Bahrain WEC: Conway, Lopez put #7 Toyota on pole for decider

Gary Watkins
·6-min read

The qualifying drivers of the #7 Toyota TS050 Hybrid ended up more than seven tenths clear of Brendon Hartley and Kazuki Nakajima in the two-car battle for the overall pole for Saturday's eight-hour race. 

Conway lapped in 1m40.114s to better Hartley's 1m41.252s by more than a second on the first runs. Nakajima's 1m41.744s was only four tenths down on the 1m41.381s from Lopez on the second runs. 

That meant the pole-winning #7 Toyota ended up with a 1m40.747s average compared with the #8 car's 1m41.498s. 

The gap between the two cars is more than the 0.54s worth of performance handicaps carried by the #8 car under the LMP1 success handicap system for this event.. 

United Autosports grabbed LMP2 pole right at the end of the prototype session. 

Paul di Resta was quickest after the first runs in the team's Oreca 07 with a 1m46.768s and then Phil Hanson appeared to have done enough for United to claim a fourth pole of the season with 1m47.356s. But Hanson's time was deleted for a track limits violation, which meant he had to go for another lap. 

He then posted a 1m48.112s, which was enough to give United the pole by nearly eight tenths over the Jackie Chan DC Racing Orea qualified by Will Stevens and Gabriel Aubry. 

Stevens had been third after the first runs with a 1m47.537s before silver-rated driver Aubry's best of 1m48.939s moved them up a position. 

The Signatech Alpine Oreca of Pierre Ragues and Thomas Laurent took third in class with an average of 1m48.470s. 

JOTA drivers Antonio Felix da Costa and Roberto Gonzalez took fourth ahead of the Racing Team Nederland Oreca in which Nyck de Vries had been second after the first runs. 

GTE: Porsche on pole after lap reinstated

Points leaders Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorensen initially appeared to bag a last-gasp class pole for Aston Martin ahead of Porsche, before Kevin Estre and Michael Christensen were awarded the top spot after the session when a deleted lap was reinstated.

Sorensen found just over two tenths on his second lap aboard the #95 Aston Martin Vantage GTE to leapfrog the #92 Porsche 911 RSR-19 shared by Estre and Christensen.

Christensen topped the times after the first run with a 1m56.405s, which put him a more than two tenths up on the 1m56.675s set by Thiim. 

Sorensen's 1m56.614s just edged out Estre's 1m56.774s, but the Aston driver went for a second lap and improved to a 1m56.367s. That gave the Aston Martin duo a 1m56.521s average, just six hundredths up on Christensen and Estre's 1m56.589s.

But after the session ended, officials gave Christensen a lap back that he had previously lost due to track limits. The Dane had been denied a time of 1m56.236s on his second flying lap. That put the Porsche 0.016s ahead of the Aston Martin on the lap average, with 1m56.505s.

James Calado and Daniel Serra took third place for Ferrari. Calado was fourth after the first runs about the best of the AF Corse-run Ferrari 488 GTE Evos behind Porsche driver Gianmaria Bruni, but Serra went a second faster than Richard Lietz to move up a position. 

Calado and Serra ended up with a 1m56.706s average, which compared with Bruni and Lietz's 1m57.124s. 

The second Ferrari shared by Miguel Molina and Davide Rigon ended up fifth ahead of the Aston driven by Maxime Martin and Richard Westbrook. 

GTE Am honours went to the factory-run Aston qualified by Ross Gunn and Paul Dalla Lana with a 1m58.356s average.

Gunn topped the class leaderboard after the first runs, while Dalla Lana cemented the top spot. Second went to the TF Sport Aston driven by Jonny Adam and Salih Yoluc, while Kei Cozzolino and Bon Grimes were third in the AF-run Red River Ferrari. 

Bahrain WEC - Qualifying results:

