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Qualifying report
WEC Portimao

WEC Portimao: Hartley beats Kobayashi for pole in Toyota 1-2

Toyota claimed a first World Endurance Championship pole position of the season for this weekend’s Portimao round.

#8 Toyota Gazoo Racing - Toyota GR010 - Hybrid - Se?bastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley, Ryo Hirakawa

Brendon Hartley led a qualifying 1-2 for the Japanese manufacturer, outpacing team-mate and team principal Kamui Kobayashi by nearly three tenths of a second.

Hartley’s 1m30.171s aboard the #8 Toyota GR010 HYBRID Le Mans Hypercar compared with Kobayashi’s 1m30.444s in #7.

Toyota had a clear margin over Ferrari, which took the pole in the Sebring season-opener last month, over the 15-minute Hypercar qualifying session.

Nicklas Nielsen was nearly a second and a half off the pace in third spot aboard the best of the Italian manufacturer’s 499P LMHs.

His 1m31.596s gave him a four-tenth margin over team-mate James Calado’s 1m31.923s in the sister car.

Hartley said: “We put a bit of effort into qualifying this time because we were a little bit annoyed at Sebring.

“I knew the lap was good, but I also knew that I would have Kamui right behind me.

“We’re expecting a big fight tomorrow, especially with the red cars [Ferraris].”

Porsche took fifth position with Kevin Estre aboard the best of its 963 LMDhs. His 1m32.404s was just a tenth quicker than the best of the Peugeot 9X8s in which Nico Muller posted a 1m32.517s.

#8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota GR010 - Hybrid: Sébastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley, Ryo Hirakawa

#8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota GR010 - Hybrid: Sébastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley, Ryo Hirakawa

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

Frederic Makowiecki took seventh position in the second of the Porsche Penske Motorsport entries just ahead of Richard Westbrook in the Ganassi-run Cadillac V-Series.R LMDh.

Glickenhaus got the better of Vanwall in the battle of the garagistes at the rear of the 11-car Hypercr field, Romain Dumas outpacing Tom Dillmann by half a second.

Mirko Bortolotti snatched a first LMP2 pole position for the Prema team by just one thousandth of a second.

The factory Lamborghini driver put in a 1m34.303s in the best of the Italian team’s pair of ORECA-Gibson 07s on his final flying lap to knock Vector Sport’s Gabriel Aubry off the top stop.

Bortolotti bounced back from losing an even faster time — a 1m34.284s — on his previous lap to a track limits infraction.

Prema’s pole remains provisional: an investigation was underway after the #63 ORECA was worked on in the fast lane in the pits at the start of the session.

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Aubry’s 1m34.304s set early in the session gave him a margin of a tenth over United Autosports driver Phil Hanson, whose late improvement to a 1m34.451s promoted him to third.

Yifei Ye was also a late-improver and jumped to fourth aboard the best of the two Jota ORECAs.

Ben Keating claimed pole position in GTE Am right at the end of the session from regular qualifying sparring partner Sarah Bovy.

#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

The Corvette Racing driver found four tenths on his final lap to jump from third to the top of time sheets aboard his Chevrolet Corvette C8.R and deprive Bovy of a third consecutive class pole for the Iron Dames team.

Keating’s final lap of 1m41.362s was two tenths up on Bovy’s 1m41.579s at the wheel of the Iron Lynx-run Porsche 911 RSR.

Diego Alessi claimed third with a 1m41.628s in the best of the AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE Evos.

The Portimao 6 Hours, round two of the 2023 WEC, starts at 12:00 local time on Sunday.

Full WEC Portimao Hypercar Qualifying results:

Cla # Drivers Car Time Gap
1 8 Switzerland Sébastien Buemi
New Zealand Brendon Hartley
Japan Ryo Hirakawa
Toyota GR010 - Hybrid 1'30.171  
2 7 United Kingdom Mike Conway
Japan Kamui Kobayashi
Argentina Jose Maria Lopez
Toyota GR010 - Hybrid 1'30.444 0.273
3 50 Italy Antonio Fuoco
Spain Miguel Molina
Denmark Nicklas Nielsen
Ferrari 499P 1'31.596 1.425
4 51 Italy Alessandro Pier Guidi
United Kingdom James Calado
Italy Antonio Giovinazzi
Ferrari 499P 1'31.923 1.752
5 6 France Kevin Estre
Germany Andre Lotterer
Belgium Laurens Vanthoor
Porsche 963 1'32.404 2.233
6 94 France Loic Duval
United States Gustavo Menezes
Switzerland Nico Müller
Peugeot 9X8 1'32.517 2.346
7 5 United States Dane Cameron
Denmark Michael Christensen
France Frédéric Makowiecki
Porsche 963 1'32.560 2.389
8 2 New Zealand Earl Bamber
United Kingdom Alex Lynn
United Kingdom Richard Westbrook
Cadillac V-Series.R 1'32.582 2.411
9 93 United Kingdom Paul di Resta
Denmark Mikkel Jensen
France Jean-Eric Vergne
Peugeot 9X8 1'32.703 2.532
10 708 France Romain Dumas
Australia Ryan Briscoe
France Olivier Pla
Glickenhaus 007 1'33.343 3.172
11 4 France Tom Dillmann
Argentina Esteban Guerrieri
Canada Jacques Villeneuve
Vanwall Vandervell 680 1'33.836 3.665

