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Toyota Sweeps Front Row in Bahrain

Alex Wurz, Kaz Nakajima lead Toyota 1-2 in qualifying for 6 Hours of Bahrain…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

Toyota will start Saturday’s Six Hours of Bahrain from the pole after a sweep of the front row in qualifying for the eighth and final round of the FIA World Endurance Championship season.

Alex Wurz and Kaz Nakajima combined to give the No. 7 Toyota TS030 Hybrid its third pole of the season, thanks a four-lap average of 1:42.170 around the 3.363-mile Bahrain International Circuit.

The duo, who will be joined by Nicolas Lapierre tomorrow, edged out the sister No. 8 Toyota of Stephane Sarrazin and Anthony Davidson by 0.332 seconds.

The nearest Audi, the No. 1 entry qualified by Marcel Fassler and Andre Lotterer, was more than a half-second behind in third.

“We played our cards very well in the morning,” Wurz said. “We didn’t show [everything] and then attacked with a really nice, consistent car. It was super good for the three of us… I’m very happy.”

With the drivers, teams and manufacturer’s titles having already all gone to Audi, LMP1 rival Toyota will be looking to end the season on a high note with its second victory of the year.

Still in with a mathematical chance of the LMP2 teams’ title, Pecom Racing scored a crucial bonus point with a pole-winning run for Nic Minassian and Pierre Kaffer, their second of the year.

The duo combined for a 1:50.207 average in the No. 49 Oreca 03 Nissan, which is expected to make its final WEC start on Saturday with team principal Luis Perez Companc.

In order to take home the title, the AF Corse-run squad will need both championship-leading OAK Racing Morgan-Nissans to retire. The pair of French entries qualified third and sixth.

The No. 26 G-Drive Racing by Delta-ADR Oreca Nissan of Mike Conway and John Martin, meanwhile, will line up second in class.

The Six Hours of Bahrain takes the green Saturday at 3 p.m. local (7 a.m. ET).

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

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