Lotterer Laps Light Way To Fuji Pole In Tight Session


Two quick-fire fast laps from Andre Lotterer led the way to pole position (Credit: Jean Michel le Meur/DPPI)

The fastest lap of the qualifying session helped the reigning FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) champions to pole position for the Six Hours of Fuji.

Unlike some other driver Andre Lotterer needed only two flying laps before handing over the #1 Audi R18 e-tron quattro to Benoit Treluyer. However, the German’s two laps would be the fastest and third fastest of the session, the 1:26.481 of his first lap beaten by a 1:26.235 on the following tour. Only Sebastien Buemi was able to match Lotterer’s pace, the Swiss – first man in the #8 Toyota TS030 Hybrid – setting a best lap of 1:26.357 on his third flying lap.

However, while Treluyer was able to back up Lotterer with another two laps in the 1:26 bracket to count towards the four lap average that sets the WEC grid Anthony Davidson struggled to match Buemi’s pace, needing four laps before finally dipping below 1:27 with a time of 1:26.928, allowing the #1 Audi crew to take pole position.

Kazuki Nakajima – who’s two flying laps where just a single thousandth apart – and Nicolas Lapierre qualified the #7 Toyota third, though Lapierre was unable to escape the 1:27s. The #2 Audi will start fourth, Loic Duval the slowest of the works men in the session. However, the average times of the four cars were still less than one second apart.

OAK Racing drivers Bertrand Baguette and Martin Plowman took LMP2 pole position in the #35 Morgan-Nissan. In order to do so they had to come from behind after Olivier Pla in the sister OAK entry had turned the fastest lap of the first driver to take to the track. However, relatively slow laps from David Heinemeier Hansson allowed their stablemates to take pole as he and Pla fell to fourth fastest in the closely contested class.

The only man in the category to lap in the 1:31s Mike Conway set the fastest single lap of the class in the #26 G-Drive Racing car, however, he was unable to find the pace on subsequent laps to match the 1:31.778. However he and Australian John Martin were able to secure second in class with the Gainer International Zytek third fastest, largely thanks to Bjorn Wirdheim who was the best of the second drivers after Katsuyuki Hiranaka had started the session in the car.

Aston Martin Racing’s LMGTE Pro were comfortably fastest in their class, their two cars set to line up first and second, the combination of Fred Makowiecki and Stefan Mucke in the #97 creating a four lap average nearly half a second better than that of Richie Stanaway and Pedro Lamy in the #99 car of AMR’s reshuffled line-up for the race.

The #51, the lone AF Corse Ferrari to take part in the session – the sister car waiting for a part from Italy – was third fastest ahead of the pair of Porsche AG Team Manthey entries, both cars’ second drivers unable to match the pace of the others in the class with best laps in the 1:40 rather than 1:39s where every other flying lap lay, save of Makoweicki’s 1:38.605 stormer.

 

The AMR reshuffle created pair of Bruno Senna and Christoffer Nygaard took LMGTE Am pole, though with an average time only 0.165 seconds better than the Larbre Competition Corvette, the French team making a rare appearance towards the front of the 2013 class.

The fastest lap of the qualifying session helped the reigning FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) champions to pole position for the Six Hours of Fuji.Unlike some other driver Andre Lotterer needed only two flying laps before handing over the #1 Audi R