Toyota Gazoo Racing will start the first round of the 2019/2020 season from pole after a tight WEC qualifying session at Silverstone Circuit. In GTE Pro, Ferrari locked out the front row.
Mike Conway and Kamui Kobayashi were handed driving duties for the #7 TS050 Hybrid and promptly went about setting the quickest average lap time in the 20-minute session. Reigning World Champions Sébastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima – joined by former World Champion Brendon Hartley for this season – will start the first round of the season from second on the grid.
The gap between the works teams and the privateers appears to have been cut somewhat, with Rebellion Racing almost coming within half a second of the factory-entered cars in qualifying. The Swiss-entered team locked out the second row, with the #1 machine the quickest of the two.
The pair of Team LNT Ginettas will start the race from the third row of the grid and were only around 0.5s slower than the Rebellions in their first appearance in their new guise.
Dutchman Giedo van der Garde and Job van Uitert put together an excellent performance to secure pole in LMP2. The Racing Team Nederland Oreca will start the race from pole in class, just ahead of the #22 United Autosports Oreca on its full WEC debut.
Ferrari front-row lock-out in GTE Pro
AF Corse made a perfect start to the season by securing the top two spots in GTE Pro. The #51 of James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi will start the race from first position, ahead of the sister #71 machine of Davide Rigon and Miguel Molina.
Third-fastest was the #97 Aston Martin Racing Vantage, with the #91 Porsche RSR-19 rounding off the first two rows of the grid.
Aston Martin fared somewhat better in GTE Am, with the #90 TF Sport machine taking pole at the British marque’s home race. Close behind in qualifying was the #56 Team Project 1 Porsche, followed by the #98 Aston Martin Racing entry in third.
The race begins at 12:00pm local time and will run for four hours. Visit our race page for a lowdown on all the key information, and visit our Where to Watch the WEC page for details on how to follow the race.
Images © 2021 Marius Hecker/AdrenalMedia.com (FIA WEC press material)