Qualifying for the opening round of the FIA World Endurance Championship at Silverstone couldn’t have gone any better for Toyota Racing as they dominated the timesheets to fill the front row for tomorrows 6 hour race.
The #7 TS030 Hybrid of Alex Wurz and Nicolas Lappiere took pole position in a session which followed suite for the weekend so far with the unpredictable weather conditions making it hard to decide on tyre choice.
With the new qualifying format dictating two drivers from each car must set a minimum of two flying laps each before an average is taken from the drivers two fastest laps things were up in the air for most of the session which also saw an timing problem, prolonging the results even further.
“It was a new qualifying format but today it was totally overshadowed by the weather conditions. With a rain shower at the beginning and a drying track at the end it was quite tricky” commented Wurz.
“Nico did a super job in the first stint. I took over the car with slick tyres and the circuit was dry enough to put in a good lap time. So we are very happy; we have pole position and that’s what we like.”
Lapierre added “The car is looking good. It will be a tough race but it’s so important for us to start first and second on the grid so we are very happy right now.”
The sister #8 car started the session with Anthony Davidson setting the pace on intermediate tyres before handing over to Sebastien Buemi who continued to secure second place which third driver Stephane Sarrazin watched on from the garages.
“It was a difficult qualifying session with mixed conditions, but it was good fun” said Davidson.
“It was the right call to start on the intermediates; I felt really confident and was pushing as hard as I wanted. When we swapped drivers we continued on the inters whereas the #7 went on to slicks and ultimately that was the right thing to do. We played it safe because we had a comfortable advantage and we got the result we needed. First and second is a really good start to the championship.”
Buemi added “At the end of the session the inters were not the ideal tyres for the conditions but we managed first and second, which is the most important thing.”