Full WEC Portimao LMP2 Qualifying results:

Cla # Drivers Car Avg Time Gap
1 63 France Doriane Pin
Italy Mirko Bortolotti
Russian Federation Daniil Kvyat
Oreca 07 1'34.303  
2 10 Ireland Ryan Cullen
Matthias Kaiser
France Gabriel Aubry
Oreca 07 1'34.304 0.001
3 22 Frederick Lubin
United Kingdom Philip Hanson
United Kingdom Ben Hanley
Oreca 07 1'34.451 0.148
4 48 Germany David Beckmann
China Ye Yifei
Portugal Antonio Felix da Costa
Oreca 07 1'34.493 0.190
5 34 Poland Jakub Smiechowski
Switzerland Fabio Scherer
Spain Albert Costa
Oreca 07 1'34.586 0.283
6 23 United States Josh Pierson
Netherlands Giedo van der Garde
United Kingdom Oliver Jarvis
Oreca 07 1'34.590 0.287
7 31 Indonesia Sean Gelael
Austria Ferdinand Habsburg
Netherlands Robin Frijns
Oreca 07 1'34.618 0.315
8 9 Filip Ugran
United States Juan Manuel Correa
Netherlands Bent Viscaal
Oreca 07 1'34.770 0.467
9 41 Portugal Rui Andrade
Poland Robert Kubica
Switzerland Louis Deletraz
Oreca 07 1'34.776 0.473
10 35 Brazil Andre Negrao
Mexico Memo Rojas
United Kingdom Olli Caldwell
Oreca 07 1'34.996 0.693
11 36 France Matthieu Vaxiviere
France Julien Canal
France Charles Milesi
Oreca 07 1'35.238 0.935
12 28 Denmark David Heinemeier Hansson
Brazil Pietro Fittipaldi
Denmark Oliver Rasmussen
Oreca 07 1'35.361 1.058

Full WEC Portimao GTE Am Qualifying results:

Cla # Drivers Car Avg Time Gap
1 33 United States Ben Keating
Nicolas Varrone
Netherlands Nick Catsburg
Chevrolet Corvette C8.R 1'41.362  
2 85 Belgium Sarah Bovy
Denmark Michelle Gatting
Switzerland Rahel Frey
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 1'41.579 0.217
3 21 Diego Alessi
France Simon Mann
Ulysse De
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO 1'41.628 0.266
4 54 Switzerland Thomas Flohr
Italy Francesco Castellacci
Italy Davide Rigon
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO 1'41.899 0.537
5 25 United Kingdom Ahmad Al Harthy
Michael Dinan
Ireland Charles Eastwood
Aston Martin Vantage AMR 1'41.904 0.542
6 83 Argentina Luis Perez Companc
France Lilou Wadoux
Italy Alessio Rovera
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO 1'41.934 0.572
7 57 Japan Takeshi Kimura
United States Scott Huffaker
Brazil Daniel Serra
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO 1'42.014 0.652
8 56 Miguel Pedro
Guilherme Moura
Italy Matteo Cairoli
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 1'42.024 0.662
9 77 Germany Christian Ried
Mikkel Pedersen
France Julien Andlauer
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 1'42.105 0.743
10 88 United States Ryan Hardwick
Canada Zacharie Robichon
United Kingdom Harry Tincknell
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 1'42.198 0.836
11 777 Japan Satoshi Hoshino
Casper Stevenson
Japan Tomonobu Fujii
Aston Martin Vantage AMR 1'43.035 1.673
12 98 Canada Paul Dalla Lana
Zimbabwe Axcil Jefferies
Denmark Nicki Thiim
Aston Martin Vantage AMR 1'43.207 1.845
13 86 United Kingdom Michael Wainwright
Italy Riccardo Pera
United Kingdom Benjamin Barker
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 1'43.273 1.911
14 60 Italy Claudio Schiavoni
Italy Matteo Cressoni
Belgium Alessio Picariello
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 1'43.528 2.166

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