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Toyota 1-2 in Qualifying; Rebellion, Ginetta Close in

Toyota Gazoo Racing goes 1-2 in WEC qualifying; non-hybrids close the gap…

Photo: James Moy/Toyota

Toyota Gazoo Racing will start Sunday’s 4 Hours of Silverstone from first and second after dominating qualifying, although Rebellion Racing did show improved pace, closing the gap.

Mike Conway and Kamui Kobayashi combined for an average qualifying time of 1:36.015 in the No. 7 Toyota TS050 Hybrid that they share with Jose Maria Lopez.

This put the lead car 0.300 seconds clear of the No. 8 Toyota, driven by Sebastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and new recruit Brendon Hartley. 

Despite Toyota’s sweep of the front row, Rebellion Racing has managed to close the gap to the hybrid cars, with its best car just 0.545 seconds off the pace.

That was the qualifying performance from Gustavo Menezes and Bruno Senna in the No. 1 Rebellion R13 Gibson, while the sister car ran five-tenths slower; still just one second away from Toyota’s pole time.

Team LNT’s best performing car, the No. 6 Ginetta G60-LT-P1 AER, has closed the gap to 1.2 seconds behind Toyota, having improved its pace significantly over the course of the weekend.

Racing Team Nederland put its Oreca 07 Gibson on LMP2 pole after a stellar performance from Giedo van der Garde and Job van Uitert, who managed to qualifying seven-tenths quicker than United Autosports.

Van der Garde and van Uitert will share the TDS Racing-run Oreca with Frits van Eerd on Sunday.

Jackie Chan DC Racing was the highest-placed Goodyear-shod car, meanwhile. The only non-Oreca chassis in the field – Cetilar Racing’s Dallara P217 Gibson – will start from the back of the eight-car class.

AF Corse Locks Out GTE-Pro Front Row

AF Corse put both of its Ferrari 488 GTE Evos on the front row in GTE-Pro, with Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado going quickest in the GTE session.

The pair set an average qualifying time of 1:54.171, including a best time of 1:54.019 for Pier Guidi, driving AF Corse’s No. 51 car.

Miguel Molina and Davide Rigon will start second in class, having qualified 0.131 seconds down on their teammates.

Aston Martin Racing was the best of the race, with its No. 97 car driven by Alex Lynn and Maxime Martin qualifying third, ahead of Richard Lietz and Gianmaria Bruni’s Porsche 911 RSR.

Bruni had a peculiar incident midway through the session, which began with a spin at Abbey before he appeared to lose parts of his bodywork on the Hangar Straight.

He brought the car into the pits and a red flag was called to collect debris for eight minutes. The Porsche was mainly missing bodywork from the front-left corner and its wing mirror.

TF Sport took GTE-Am honors with its No. 90 Aston Martin Vantage GTE, which was qualified by Salih Yoluc and Charlie Eastwood.

They will start ahead of Team Project 1’s No. 56 Porsche, although the No. 57 car shared by Ben Keating,  Felipe Fraga and Jeroen Bleekemolen didn’t go out at all after issues during Free Practice 3.

Aston Martin Racing’s works-entered car will start third, with the No. 83 AF Corse car the class’ best-placed Ferrari.

The 4 Hours of Silverstone will get underway at 12 p.m. local time (7 a.m. EDT) on Sunday.

RESULTS: Qualifying 

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist who is Sportscar365's European Editor and also Managing Editor for e-racing365. He is a student of Politics and International Relations. Contact Jake

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