Toyota Locks Out Spa Front Row
Toyota Gazoo Racing locked out the front row of the grid for the next to last round of the 2018-19 FIA World Endurance Championship at Spa-Francorchamps.
SMP Racing placed third and fifth as No.17 starts ahead of No.11 sister car
It will be fourth and sixth start for Rebellion Racing as the No.1 car eclipsed the No.3 entry in session that saw light rain showers
No. 67 Ford Grabs Second Spa Pole
Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell drove the #67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT to pole position at Spa today, taking the extra point for pole and setting themselves up for a strong start to tomorrow’s six-hour World Endurance Championship race. This is the second pole position at Spa for the British duo during the WEC Super Season.
Priaulx combined with Harry Tincknell for an average of 2m12.797s to edge out Aston Martin Racing's Maxime Martin and Alex Lynn by just six-hundredths of a second, with early pace-setter BMW being left to settle for third and fourth in class.
“Today’s result is actually a bit of a surprise!” said Ford WEC Team Principal, George Howard-Chappell. “When we saw the time the BMW did we thought we couldn’t match that but the strategy of doing three runs paid off very well and Andy and Harry both did mega laps, delivering a fantastic result for the team. It’s a shame #66 didn’t quite get the perfect lap but I’m really happy with the team’s performance.”
“I’m so pleased with that, I’m shaking!” said Tincknell. “The car felt unbelievable in that session, as if it was running on rails. We’ve had a pretty quick car in the dry all weekend. We tweaked it a bit after each practice session and it still needed a little bit more after the last session this morning and I have to say that Wilks (David Wilcock, Race Engineer) and the engineering team hit the nail right on the head.
A late improvement from Salih Yoluc in the #90 Aston Martin Vantage gave TF Sport pole in GTE-Am, recovering enough time on a second stint in the car to overhaul the #88 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR that had sat on provisional pole.
Wintry weather is forecast at Spa overnight, which could make for an interesting race day for the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps
Kamui Kobayashi (TS050 HYBRID #7): “I am very happy to be on pole again. We knew that during my lap there was a high chance of some rain but we had to take the chance when the track was dry. Unfortunately there were a few rain drops just at the end of my lap, in the last corner, so it wasn’t perfect. But it was enough and Mike did a great job. Thanks to him and the team.”
Sebastien Buemi (TS050 HYBRID #8): “Car #7 did a good job so congratulations to them; they did very well and it’s nice for the team to be one-two on the grid. We are expecting the weather to be completely different tomorrow. We had a taste of this in second practice on Thursday so we are reviewing all the data from that session to prepare ourselves as well as possible; our focus is on the race.”
Kazuki Nakajima (TS050 HYBRID #8): “Considering the showers this afternoon, we were fortunate that we could do our laps pretty much on a dry track. It seemed a little bit harder for our car to set a good qualifying time compared to the sister car but for the team a one-two is the perfect result. We expect challenging weather for the race; we need to make sure we finish and grab as many points as possible.”
1. #7 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050 Hybrid (Conway/Kobayashi/Lopez) 1m53.683s
1. #67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Team UK Ford GT (Priaulx/Tincknell) 2m12.797s
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