The qualifying to Bapco 8 Hours of Bahrain was run after twilight at Sakhir.
It was the second week in a row in the desert, with yet another full program for the weekend.
Thirteen GTE Am and four GTE Pro cars opened the session.
As always, the Bronze-rated drivers had to qualify the cars in GTE Am, and they were quickly out on the track, to get as many laps as possible.
Christian Ried had a spin on his first flying lap, but he could carry on in the Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche #77 without hitting anything or anyone.
Iron Lynx Ferrari #85 was the first car to set a fast time, as the other Am competitors tried to beat the time.
Porsche #92 was the fastest in GTE Pro, but they lost their first lap time due to Track Limits. Their second lap, however, was okay.
Cetilar Racing Ferrari #47 was the new fastest car in GTE Am, but the time got beaten by AF Corse Ferrari #83. Iron Lynx Ferrari #85 improved their time, while Team Project 1 Porsche #56 also came into the mix.
After ten minutes of intense qualifying, Porsche #92 with Kevin Estre (plus Neel Jani and Michael Christensen) was the fastest car in GTE Pro, ahead of AF Corse Ferrari #51 with James Calado (and Alessandro Pier Guidi) and Porsche #91 with Gianmaria Bruni (plus Frederic Makowiecki and Richard Lietz), while AF Corse Ferrari #52 with Daniel Serra (and Miguel Molina) will start from P4.
Cetilar Racing #47 with Roberto Lacorte (plus Giorgio Sernagiotto and Antonio Fuoco) took Pole Position in GTE Am, followed by AF Corse Ferrari #83 with Francois Perrodo (plus Nicklas Nielsen and Alessio Rovera), and Iron Lynx Ferrari #85 with Sarah Bovy (plus Rahel Frey and Katherine Legge).
After that, it was time for the three Hypercars and eleven LMP2 for their ten-minute qualifying.
Toyota Gazoo Racing was quick to come out to the track, while Alpine Elf Matmut #36 waited a bit longer. The LMP2 teams had a bit different strategies. Some came out right away, while some teams like Team WRT #31 and DragonSpeed USA #21 waited for a bit longer.
Toyota Gazoo Racing #7 was the first Hypercar to set the fastest time, while Realteam Racing #70 was the fastest LMP2 car after everyone had run at least one lap.
Both Team WRT #31 and Toyota Gazoo Racing #8 outbraked themselves, unrelated to each other, in the difficult braking to Turn 10 down the hill.
JOTA #38 was close, but it wasn’t enough to take P1.
So Toyota Gazoo Racing #7 with Kamui Kobayashi (plus Jose Maria Lopez and Mike Conway) took Pole Position, ahead of #8 with Brendon Hartley (as well as Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima), while Alpine Elf Matmut #36 with Matthieu Vaxiviere (plus Nicolas Lapierre and Andre Negrao) was in P3.
United Autosports #22 with Filipe Albuquerque (plus Phil Hanson and Fabio Scherer) snatched LMP2 Pole at the very last second, ahead of Realteam Racing #70 with Norman Nato (plus Esteban Garcia and Loic Duval), who at the same time also took LMP2 Pro/Am Pole, while JOTA #38 with Antonio Felix da Costa (plus Anthony Davidson and Roberto Gonzalez) qualified third.
Afterwards, the stewards went to check Track Limits violations, which can possibly change the results in the coming hours.
Now the teams have under twenty hours of preparation, before the race on Saturday at 12 o’clock CET. The entire race will be broadcasted on FIAWEC.com.