Toyota Gazoo Racing secured pole position for the first of two season-closing races at the Bahrain International Circuit. The Japanese manufacturer will begin Saturday’s six-hour race from first and second on the grid.
Brendon Hartley was the man to post the fastest time in the frenetic ten-minute qualifying session on Friday afternoon. The Kiwi recorded a session-fastest of 1:47.049 in the #8 Toyota GR010 Hybrid. Hartley was almost four tenths faster than the best lap produced by the #7 crew.
Third in the LMH class was the #36 Alpine, around one second behind the pole car. Glickenhaus, the third manufacturer in the top class of this season’s World Endurance Championship, opted not to travel to the season finale in the Gulf.
The closest battle for pole across the four classes came in LMP2. Tom Blomqvist’s flyer of 1:49.932 handed provisional pole to JOTA early in the session. As the chequered flag waved, the only driver with a chance of bettering the #28’s time was Felipe Albuquerque in the United Autosports USA machine. However, the Portuguese fell just a couple of hundredths short.
In GTE Pro, qualifying specialist Kévin Estre secured yet another pole position for the Porsche GT Team with a time of 1:56.144. The Frenchman edged Gianmaria Bruni in the sister car to record the #92 911 RSR’s fourth pole out of five so far this season.
Pole position in GTE Am went the way of Iron Lynx after an impressive performance from WEC debutant Rino Mastronadi in the #60 Ferrari. Paul Dalla Lana was second fastest in his Aston Martin, with Egidio Perfetti making it three manufacturers in the top three in his Porsche.
The 6 Hours of Bahrain starts on Satuday 30th October at midday local time (10am European time / 9am UK time). All of the TV and live stream information can be found here.
Images © WEC-Magazin (Walter Schruff / Ton Kerdijk)