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Toyota Resists Rebellion to Take 6H Shanghai Pole

Rebellion pushes Toyota in Shanghai qualifying as Japanese manufacturer hangs on to 1-2…

Photo: MPS Agency

Toyota Gazoo Racing locked out the front row of the grid for the Six Hours of Shanghai despite a close challenge from Rebellion Racing.

Mike Conway and Kamui Kobayashi took pole with an average time of 1:42.931 while the FIA World Endurance Championship-leading No. 8 car of Fernando Alonso and Kazuki Nakajima followed 0.228 seconds behind.

Rebellion’s Bruno Senna split the Toyotas in the first driver segment, going quicker than Alonso, but Andre Lotterer lost three tenths to Nakajima in the second set of runs.

That prevented the No. 1 Rebellion R13 Gibson crew from preventing a fifth consecutive 1-2 for the Japanese manufacturer, with Lotterer going six-hundredths of a second shy of splitting the Toyota TS050 Hybrids.

SMP Racing’s No. 17 BR Engineering BR1 AER will start fourth, ahead of the sister Rebellion and the Gibson-powered No. 10 DragonSpeed BR1.

In LMP2, Jackie Chan DC Racing locked out the class front row with its pair of Oreca 07 Gibsons.

The No. 38 car qualified by Ho-Pin Tung and Gabriel Aubry will start from pole, ahead of the Fuji-winning No. 37 machine, while DragonSpeed slots into third with its Oreca.

Ford Snatches GTE-Pro Pole

Stefan Muecke and Olivier Pla gave Ford Chip Ganassi Racing its third pole of the season in a dramatic end to the GTE-Pro qualifying session.

BMW Team MTEK looked set to claim a 1-2 until Muecke came through right at the end to snatch the top spot by 0.023 seconds on average.

The No. 81 BMW M8 GTE of Martin Tomczyk and Nicky Catsburg will start second after running an alternative, while the No. 82 sister car ultimately qualified fifth.

Late improvements from the No. 97 Aston Martin Vantage and the No. 92 Porsche 911 RSR bumped the second BMW down the order after it initially set the second best time.

GTE-Am also saw a late qualifying upset as Pedro Lamy grabbed pole for Aston Martin Racing in the final moments of the session.

Lamy’s last-ditch 2:00.880 put the No. 98 Aston Martin Vantage, which Paul Dalla Lana started, on top of the pile ahead of the No. 88 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR.

The Six Hours of Shanghai gets underway Sunday at 11 a.m. local time.

RESULTS: Qualifying

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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