Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe
Qualifying report
WEC Fuji

WEC Fuji: Toyota locks out front row in qualifying as Ferrari struggles

Toyota locked out the front row for its home World Endurance Championship race at Fuji, as Kamui Kobayashi scored pole position in the #7 GR010 HYBRID.

#7 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota GR010 - Hybrid: Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi, Jose Maria Lopez

Kobayashi took the top spot with a best time of 1m27.794s around halfway through the 15-minute Hypercar qualifying session on Saturday afternoon, scoring a crucial bonus point for himself and his team-mates Jose Maria Lopez and Mike Conway.

Brendon Hartley was 0.624 seconds adrift of Kobayashi in the #8 Toyota, ahead of the two factory Penske-run Porsche 963s.

Kevin Estre briefly topped the times at the wheel of the #6 Porsche before both Toyotas set their fastest times of a session that took place on a virtually dry track, but with some damp patches from earlier rain.

The French driver's effort of 1m28.687s was still enough for third ahead of team-mate Frederic Makowiecki in the sister #5 car.

Next up was the solo Cadillac V-Series.R driven by Alex Lynn, who was the last driver to get within a second of the pace of Kobayashi.

Ferrari suffered a subdued qualifying session as its pair of 499Ps could only manage sixth and seventh places, marking the first time this season it hasn't got one of its cars in the top three.

James Calado set the Italian marque's best time of 1m28.991s, almost 1.2s off the pace, in the #51 car, while Nicklas Nielsen was fractionally slower in the #50 Ferrari.

#7 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota GR010 - Hybrid: Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi, Jose Maria Lopez

#7 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota GR010 - Hybrid: Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi, Jose Maria Lopez

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

Next up was the Jota customer Porsche of Antonio Felix da Costa in eighth, followed by the Proton example of Gianmaria Bruni and the two Peugeot 9X8s, which struggled badly for pace in 10th and 11th places with Mikkel Jensen and Loic Duval at the wheel.

The solo Vanwall Vandervell 680 propped up the order in Hypercar with Tristan Vautier driving.

United Autosports topped LMP2 qualifying courtesy of Phil Hanson, who took the #22 ORECA 07's first pole of the year and a third in total for the team.

Hanson posted a best time of 1m32.182s in the car he shares with Filipe Albuquerque and Freddie Lubin, which was just 0.091s clear of nearest rival Louis Deletraz in the #41 WRT ORECA.

Oliver Jarvis ensured both United cars will start in the top three ahead of the Jota machine of Pietro Fittipaldi and the Le Mans class-winning Inter Europol Competition car of Albert Costa.

Vector Sport's Gabriel Aubry suffered a lurid lock-up at Turn 1 just after setting his fastest time, which in the end was only enough for sixth.

In GTE Am, Ben Keating delivered Corvette Racing, which has already clinched this year's title, a third pole of the season.

#33 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C8.R: Ben Keating, Nicolas Varrone, Nicky Catsburg

#33 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C8.R: Ben Keating, Nicolas Varrone, Nicky Catsburg

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

Keating, who shares the solo Corvette C8.R with Nicky Catsburg and Nico Varrone, bested his usual rival Sarah Bovy in the Iron Dames Porsche by a scant 0.035s on what was still a damp track.

Satoshi Hoshino put the D'station Racing Aston Martin third ahead of the Heart of Racing example driven by Ian James, while leading the Ferrari contingent was Hiroshi Koizumi in the #21 AF Corse car.

The WEC 6 Hours of Fuji is scheduled to begin at 11am local time (GMT +9) on Sunday.

Fuji WEC Qualifying Results

 
 
       
Driver Info
 
 
 
   
Cla Team # Drivers Car Laps Time Interval km/h
1
Toyota Racing HYPERCAR
7 United Kingdom M. Conway Japan K. Kobayashi Argentina J. Lopez Toyota GR010 - Hybrid 7 1'27.794   187.106
2
Toyota Racing HYPERCAR
8 Switzerland S. Buemi New Zealand B. Hartley Japan R. Hirakawa Toyota GR010 - Hybrid 7 +0.624 0.624 185.785
3
PORSCHE PENSKE MOTORSPORT HYPERCAR
6 France K. Estre Germany A. Lotterer Belgium L. Vanthoor Porsche 963 7 +0.893 0.269 185.222
4
PORSCHE PENSKE MOTORSPORT HYPERCAR
5 United States D. Cameron Denmark M. Christensen France F. Makowiecki Porsche 963 6 +0.923 0.030 185.159
5
CADILLAC RACING HYPERCAR
2 New Zealand E. Bamber United Kingdom A. Lynn United Kingdom R. Westbrook Cadillac V-Series.R 7 +0.976 0.053 185.049
6
FERRARI AF CORSE HYPERCAR
51 Italy A. Pier Guidi United Kingdom J. Calado Italy A. Giovinazzi Ferrari 499P 7 +1.197 0.221 184.589
7
FERRARI AF CORSE HYPERCAR
50 Italy A. Fuoco Spain M. Molina Denmark N. Nielsen Ferrari 499P 8 +1.269 0.072 184.440
8
HERTZ TEAM JOTA HYPERCAR
38 Portugal A. Felix da Costa United Kingdom W. Stevens China Y. Yifei Porsche 963 8 +1.317 0.048 184.340
9
Proton Competition HYPERCAR
99 Switzerland N. Jani Italy G. Bruni United Kingdom H. Tincknell Porsche 963 8 +1.544 0.227 183.872
10
PEUGEOT TOTALENERGIES HYPERCAR
93 United Kingdom P. di Resta Denmark M. Jensen France J. Vergne Peugeot 9X8 7 +2.104 0.560 182.727
11
PEUGEOT TOTALENERGIES HYPERCAR
94 France L. Duval United States G. Menezes Belgium S. Vandoorne Peugeot 9X8 8 +4.028 1.924 178.898
12
FLOYD VANWALL RACING TEAM HYPERCAR
4 Argentina E. Guerrieri France T. Vautier
J. De
Vanwall Vandervell 680 7 +4.405 0.377 178.166
 