1

7

United Kingdom
United Kingdom

Mike Conway
Kamui Kobayashi
Jose Maria Lopez

Japan
Japan
Argentina
Argentina

Toyota TS050 Hybrid

LMP1

1'40.747

2

8

Switzerland
Switzerland

Sébastien Buemi
Kazuki Nakajima
Brendon Hartley

Japan
Japan
New Zealand
New Zealand

Toyota TS050 Hybrid

LMP1

1'41.498

0.751

3

22

United Kingdom
United Kingdom

Philip Hanson
Filipe Albuquerque
Paul di Resta

Portugal
Portugal
United Kingdom
United Kingdom

Oreca 07

LMP2

1'47.060

6.313

4

37

China
China

Ho-Pin Tung
Gabriel Aubry
Will Stevens

France
France
United Kingdom
United Kingdom

Oreca 07

LMP2

1'48.238

7.491

5

36

France
France

Thomas Laurent
Andre Negrao
Pierre Ragues

Brazil
Brazil
France
France

Alpine A470

LMP2

1'48.470

7.723

6

38

Mexico
Mexico

Roberto Gonzalez
Antonio Felix da Costa
Anthony Davidson

Portugal
Portugal
United Kingdom
United Kingdom

Oreca 07

LMP2

1'48.901

8.154

7

29

Netherlands
Netherlands

Frits van Eerd
Giedo van der Garde
Nyck de Vries

Netherlands
Netherlands
Netherlands
Netherlands

Oreca 07

LMP2

1'50.339

9.592

8

47

Italy
Italy

Roberto Lacorte
Andrea Belicchi
Giorgio Sernagiotto

Italy
Italy
Italy
Italy

Dallara P217

LMP2

1'51.079

10.332

9

92

Denmark
Denmark

Michael Christensen
Kevin Estre

France
France

Porsche 911 RSR - 19

LMGTE PRO

1'56.505

15.758

10

95

Denmark
Denmark

Marco Sorensen
Nicki Thiim

Denmark
Denmark

Aston Martin Vantage AMR

LMGTE PRO

1'56.521

15.774

11

51

United Kingdom
United Kingdom

James Calado
Daniel Serra

Brazil
Brazil

Ferrari 488 GTE EVO

LMGTE PRO

1'56.706

15.959

12

91

Italy
Italy

Gianmaria Bruni
Richard Lietz

Austria
Austria

Porsche 911 RSR - 19

LMGTE PRO

1'57.124

16.377

13

71

Italy
Italy

Davide Rigon
Miguel Molina

Spain
Spain

Ferrari 488 GTE EVO

LMGTE PRO

1'57.217

16.470

14

97

United Kingdom
United Kingdom

Richard Westbrook
Maxime Martin

Belgium
Belgium

Aston Martin Vantage AMR

LMGTE PRO

1'57.376

16.629

15

98

Canada
Canada

Paul Dalla Lana
Pedro Lamy
Ross Gunn

Portugal
Portugal
United Kingdom
United Kingdom

Aston Martin Vantage AMR

LMGTE AM

1'58.356

17.609

16

90

Turkey
Turkey

Salih Yoluc
Charles Eastwood
Jonathan Adam

Ireland
Ireland
United Kingdom
United Kingdom

Aston Martin Vantage AMR

LMGTE AM

1'58.799

18.052

17

62

United Kingdom
United Kingdom

Bonamy Grimes
Kei Cozzolino
Colin Noble Jr.

Japan
Japan
United Kingdom
United Kingdom

Ferrari 488 GTE EVO

LMGTE AM

1'58.868

18.121

18

56

Norway
Norway

Egidio Perfetti
Larry ten Voorde
Jörg Bergmeister

Netherlands
Netherlands
Germany
Germany

Porsche 911 RSR

LMGTE AM

1'58.896

18.149

19

54

Switzerland
Switzerland

Thomas Flohr
Francesco Castellacci
Giancarlo Fisichella

Italy
Italy
Italy
Italy

Ferrari 488 GTE EVO

LMGTE AM

1'58.960

18.213

20

57

United States
United States

Ben Keating
Dylan Pereira
Jeroen Bleekemolen

Netherlands
Netherlands

Porsche 911 RSR

LMGTE AM

1'59.039

18.292

21

83

France
France

François Perrodo
Emmanuel Collard
Nicklas Nielsen

France
France
Denmark
Denmark

Ferrari 488 GTE EVO

LMGTE AM

1'59.349

18.602

22

88

United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates

Khaled Al Qubaisi
Jaxon Evans
Marco Holzer

Porsche 911 RSR

LMGTE AM

1'59.424

18.677

23

86

United Kingdom
United Kingdom

Michael Wainwright
Alessio Picariello
Benjamin Barker

Belgium
Belgium
United Kingdom
United Kingdom

Porsche 911 RSR

LMGTE AM

1'59.553

18.806

24

77

Germany
Germany

Christian Ried
Riccardo Pera
Dennis Olsen

Italy
Italy
Norway
Norway

Porsche 911 RSR

LMGTE AM

1'59.665

18.918

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