'32.337 3.103
12 23 United Kingdom Alex Lynn
United Kingdom Oliver Jarvis
United States Josh Pierson
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'32.342 3.108
13 28 Denmark Oliver Rasmussen
United Arab Emirates Ed Jones
South Africa Jonathan Aberdein
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'32.439 3.205
14 9 Poland Robert Kubica
Switzerland Louis Deletraz
Italy Lorenzo Colombo
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'32.479 3.245
15 1 France Lilou Wadoux
France Paul-Loup Chatin
France Charles Milesi
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'32.529 3.295
16 34 Poland Jakub Smiechowski
United Kingdom Alex Brundle
Mexico Esteban Gutierrez
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'32.800 3.566
17 45 United States Thomas Steven
Australia James Allen
Austria Rene Binder
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'32.879 3.645
18 35 France Jean Baptiste Lahaye
France Matthieu Lahaye
France François Heriau
Oreca 07 LMP2 1'33.155 3.921

WEC Fuji - GTE Pro and GTE Am Qualifying Results

Cla # Drivers Car Class Laps Avg Time Gap
1 92 Denmark Michael Christensen
France Kevin Estre
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 LMGTE PRO 5 1'36.371  
2 51 Italy Alessandro Pier Guidi
United Kingdom James Calado
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 5 1'36.566 0.195
3 91 Italy Gianmaria Bruni
Austria Richard Lietz
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 LMGTE PRO 6 1'36.800 0.429
4 52 Spain Miguel Molina
Italy Antonio Fuoco
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 5 1'36.851 0.480
5 64 United States Tommy Milner
United Kingdom Nick Tandy
Chevrolet Corvette C8.R LMGTE PRO 5 1'37.127 0.756
6 33 United States Ben Keating
Portugal Henrique Chaves Jr.
Denmark Marco Sorensen
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE AM 6 1'39.309 2.938
7 85 Switzerland Rahel Frey
Denmark Michelle Gatting
Belgium Sarah Bovy
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 6 1'39.371 3.000
8 71 France Franck Dezoteux
France Pierre Ragues
France Gabriel Aubry
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 5 1'39.461 3.090
9 777 Japan Satoshi Hoshino
Japan Tomonobu Fujii
United Kingdom Charlie Fagg
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE AM 6 1'39.710 3.339
10 46 Italy Matteo Cairoli
Denmark Mikkel Pedersen
Switzerland Nicolas Leutwiler
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 LMGTE AM 6 1'39.796 3.425
11 54 Switzerland Thomas Flohr
Italy Francesco Castellacci
Italy Davide Rigon
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 6 1'39.809 3.438
12 56 Japan Takeshi Kimura
United Kingdom Ollie Millroy
United Kingdom Ben Barnicoat
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 LMGTE AM 6 1'39.853 3.482
13 77 Germany Christian Ried
United Kingdom Sebastian Priaulx
United Kingdom Harry Tincknell
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 LMGTE AM 6 1'39.874 3.503
14 88 United States Fred Poordad
United States Patrick Lindsey
Belgium Jan Heylen
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 LMGTE AM 6 1'40.052 3.681
15 86 United Kingdom Michael Wainwright
Italy Riccardo Pera
United Kingdom Benjamin Barker
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 LMGTE AM 6 1'40.271 3.900
16 21 France Simon Mann
Switzerland Christoph Ulrich
Finland Toni Vilander
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 6 1'40.418 4.047
17 60 Italy Claudio Schiavoni
Italy Matteo Cressoni
Italy Giancarlo Fisichella
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 6 1'40.683 4.312
18 98 Canada Paul Dalla Lana
United Kingdom David Pittard
Denmark Nicki Thiim
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE AM 6    
shares
comments
WEC Fuji: Toyota completes practice clean sweep
Previous article

WEC Fuji: Toyota completes practice clean sweep

Next article

Duval: Maiden WEC podium at Fuji the target for new Peugeot

Duval: Maiden WEC podium at Fuji the target for new Peugeot
How Porsche's Le Mans legend changed the game Plus

How Porsche's Le Mans legend changed the game

The 956 set the bar at the dawn of Group C 40 years ago, and that mark only rose higher through the 1980s, both in the world championship and in the US. It and its successor, the longer-wheelbase 962, were voted as Autosport's greatest sportscar in 2020 - here's why

WEC
Aug 25, 2022
Why BMW shouldn't be overlooked on its return to prototypes Plus

Why BMW shouldn't be overlooked on its return to prototypes

OPINION: While the focus has been on the exciting prospect of Ferrari vs Porsche at the Le Mans 24 Hours next year, BMW’s factory return to endurance racing should not be ignored. It won't be at the French classic next year as it focuses efforts on the IMSA SportsCar Championship, but could be a dark horse in 2024 when it returns to La Sarthe with the crack WRT squad

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2022
The problem sausage kerbs continue to cause Plus

The problem sausage kerbs continue to cause

Track limits are the problem that motorsport doesn't seem to be able to rid itself of. But the use of so-called 'sausage kerbs' as a deterrent has in several instances only served to worsen the problem, and a growing number of voices want to see action taken

Formula 1
Jul 18, 2022
The history lessons Peugeot should have learned on its return Plus

The history lessons Peugeot should have learned on its return

The Peugeot 9X8 will make its World Endurance Championship debut at Monza this weekend. The French manufacturer has gone radical and will be hoping it doesn’t need to overhaul its contender, as it did with its first Le Mans challenger…

WEC
Jul 8, 2022
Why Peugeot's sportscar return will capture the imagination Plus

Why Peugeot's sportscar return will capture the imagination

OPINION: Peugeot will make its World Endurance Championship debut at Monza this weekend with the 9X8 Le Mans Hypercar that has ignored design conventions by eschewing a rear wing. Its distinctive look will help sportscar racing appeal to fresh audiences as a new golden era is ushered in

WEC
Jul 7, 2022
How Formula E's double-duty drivers influenced their Le Mans teams' fortunes Plus

How Formula E's double-duty drivers influenced their Le Mans teams' fortunes

Eight Formula E drivers made the 7,000-mile sprint from the streets of Jakarta to the fabled Circuit de la Sarthe and every one had a story to share at this year's Le Mans 24 Hours. Despite a range of triumphs and disappointments, each driver doubling up on the day job played a key role in their teams' fortunes

Le Mans
Jun 14, 2022
How an Italian junior formula giant is readying for its Le Mans future Plus

How an Italian junior formula giant is readying for its Le Mans future

Prema remains a colossus in single-seaters, but the serial Formula 2 and Formula 3 title-winning squad has joined forces with top GT squad Iron Lynx for an attack on sportscars in the World Endurance Championship and European Le Mans Series. Ahead of its debut at the Le Mans 24 Hours, its sights are firmly fixed on LMP2 glory – and a future in Hypercars next year...

Le Mans
Jun 8, 2022
The British rookies targeting a good first impression at Le Mans Plus

The British rookies targeting a good first impression at Le Mans

Three young Britons will make their first starts in the Le Mans 24 Hours this weekend in the highly-competitive 23-car GTE Am field. But how did they get here? Autosport hears their stories.

Le Mans
Jun 7, 2022