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1 Felipe Nasr 277
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2 Colin Braun 274
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3 Renger Van Der Zande 270
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4 Mazda 300

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Toyota sweeps front row at Fuji

Saturday, October 5, 2019


Polesitters Hartley, Buemi and Nakajima
Polesitters Hartley, Buemi and Nakajima

Toyota Gazoo Racing will start its home race from pole position after taking a clean sweep, despite late drama, in qualifying for the 6 Hours of Fuji, the second round of the 2019-2020 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) season.

Kazuki Nakajima and Brendon Hartley set the pace in the #8 TS050 HYBRID they share with Sebastien Buemi, setting an average time of 1min 25.013secs in front of the team’s home fans.

It will be an all-TOYOTA GAZOO Racing front row after Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez put their World Championship-leading #7 car, which they drive alongside Mike Conway, into second place on the grid, 0.790secs behind. 

Prior to qualifying, the team enjoyed a surprise visit from Toyota Motor Corporation President Akio Toyoda, during which he spent time with the drivers and visited the garage, greeted by team members.

It was not a straightforward qualifying session, with a red flag and a track limits violation combining to force a late dash to the flag for the #7. After Jose had set the second fastest time earlier in the session, Kamui took the fight to the #8 but was judged to have left the track on his single flying lap, so it was deleted.

#8 Toyota on pole
#8 Toyota on pole

At the same time, the #6 Ginetta, which had been the closest threat to the TS050 HYBRIDs, stopped on track, causing a red flag. With just three-and-a-half minutes remaining, Kamui had to complete an out lap and set a fast time on used Michelin tires to earn a front row spot. He navigated the LMP2 traffic and earned second.

The #8 crew enjoyed a smoother qualifying, with Kazuki setting the fastest lap of the session on his first effort, supported by a clean effort from Brendon, who had earlier had to abandon his first attempt due to traffic.

As a result, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing will start from pole position for the ninth consecutive race as it seeks a seventh straight WEC victory. Rebellion #1 will lead the non-hybrid LMP1 challenge from third after qualifying 1.150secs slower.


-    Toyota Gazoo Racing sweep to front row lock-out at home event as No.8 Toyota TS050 driven by Kazuki Nakajima and Brendon Hartley combine to set average of 1:25.013
-    Japan’s Nakajima sets fastest lap of weekend so far on a 1:24.822, with a first pole for Hartley for Toyota
-    No.7 Toyota of Jose Maria Lopez and Kamui Kobayashi start second with average time 0.817s behind pole-sitters
-    No.1 Rebellion Racing entry driven by Norman Nato and Gustavo Menezes place third with average time of 1:26.163
-    No. 6 Team LNT Ginetta car stopped on track in session’s closing stages dashing the British team’s hopes of third place as second driver Charlie Robertson was unable to complete a lap


-    In LMGTE Pro, the No. 91 Porsche 911 RSR-19 takes pole position 
-    Richard Lietz and team-mate Gianmaria Bruni combine to take best average lap time of 1:37.356 – a first pole for the new Porsche 
-    No.51 Ferrari of James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi joins Porsche on front row as the pairing posts a combined time of 1:37.397
-    Third in class is the No.95 Aston Martin Vantage of Marco Sørensen and Nicki Thiim, the latter setting the fastest lap of the GTE qualifying session, making it three manufacturers occupying the top three spots in Qualifying

-    LMP2 sees Jackie Chan DC Racing on pole as Gabriel Aubry and Ho-Pin Tung set an average time of 1:29.302 with Tung taking overall quickest lap of 1:29.175
-    Chinese team 0.415 ahead of rivals United Autosports No. 22 ORECA 07 qualified by Phil Hanson and Filipe Albuquerque
-    No.38 JOTA ORECA will start third making it two cars in the top three using Goodyear’s new WEC tires 

