Porsche will start its final race in LMP1 from pole position after a late improvement from Nick Tandy saw him top FIA World Endurance Championship qualifying for the Six Hours of Bahrain on Friday evening.
The German manufacturer opted to complete runs with both its cars early in qualifying, with Tandy and Brendon Hartley both managing scruffy first efforts in their Porsche 919 Hybrids.
This allowed Toyota to move to the top of the timesheets after completing its first runs courtesy of Mike Conway in the No. 7 Toyota TS050 Hybrid, going six-tenths of a second faster than Hartley.
Toyota remained on pole after the second runs were completed despite a slower lap from Jose Maria Lopez, with the No. 8 Toyota sitting P4 behind the Porsches after improvements from Neel Jani and Timo Bernhard drew both cars to close at the front.
By virtue of heading out early, Porsche was able to squeeze in a third run with Tandy in the No. 1 car before the checkered flag, with the six-tenths of a second he found proving enough to deliver pole on the 919 Hybrid’s final appearance.
Lopez and Conway were left to settle for second ahead of the No. 2 Porsche, while the No. 8 Toyota finished over a second off the pace after a difficult second run for Anthony Davidson.
It marked the third pole of the season for the the No. 1 Porsche, which Tandy and Jani will share with Andre Lotterer in tomorrow’s season finale.
Signatech Alpine secured pole position in LMP2 courtesy of Gustavo Menezes and Andre Negrao, lapping three-tenths of a second faster than the rest of the field in the No. 36 Alpine A470 Gibson.
Thomas Laurent was able to lift the title-fighting No. 38 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca 07 Gibson onto the front row in class after a late lap, edging out chief championship rivals Julien Canal and Bruno Senna in the No. 31 Vaillante Rebellion Oreca by just one-tenth of a second to leave them third.
The Six Hours of Bahrain is set to get underway Saturday at 4 p.m. local time.