 
       
Driver Info
 
 
 
   
Cla Team # Drivers Car Laps Time Interval km/h
1
United Autosports LMP2
22 United Kingdom F. Lubin United Kingdom P. Hanson Portugal F. Albuquerque Oreca 07 9 1'32.182   178.199
2
TEAM WRT LMP2
41 Portugal R. Andrade Poland R. Kubica Switzerland L. Deletraz Oreca 07 9 +0.091 0.091 178.023
3
United Autosports LMP2
23 United States J. Pierson United Kingdom B. Hanley United Kingdom O. Jarvis Oreca 07 9 +0.271 0.180 177.677
4
Jota Sport LMP2
28 Denmark D. Heinemeier Hansson Brazil P. Fittipaldi Denmark O. Rasmussen Oreca 07 8 +0.596 0.325 177.054
5
INTER EUROPOL COMPETITION LMP2
34 Poland J. Smiechowski Switzerland F. Scherer Spain A. Costa Oreca 07 9 +0.664 0.068 176.925
6
VECTOR SPORT LMP2
10 Ireland R. Cullen Liechtenstein M. Kaiser France G. Aubry Oreca 07 9 +0.694 0.030 176.868
7
TEAM WRT LMP2
31 Indonesia S. Gelael Austria F. Habsburg Netherlands R. Frijns Oreca 07 9 +0.711 0.017 176.835
8
PREMA RACING LMP2
9 Romania F. Ugran Netherlands B. Viscaal United States J. Correa Oreca 07 8 +0.735 0.024 176.790
9
ALPINE ELF TEAM LMP2
36 France M. Vaxiviere France J. Canal France C. Milesi Oreca 07 9 +0.845 0.110 176.580
10
PREMA RACING LMP2
63 France D. Pin Italy A. Caldarelli Russian Federation D. Kvyat Oreca 07 9 +0.904 0.059 176.469
11
ALPINE ELF TEAM LMP2
35 Brazil A. Negrao Mexico M. Rojas United Kingdom O. Caldwell Oreca 07 9 +1.218 0.314 175.875
 
 
       
Driver Info
 
 
 
   
Cla Team # Drivers Car Laps Time Interval km/h
1
Corvette Racing LMGTE AM
33 United States B. Keating
N. Varrone
Netherlands N. Catsburg
Chevrolet Corvette C8.R 9 1'38.338   167.044
2
IRON DAMES LMGTE AM
85 Belgium S. Bovy Denmark M. Gatting Switzerland R. Frey Porsche 911 RSR - 19 9 +0.035 0.035 166.984
3
D'Station Racing LMGTE AM
777 Japan S. Hoshino United Kingdom C. Stevenson Japan T. Fujii Aston Martin Vantage AMR 9 +0.537 0.502 166.137
4
NORTHWEST AMR LMGTE AM
98 United Kingdom I. James Italy D. Mancinelli Spain A. Riberas Aston Martin Vantage AMR 8 +0.543 0.006 166.126
5
AF Corse LMGTE AM
21 Japan H. Koizumi France S. Mann Japan K. Cozzolino Ferrari 488 GTE EVO 8 +0.611 0.068 166.012
6
Kessel Racing LMGTE AM
57 Japan T. Kimura United States S. Huffaker Japan R. Miyata Ferrari 488 GTE EVO 9 +0.673 0.062 165.908
7
RICHARD MILLE AF CORSE LMGTE AM
83 Argentina L. Perez Companc France L. Wadoux Italy A. Rovera Ferrari 488 GTE EVO 9 +0.835 0.162 165.637
8
PROJECT 1 - AO LMGTE AM
56 United States P. Hyett United States G. Jeannette Italy M. Cairoli Porsche 911 RSR - 19 9 +0.841 0.006 165.627
9
Proton Competition LMGTE AM
77 Germany C. Ried
M. Pedersen
France J. Andlauer
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 9 +0.845 0.004 165.621
10
GR RACING LMGTE AM
86 United Kingdom M. Wainwright Italy R. Pera United Kingdom B. Barker Porsche 911 RSR - 19 7 +0.864 0.019 165.589
11
AF Corse LMGTE AM
54 Switzerland T. Flohr Italy F. Castellacci Italy D. Rigon Ferrari 488 GTE EVO 9 +0.945 0.081 165.454
12
ORT BY TF LMGTE AM
25 United Kingdom A. Al Harthy United States M. Dinan Ireland C. Eastwood Aston Martin Vantage AMR 9 +1.006 0.061 165.352
13
IRON LYNX LMGTE AM
60 Italy C. Schiavoni Italy M. Cressoni Belgium A. Picariello Porsche 911 RSR - 19 8 +1.954 0.948 163.789

Be part of the Autosport community

Join the conversation
Previous article WEC Fuji: Toyota leads Peugeot in final practice
Next article Vanwall reliability "much better" after early WEC season dramas

Top Comments

There are no comments at the moment. Would you like to write one?

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe