Toyota Racing took the upper hand as the FIA World Endurance Championship kicked off its first weekend of the year at Silverstone as the #7 Toyota TS040 Hybrid of Kazuki Nakajima, Alex Wurz and Stephane Sarrazin took a stunning pole position.
It was a narrow pole position as the #1 Audi of Tom Kristensen, Loic Duval and Lucas Di Grassi finished just 0.005 seconds behind while the #14 Porsche 919 Hybrid took an impressive third place on its debut qualifying performance.
Joining Porsche on the second row of the gris is the #2 Audi of Benoit Treluyer, Andre Lotter and Marcel Fassler, ahead of the #8 Toyota and #6 Porsche.
Rebellion Racing put in an impressive performance in their Lola B12/60 – Toyotas as they finished the session within 1.5 seconds of the pole-sitting Toyota.
LMP2 saw top honours fall to the G-Drive Racing #26 Morgan – Nissan ahead of the #47 KCMG car which was 0.283 seconds behind. The other two cars of the depleted LMP2 grid, the SMP Racing Oreca – Nissans struggled throughout the session and would finish more than two seconds behind the class pole sitting Morgan.
Both GTE-Pro and GTE-Am classes were dominated by the AF Corse Ferrari’s with Toni Vilander and Gianamaria Bruni taking top honours ahead of the #91 Porsche Team Manthey 911 RSR of Patrick Pilet and Nick Tandy by 0.255 seconds.
The #92 Porsche and the #71 AF Corse entry make up the second row of the Pro grid while a struggling Aston Martin Racing team could only manage fifth in class with a time which was slower than the leading GTE-Am car.
The RAM Racing Ferrari makes up the third row of the GTE-Pro grid while Craft-Bamboo Racing finished in a disappointing seventh place on their debut.
Michele Rugolo and Marco Cioci lead the way in the GTE-Am class with a time of 1:59.932, nearly one-second clear of the rest of the field. The #98 Aston Martin joins the Ferrari on the front row of the class followed by the #61 AF Corse Ferrari.
The only incident of the session saw the #53 Ram Racing Ferrari of Ben Collins spin on his out lap, before going on to qualify seventh in class.