Toyota Twosome Take Shanghai WEC Pole


Wurz and Lapierre combined for pole position (Credit: DPPI)

The #7 Toyota TS030 Hybrid will start from pole for the Six Hours of Shanghai, the second pole position for Toyota in this year’s FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) after their similar result in the first round of the season at Silverstone.

Drivers Alex Wurz and Nicolas Lapierre combined a four lap average time of 1:48.013, fractionally better than that of Marcel Fassler and Benoit Treluyer qualifying the #1 Audi R18 e-tron quattro. Treluyer pushed right until the fall of the checkered flag brought the session to an end, even returning to the track after a two minute hiatus in the pits to try and push the Toyota pair off the pole position. However, with Wurz setting the best time of the session early on – the Austrian the only man to complete a lap in the 1:47s bracket.

The second Toyota, shared by Stephane Sarrazin and Sebastien Buemi in the session, will start third, the Audi of the champions elect Allan McNish, Tom Kristensen and Loic Duval fourth fastest with Rebellion Racing’s Lola-Toyota rounding out the LMP1 class.

With John Martin and Mike Conway G-Drive Racing won pole, beating regular opponents OAK Racing to the top of the LMP2 class. 0.787 seconds separated their four lap average at the end of the season. The lead OAK car – the #24 of Olivier Pla and Alex Brundle – almost lost a spot on the from row to the Greaves Motorsport Zytek-Nissan of Bjorn Wirdheim and Mark Schulhitckiy.

Schulzhitckiy, the cream of the 2012 class from the Nissan GT Academy, came close to moving the car into second place on his LMP debut, but fell short – just – leaving only the #41 car only nine thousandths slower than the OAK Morgan. Wirdheim, Sculzhitckiy and Eric Lux’s charge will be joined on the second row of the class by OAK Racing’s #35.

Aston Martin Racing were – again – fastest in both of the LMGTE classes. Darren Turner and Stefan Mucke, sharing the #97 in the Pro class will share front row of the GT ranks with their teammates in the #99 entry with Bruno Senna and Richie Stanaway qualifying the car that will also be driven by Pedro Lamy over the course of the race.

Marc Lieb and Richard Lietz qualified their #92 Porsche AG Team Manthey third, Kamui Kobayashi and Toni Vilander the better of the two AF Corse Ferraris in the class.

Christoffer Nygaard and Nicki Thiim claimed pole position in the LMGTE Am class in the Young Driver AMR Vantage, their four lap average only 0.015 seconds better than that put together by Marco Cioci and Matt Griffin in the AF Corse Ferrari. 8Star Motorsports’ Ferrari was third fastest in class, Proton Competition and Imsa Performance Matmut fourth and fifth respectively in their Porsches.

The Six Hours of Shanghai is scheduled to begin at 3am UK time on Saturday November 9.