Toyota on pole with late flyer at Silverstone
Kazuki Nakajima has produced a stunning lap to give the Toyota TS040 Hybrid pole position for the opening FIA WEC round – the Silverstone 6 Hour.
In what is shaping as an intense battle between the top three LMP1 marques, Toyota grabbed the early bragging rights with a four-lap average of 1:42.774s.
“I am really happy to be on pole position for the first race of the season,” Nakajima said.
“The lap times were very close and I needed to push hard on my last lap to get the lap time. I already had six or seven laps on the tyres.”
The time is taken from Nakajima’s best two laps and the quickest two from his team-mate Alex Wurz as each squad is required to nominate two drivers to perform their qualifying duties.
Tom Kristensen and Loic Duval guided the #1 Audi R18 e-tron quattro to second with a 1:42.779s average while the #14 Porsche 919 Hybrid of Neel Jani and Roman Dumas was third fastest with a 1:43.087s four-lap average across its two qualifying pilots.
The second Audi at the hands of Benoit Treluyer and Andre Lotter was fourth ahead of the #8 Toyota of Anthony Davidson and Nicolas Lapierre.
Mark Webber and Timo Bernhard were sixth fastest in the heavily fancied #20 Porsche after Webber steamed to the best time of the weekend in the third and final practice session.
“We might have left a bit of performance out there, but the team did a very good job,” said Webber.
“A possible wet race would give us an extra challenge on the operational side as well as on track. Despite the temporary four-wheel drive, any race car on the limit in the wet needs the maximum respect.”
In the LMP2 class, Olivier Pla and Roman Rusinov were fastest in the #26 G-Drive Racing Morgan-Nissan.
See below for full Silverstone 6 Hour qualifying results