WEC Fuji: Bamber, Hartley snatch pole from sister Porsche

Porsche drivers Earl Bamber and Brendon Hartley took pole position for this weekend's Fuji round of the World Endurance Championship

WEC Fuji: Bamber, Hartley snatch pole from sister Porsche

Bamber trailed team-mate Nick Tandy after the first runs during the wet qualifying session by less than two tenths of a second.

Newly-confirmed Toro Rosso Formula 1 stand-in Hartley went quicker than Andre Lotterer to jump ahead of the #1 Porsche 919 Hybrid, before the German improved his time to claim back the top spot.

Hartley, who leads the WEC standings with Bamber and Timo Bernhard, responded to propel the #2 car back to the top of the timesheets.

Bamber and Hartley ended up with a two-lap average of 1m35.160s, which put them just 0.071s up on Tandy and Lotterer's 1m35.231s.

Toyota was less than two tenths of a second behind with the #8 TS050 HYBRID qualified by Kazuki Nakajima and Sebastien Buemi.

Nakajima had trailed Tandy's session best of 1m35.068s by almost exactly two tenths and then Buemi whittled his time down to a 1m34.441s to run the Porsches close.

Jose Maria Lopez and Kamui Kobayashi were over a second back on their team-mates in fourth position in the #7 Toyota.

Hartley said: "That was seriously close between the two Porsches, and Buemi at the end there was on fast lap.

"The Toyota look strong on the long runs, so we are expecting a close race tomorrow."

Nelson Piquet Jr and David Heinemeier Hansson led an LMP2 one-two for the Rebellion team.

Piquet Jr headed team-mate Bruno Senna by three tenths after the first runs and then Heinemeier Hansson had more than a second in hand over Julien Canal in the sister ORECA-Gibson 07.

That gave the #13 car a two-lap average of 1m44.196s, seven tenths clear of their team-mates.

Ho-Ping Tung and Thomas Laurent were less than a tenth back in third aboard the lead Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA

Porsche took the pole in GTE Pro, Richard Lietz and Frederic Makowiecki taking the top spot with a 1m47.533s average.

That put them four tenths up on the Ganassi Ford GT driven by Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell.

The Clearwater Ferrari team took its first GTE Am pole with Matt Griffin and Weng Sun Mok.

Qualifying result

Pos Class Driver Team Car Gap
1 LMP1 T.Bernhard, E.Bamber, B.Hartley Porsche LMP Team Porsche 1m35.160s
2 LMP1 N.Jani, A.Lotterer, N.Tandy Porsche LMP Team Porsche 0.071s
3 LMP1 S.Buemi, A.Davidson, K.Nakajima Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota 0.195s
4 LMP1 M.Conway, K.Kobayashi, J.M.Lopez Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota 1.470s
5 LMP2 M.Beche, D.H.Hansson, N.Piquet Jr. Vaillante Rebellion ORECA/Gibson 9.036s
6 LMP2 J.Canal, N.Prost, B.Senna Vaillante Rebellion ORECA/Gibson 9.765s
7 LMP2 H-Pin Tung, O.Jarvis, T.Laurent Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA/Gibson 9.918s
8 LMP2 N.Lapierre, G.Menezes, A.Negrao Signatech Alpine Matmut Alpine/Gibson 10.767s
9 LMP2 D.Cheng, A.Brundle, T.Gommendy Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA/Gibson 10.949s
10 LMP2 R.Rusinov, P.Thiriet, J.Rossiter G-Drive Racing ORECA/Gibson 11.045s
11 LMP2 R.Gonzalez, S.Trummer, V.Petrov CEFC Manor TRS Racing ORECA/Gibson 12.194s
12 LMP2 M.Rao, B.Hanley, J-E.Vergne CEFC Manor TRS Racing ORECA/Gibson 12.251s
13 GTE Pro R.Lietz, F.Makowiecki Porsche GT Team Porsche 12.417s
14 LMP2 F.Perrodo, M.Vaxiviere, E.Collard TDS Racing ORECA/Gibson 12.829s
15 GTE Pro A.Priaulx, H.Tincknell Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK Ford 12.858s
16 GTE Pro S.Mucke, O.Pla Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK Ford 12.979s
17 GTE Pro D.Rigon, S.Bird AF Corse Ferrari 13.035s
18 GTE Pro M.Christensen, K.Estre Porsche GT Team Porsche 13.105s
19 GTE Pro N.Thiim, M.Sorensen Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 13.418s
20 GTE Pro J.Calado, A.P.Guidi AF Corse Ferrari 13.542s
21 GTE Pro D.Turner, J.Adam Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 13.965s
22 GTE Am Mok W.S., K.Sawa, M.Griffin Clearwater Racing Ferrari 14.248s
23 GTE Am C.Ried, M.Cairoli, M.Dienst Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche 14.574s
24 GTE Am P.D.Lana, P.Lamy, M.Lauda Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 14.624s
25 GTE Am M.Hedlund, B.Barker, N.Foster Gulf Racing Porsche 14.706s
26 GTE Am T.Flohr, F.Castellacci, M.Molina Spirit of Race Ferrari 15.637s

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