Toyota Gazoo Racing has claimed its first pole position in more than two years, with the Japanese manufacturer sweeping the front row for Sunday’s FIA World Endurance Championship season-opening Six Hours of Silverstone.
Mike Conway and Kamui Kobayashi took the No. 7 Toyota TS050 Hybrid to a best two-lap average of 1:37.304, despite Conway losing his best lap due to track limits.
The Englishman recorded a 1:37.816 lap on his second and final flying lap, which was enough to snatch back pole in the closing moments of the 20-minute session.
The pair, who will be joined by LMP1 newcomer Jose-Maria Lopez on Sunday, edged out the sister No. 8 Toyota, qualified by Anthony Davidson and Kazuki Nakajima, by 0.289 seconds, giving Toyota its first front-row sweep since Bahrain 2013.
It marked a dominant qualifying effort for Toyota, running its high-downforce aero kit this weekend, compared to the pair of Porsche 919 Hybrids, which are in its Le Mans-style low-downforce package for the race.
Nick Tandy and Neel Jani, in the defending World Championship-winning Porsche, were more than 1.3 seconds adrift from the pole-sitting Toyota in third, followed by the sister No. 2 car, qualified by Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley in fourth.
Despite switching teams, G-Drive Racing continued where it left off in LMP2, having secured class pole with its new-look operation.
Alex Lynn and Pierre Thiriet combined for a best two-lap average of 1:44.387 in their TDS Racing-run Oreca 07 Gibson, edging out the No. 36 Signatech Alpine Matmut Alpine A470 Ginbson of Nico Lapierre and Matt Rao by 0.046 seconds.
The No. 38 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca was third, with the pair of Vaillante Rebellion entries completing the top-five in class.
Lynn and Thiriet will be joined by newly Gold-rated driver Roman Rusinov tomorrow.
The race gets underway Sunday at 12 p.m. local time (7 a.m. ET) with live coverage on FS1.