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Hartley Puts No. 8 Toyota into Points Lead With Bahrain Pole

Brendon Hartley beats Paul Di Resta to pole for season-ending 8 Hours of Bahrain…

Photo: James Moy/Toyota

Brendon Hartley secured pole position for the 8 Hours of Bahrain, with Peugeot’s Paul Di Resta completing the front row for the FIA World Endurance Championship season finale.

Hartley set a best time of 1:46.800 aboard the No. 8 Toyota GR010 Hybrid, beating Di Resta’s quickest effort by 0.810 seconds and earning an extra point to move into the Hypercar championship lead with his co-drivers Ryo Hirakawa and Sebastien Buemi.

The No. 93 Peugeot 9X8 had initially captured provisional pole position, but was dropped down to second by Hartley.

Di Resta remained ahead of the second Toyota driven by Mike Conway, with the No. 94 Peugeot of Gustavo Menezes qualifying fourth.

The class was rounded out by the No. 36 Alpine A480 Gibson in the hands of Matthieu Vaxiviere, who lacked a second-and-a-half off pole despite a late flying lap.

In LMP2, a fastest lap in the dying seconds decided things in favor of Norman Nato. The Frenchman squeezed into pole with a best lap of 1:50.330 in the No. 41 Realteam by WRT Oreca 07 Gibson.

It was enough to deny the No. 38 JOTA Oreca of Will Stevens by a margin of 0.137 seconds, with Filipe Albuquerque third for United Autosports.

The Portuguese driver briefly held provisional pole himself before having his quickest lap deleted for track limits, which dropped him back to second before Nato’s effort left him third.

Alessio Rovera took fourth in class and secured the LMP2 Pro-Am pole in the process, ahead of ARC Bratislava’s Mathias Beche and the second United Autosports car piloted by Alex Lynn.

Bruni Takes Final GTE-Pro Pole

Gianmaria Bruni took the final pole position in the GTE-Pro era in a session that saw championship leader Alessandro Pier Guidi spin on his final lap.

Bruni reeled off a best lap of 1:56.143 in the No. 91 Porsche 911 RSR-19, 0.276 seconds clear of the No. 52 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE Evo.

While the two Italian drivers locked out the front row, the two main protagonists in the GTE-Pro title battle put themselves on the second row.

Michael Christensen took third in the No. 92 Porsche. The Dane initially looked en route to join Bruni, but had his final lap deleted for track limits.

Christensen saw his final lap compromised by coming through Turn 13 mere moments after Pier Guidi spun the No. 51 Ferrari at the same turn, which left both drivers unable to improve and third and fourth as a result.

Nick Tandy rounded out the class driving the No. 64 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R, over a second away from Bruni.

In GTE-Am, the Iron Dames added to its strong year with Sarah Bovy beating Ben Keating to class pole.

Bovy posted a 1:59.186 in the No. 83 Ferrari, half a second clear of the Texan’s No. 33 TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage GTE.

Christian Ried rounded out the top three aboard the No. 77 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche, ahead of Team Project 1’s Niki Leutwiler and AF Corse’s Thomas Flohr.

The 8 Hours of Bahrain gets underway Saturday at 2 p.m. local time (6 a.m. ET).

RESULTS: Qualifying

Davey Euwema is Sportscar365's European Editor. Based in The Netherlands, Euwema covers the FIA World Endurance Championship, European Le Mans Series and Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS, among other series.

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