The No. 7 Toyota TS050 Hybrid has lost its pole position for tomorrow’s Total Six Hours of Spa for a fuel flow meter infraction, handing the top spot to the sister, Fernando Alonso co-driven entry.
The Kamui Kobyashi and Mike Conway-qualified Toyota was found to have been in violation of Article 6.1.4 of the FIA World Endurance Championship sporting regulations, due to an incorrect declaration of fuel flow meter.
Per the stewards’ decision, it will result in the car starting the race from the pit lane and will not be allowed to join the field until the entire field completes the first lap.
Toyota has taken full responsibility for the “administrative error.”
“An incorrect identification number for the car’s fuel flow meter was declared for the No. 7 prior to qualifying,” a statement from Toyota read.
“This subsequently emerged during post-qualifying scrutineering. As a result, the car will start from the pit lane, one lap behind the field.
“The team accepts full responsibility for the error, which had no impact whatsoever on car performance. The fuel flow meter which was used in the No. 7 was fully homologated and calibrated.
“Team processes and procedures will be strengthened immediately to avoid any repeat of this unfortunate error.”
The penalty comes as a bitter blow to the Japanese manufacturer, which had topped the time sheets in three of the four timed sessions to date and initially locked out the front row in dominant fashion.
It promotes the No. 8 Toyota, co-driven by Alonso, Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima to the top qualifying position and will lead the field to the green tomorrow.
The Total Six Hours of Spa gets underway Saturday at 1:30 p.m. local time.