There were few surprises in the final qualifying session of the season as teams geared up for the 8 Hours of Bahrain 2021
The #7 Toyota GR010 Hybrid will start Saturday’s eight hour race from pole. Japanese driver Kamui Kobayashi posted a session-fastest 1:46.250, around eight tenths faster than the previous week’s qualifying at the same circuit.
Alast-gasp effort by Brendon Hartley in the #8 Toyota to grab pole came to nothing and the #8 crew will be relying on a DNF in the #7 garage for any chance at title glory.
The battle for LMP2 pole came down to a last-gasp flyer by Felipe Albuquerque. The Portuguese driver snagged the pole position for United Autorsports as the chequered flag flew with a fastest time of 1:49.525. Second fastest was Norman Nato for the #70 Realteam Racing crew.
Of the championship contenders in the class, only the #38 JOTA machine came out of qualifying with any credit. The Gonzalez/Da Costa/Davidson car will start the race from third on the grid. Championship leaders Team WRT could only managed seventh fastest, wheras the #28 JOTA crew were ninth fastest.
Porsche ahead of Ferrari with title on the line
Porsche were once again fastest in GTE Pro, despite a slight BoP adjustment in favour of the AF Corse Ferrari squad. The #92 car of Estre, Jani and Christensen posted the fastest time of the session, a 1:56.041. Once again it was Kévin Estre behind the wheel, as the Frenchman notched his fifth pole in six races this year.
Second fastest were Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado in the #52 Ferrari, just 0.160 seconds further behind. Third fastest was the second works Porsche, with the #51 Ferrari finishing the session fourth-quickest.
With one point awarded for pole position, Estre/Jani and Calado/Pier Guidi are now level on points going into the final race of the season.
In GTE Am, Roberto Lacorte posted the fastest time of the session to bag Cetilar Racing’s first pole position of the season. The Italian was just four one-hundredths of a second quicker than Francois Perrodo in the championship-leading #83 Ferrari
All of the lap times from the LMH and LMP2 qualifying session are available here. The results from GTE Pro and GTE Am are available here. The season finale in Bahrain kicks off at midday Central European Time and will be run over eight hours. Find out when and how to watch in our handy overview.
Image © WEC-Magazin (Walter Schruff / Ton Kerdijk)