The qualifying to Bapco 6 Hours of Bahrain was run on the afternoon local time.
It started with the 17 GTE cars.
While there was no rule for the GTE Pro cars, it was the bronze-rated drivers who must qualify the GTE Am cars, in the ten-minute session.
The GTE Am teams were quick to get out to the track, while the Pro teams waited a bit longer. Especially AF Corse Ferrari #51 and #52 chose to wait for a long time in the pits.
Iron Lynx Ferrari #60 was the first Am car to set a fast time, but they lost it due to Track Limits. Instead, it was AF Corse Ferrari #54 who went up to take P1 and kept themselves inside the lines.
Porsche #92 was the fastest amongst the Pro cars, 0,034 second ahead of their sister car.
#60 could keep their second lap time, which was a fantastic one from the Italian team.
Even though more teams tried to set faster times, it was Porsche #92 with Kevin Estre (plus Neel Jani) who got Pole Position in GTE Pro, ahead of Gimmi Bruni (and Richard Lietz) in Porsche #91, AF Corse Ferrari #52 with Miguel Molina (and Daniel Serra), and #51 with Alessandro Pier Guidi (and James Calado).
In GTE Am, Iron Lynx Ferrari #60 with Rino Mastronardi (plus Andrea Piccini and Matteo Cressoni) set the fastest time, followed by Paul Dalla Lana (plus Augusto Farfus and Marcos Gomes) in Aston Martin Racing #98, and with Team Project 1 Porsche #56 with Egidio Perfetti (plus Matteo Cairoli and Riccardo Pera) in the third position.
Iron Dames had called Katherine Legge again for the last two race weekends, which meant that Michelle Gatting was only in Bahrain to support Sarah Bovy, Rahel Frey, and Legge. The three women qualified in P11 in GTE Am.
After that, it was time for the three Hypercars and eleven LMP2 cars to do their qualifying session.
Toyota Gazoo Racing was the first two cars to set a fast time – where #8 was nearly 0,4 second faster than #7. Alpine Elf Matmut #36 got stuck behind High Class Racing #20 through the entire lap and thus couldn’t get a good lap time. Toyota gave up after the first flying lap, while Alpine Elf Matmut #36 set a personal best in their second attempt.
JOTA #28 was the fastest car in the LMP2 category, in front of Realteam Racing #70.
Team WRT #41 tried to beat everyone’s time but they got caught for Track Limits.
United Autosports #22 had a fantastic last lap but lost a bit of time in the last sector.
Which meant that JOTA #28 with Tom Blomqvist (plus Sean Gelael and Stoffel Vandoorne) secured the Pole Position in LMP2, ahead of United Autosports #22 with Filipe Albuquerque (plus Phil Hanson and Fabio Scherer), while JOTA #38 with Antonio Felix da Costa (as well as Roberto Gonzalez and Anthony Davidson) qualified in third.
In the LMP2 Pro/Am category, Realteam Racing #70 with Loic Duval (plus Esteban Garcia and Norman Nato) was on Pole.
Toyota Gazoo Racing #8 with Brendon Hartley (plus Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima) took Pole Position in Hypercar, ahead of their sister car #7 with Kamui Kobayashi (plus Jose Maria Lopez and Mike Conway), while Alpine Elf Matmut #36 with Andre Negrao (plus Nicolas Lapierre and Matthieu Vaxiviere) will start the race from P3.
The six-hour race in Bahrain be run tomorrow at 10 o’clock CET, but the preview will already start at 9.30 at FIA WEC tv live streaming.