Silverstone WEC: Toyota beats Audi to pole position

Toyota snatched pole position from Audi for the opening round of the 2014 World Endurance Championship at Silverstone this weekend

Silverstone WEC: Toyota beats Audi to pole position

The four-lap average of the #7 Toyota TS040 HYBRID shared in qualifying by Alex Wurz and Kazuki Nakajima was 1m42.774s, which put the car just 0.005s ahead of the best of the Audi R18 e-tron quattros driven by Tom Kristensen and Loic Duval

Nakajima sent the Toyota to the top of the timesheets when he stayed out for a third flying lap and set his fastest time to improve his aggregate.

Nakajima said: "I didn't know about the time difference when I was in the car, but I knew I was P2.

"On the next lap, I was going quicker, so I continued to push to the end of the lap and the time came somehow.

"It is only one position [difference], but to get pole is good for the team and good motivation for tomorrow."

Porsche made it three manufacturers in the top three with the #14 car driven by Romain Dumas and Neel Jani.

The most eagerly-awaited sportscar season ever

Its four-lap average was three tenths shy of the top two cars.

Andre Lotterer improved on his final tour, after doing a cooling down lap, to move the R18 he shared with Benoit Treluyer up from sixth to fourth.

The second Toyota, qualified by Anthony Davidson and Nicolas Lappiere, was fifth and the second Porsche with Mark Webber and Timo Bernhard driving ended up sixth.

The OAK Racing-run G-Drive Morgan-Nissan took LMP2 pole in the hands of Olivier Pla and Roman Rusinov by nearly three tenths from the KCMG ORECA-Nissan 03 shared by Richard Bradley and Tsugio Matsuda.

Ferrari took GTE Pro pole courtesy of a string of laps under the two-minute barrier by Gianmaria Bruni and Toni Vilander.

Their average of 1m59.125s aboard the lead AF Corse 458 Italia compared with 1m59.380s from the factory Manthey Porsche 911 RSR shared by Nick Tandy and Patrick Pilet.

GTE Am honours went to the AF entry shared by Sam Bird and Michele Rugolo.

Follow the WEC season-opening race as it happens on AUTOSPORT Race Centre Live from 11.30am UK time on Sunday April 20

Pos Cl Drivers Team/Car Time Gap 1. P1 Wurz/Sarrazin/Nakajima Toyota 1m42.774s 2. P1 Duval/Kristensen/di Grassi Audi 1m42.779s +0.005s 3. P1 Dumas/Jani/Lieb Porsche  1m43.087s +0.313s 4. P1 Fassler/Lotterer/Treluyer Audi 1m43.137s +0.363s 5. P1 Davidson/Lapierre/Buemi Toyota 1m43.189s +0.415s 6. P1 Bernhard/Webber/Hartley Porsche 1m43.226s +0.452s 7. P1 Kraihamer/Belicchi/Leimer Rebellion Lola-Toyota 1m44.285s +1.511s 8. P1 Prost/Heidfeld/Beche Rebellion Lola-Toyota 1m44.392s +1.618s 9. P2 Rusinov/Pla/Canal OAK Morgan-Nissan 1m49.156s +6.382s 10. P2 Howson/Bradley/Matsuda KCMG ORECA-Nissan 1m49.439s +6.665s 11. P2 Ladygin/Shaitar/Ladygin SMP ORECA-Nissan 1m51.236s +8.462s 12. P2 Zlobin/Minassian/Mediani SMP ORECA-Nissan 1m51.514s +8.740s 13. GTE P Bruni/Vilander AF Ferrari 1m59.125s +16.351s 14. GTE P Pilet/Bergmeister/Tandy Manthey Porsche 1m59.380s +16.606s 15. GTE P Holzer/Makowiecki/Lietz Manthey Porsche 1m59.717s +16.943s 16. GTE P Rigon/Calado AF Ferrari 1m59.841s +17.067s 17. GTE A Wyatt/Rugolo/Bird AF Ferrari 1m59.932s +17.158s 18. GTE P Turner/Mucke Aston Martin 1m59.954s +17.180s 19. GTE P Griffin/Parente Ram Ferrari 2m00.216s +17.442s 20. GTE A Dalla Lana/Lamy/Nygaard Aston Martin 2m00.923s +18.149s 21. GTE A Companc/Cioci/Venturi AF Ferrari 2m00.971s +18.197s 22. GTE A Poulsen/Hansson/Thiim Aston Martin 2m00.982s +18.208s 23. GTE P O'Young/Rees/MacDowall Bamboo Aston Martin 2m01.122s +18.348s 24. GTE A Perrodo/Collard/Vaxiviere Prospeed Porsche 2m01.886s +19.112s 25. GTE A Ried/Bachler/Qubisi Proton Porsche 2m01.917s +19.143s 26. GTE A Mowlem/Patterson/Collins Ram Ferrari 2m01.953s +19.179s 27. GTE A Potolicchio/Roda/Ruberti 8Star Ferrari 2m01.982s +19.208s 
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Series WEC
Teams Toyota Racing
Author Gary Watkins
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