It was a more dramatic FIA World Endurance Championship qualifying than usual, ahead of the 6-hour race at Fuji.
Aston Martin Racing #95 with Nicki Thiim and Marco Sørensen took Pole Position in GTE Pro, followed by BMW Team MTEK #82 with Tom Blomqvist and Antonio Felix da Costa, and Aston Martin Racing #97 with Alex Lynn and Maxime Martin in third. The championship leader Porsche #92 with Michael Christensen and Kevin Estre had a really bad qualifying, since they were the slowest in the class – two places behind their sister car #91. So, it looks like a difficult race is waiting for Porsche tomorrow.
This Pole Position is the first one for Aston Martin and their new Vantage. It took some time for them to catch up with the others in terms of speed, but now they and the BMW M8 GTE on P2 have gotten a little BOP help, as well as much more development, and now they are where they’re supposed to be.
In GTE Am class, Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche #88 with Matteo Cairoli, Giorgio Roda jr and Satoshi Hoshino claimed Pole Position, ahead of Aston Martin Racing #98 and Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche #77. There was only 0,188 second separating the three cars, so the competition in this class should be exciting tomorrow. #77 currently leads the championship.
DragonSpeed #31 with Roberto Gonzalez, Pastor Maldonado and Anthony Davidson took Pole in LMP2, ahead of both Jackie Chan DC Racing cars #37 and #38. The championship leader Signatech Alpine Matmut #36 will start the race from P4.
And now onto the real drama. Toyota Gazoo Racing #8 was the fastest car on the track, with the average laptime from the two drivers. However, their best time was deleted, which gave the Pole Position to their teammates in #7. But then Jose Maria Lopez drove too fast on the pitlane, which meant that he lost all the laptimes – and thus the car will start dead last in LMP1 class tomorrow! Suddenly, #8 is back on Pole Position with Fernando Alonso, Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima, in front of Rebellion Racing #1 and #3 respectively.
The race will start at 4:00 AM CET, Sunday Morning.