Below are the main headlines from today’s qualifying session in Bahrain, the final round of this year’s FIA WEC.
Hypercar: Pole – Brendon Hartley, No.8 Toyota GR010
· Brendon Hartley in No.8 Toyota GR010 Hybrid claims pole position to extend points lead over sister Toyota crew to 16 points going in to tomorrow’s crucial final round.
· Hartley’s best lap is set at a 1m46.564s and is 0.4s quicker than nearest challenger.
· No.7 Toyota Gazoo Racing driven by Kamui Kobayashi makes it an all-Toyota front-row ahead of tense intra-Toyota title battle.
· No.2 Cadillac Racing V-Series.R Hypercar of Alex Lynn places third after lapping in 1m47.265s.
· Fourth is the No.6 Porsche Penske 963 Hypercar qualified by Kevin Estre.
· Ferrari AF Corse take fifth and sixth as the No. 50 (Antonio Fuoco) 499P heads the No.51 (Alessandro Pier Guidi) at the wheel of the Ferrari 499P Hypercar.
· Rest of Hypercar grid is completed by: No.5 Porsche Penske, Proton Competition Porsche, Hertz Team Jota, No.93 Peugeot TotalEnergies, No.94 Peugeot TotalEnergies and Floyd Vanwall Hypercar.
LMP2: Pole – Tom Blomqvist No.22 United Autosports
· Tom Blomqvist in No.23 United Autosports entry scorches to incredible 1m52.290 on second flying lap of his qualifying run
· Blomqvist takes his second pole of the season after notching up his first at Spa-Francorchamps
· Joining the No.23 on the front-row of the LMP2 grid is No.36 Alpine ELF Team Oreca-Gibson driven by Charles Milesi
· Milesi gets to within 0.2s of pole in best qualifying session for ‘Les Bleues’ in 2023
· A late lap by Robin Frijns ensures that No.31 Team WRT starts third
· Rest of the top six in LMP2 sees Gaby Aubry in fourth for Vector Sport, fifth for Filipe Albuquerque in No.22 United Autosports car and No.9 Prema Oreca-Gibson driven by Bent Viscaal
· The No.41 Team WRT car of Robert Kubica, Louis Deletraz and Rui Andrade, which has a 33 points advantage in standings will start from 10th in class
LMGTE Am: Pole – No.85 Iron Dames Porsche
· Iron Dames take third pole position of the 2023 WEC season as Sarah Bovy crushes opposition with a best time of 1m58.692s best
· Bovy reprises 2022 heroics to get a pole double in pink Porsche 911 RSR-19 as she and team mates Michelle Gatting and Rahel Frey aim for runners-up place in the final standings.
· Bovy goes for an even quicker time on next lap but suffers spin without damage.
· D’Station Aston Martin places second in thrilling end to session as WEC newcomer Liam Talbot, who is replacing Satoshi Hoshino for this race, gets to within 0.2s of Bovy’s best.
· Ahmed Al Harthy makes it two Aston Martins in the top three as he takes the ORT by TF Sport machine to a peak of 1m59.161s.
· The top six in LMGTE Am is completed by No.57 Kessel Racing (Takeshi Kimura), No.33 Corvette Racing (Ben Keating) and No.98 Northwest AMR/Heart of Racing (Ian James) entries.