-    The No. 57 Team Project 1 car qualified on pole.  However, following the session it was found that the car was technically not compliant resulting in deletion of all lap times.  The team will now start from the back of the grid
-    Round 1 pole-sitters TF Sport promoted to top spot in LMGTE Am following Jonny Adam’s time of 1:38.821 in the Aston Martin Vantage he shares with Salih Yoluc
-    Joining TF Sport out front is the No. 83 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE Evo as Nicklas Nielsen and Emmanuel Collard clock a time of 1:38.850
-    No. 98 Aston Martin Racing place third


#77 Toyota on outside pole
#77 Toyota on outside pole

Kamui Kobayashi (TS050 HYBRID #7): “It’s great for the team to start our home race from the front of the grid. On our car, we did our best but it was always going to be hard having more success handicap than anyone else. We knew there was no real chance of pole so that wasn’t a surprise. I had the track limits issue on my first lap but it all worked out fine in the end and I’m satisfied with the result.”

Jose Maria Lopez (TS050 HYBRID #7): “We knew it was going to be impossible to match the speed of car #8 due to the success handicap. I was a bit on the safe side with my lap because it made no sense to take any risks. Both of us did decent laps and I’m happy with qualifying, especially because on Friday we were not even sure we could fight for the top three. In the end it’s a very good result for the team to lock out the front row.”

Kazuki Nakajima (TS050 HYBRID #8): “I’m very pleased with pole position. I think I got the maximum out of the car on my lap; it was clean with no mistakes. We were worried about qualifying because we didn’t know what to expect from the non-hybrid LMP1 cars so I’m happy to be on pole. It’s good to start our home race from the front; I hope we stay there throughout the whole six hours.”

Brendon Hartley (TS050 HYBRID #8): “It’s a nice feeling to take my first pole position with TOYOTA GAZOO Racing. Kazuki did an amazing first lap because it’s always hard going out first. I had a lot of traffic in the last sector of my lap so I needed to do another one and that was enough for the pole. It was a surprise that the non-hybrid LMP1 cars were not closer but we are still expecting a close race tomorrow.”

LMP qualifying

1LMP1S.Buemi, K.Nakajima, B.HartleyToyota1m25.013s-
2LMP1M.Conway, K.Kobayashi, J.M.LopezToyota1m25.803s0.790s
3LMP1B.Senna, G.Menezes, N.NatoRebellion/Gibson1m26.163s1.150s
4LMP1L.Ghiotto, B.Hanley, E.OrudzhevGinetta/AER1m26.820s1.807s
5LMP2H-Pin Tung, G.Aubry, W.StevensORECA/Gibson1m29.302s4.289s
6LMP2P.Hanson, F.Albuquerque, O.JarvisORECA/Gibson1m29.787s4.774s
7LMP2R.Gonzalez, A.F.da Costa, A.DavidsonORECA/Gibson1m29.792s4.779s
8LMP2M.Patterson, K.Yamashita, A.FjordbachORECA/Gibson1m30.073s5.060s
9LMP2N.Lapierre, A.Borga, A.CoignyORECA/Gibson1m30.087s5.074s
10LMP2T.Laurent, A.Negrao, P.RaguesAlpine/Gibson1m30.858s5.845s
11LMP2F.van Eerd, G.van der Garde, VriesORECA/Gibson1m30.935s5.922s
12LMP2R.Lacorte, A.Belicchi, G.SernagiottoDallara/Gibson1m31.342s6.329s
13LMP1C.Robertson, M.Simpson, G.SmithGinetta/AER1m25.889s0.876s

GTE qualifying

1GTE ProG.Bruni, R.LietzPorsche1m37.356s-
2GTE ProJ.Calado, A.P.GuidiFerrari1m37.397s0.041s
3GTE ProM.Sorensen, N.ThiimAston Martin1m37.466s0.110s
4GTE ProD.Rigon, M.MolinaFerrari1m37.792s0.436s
5GTE ProA.Lynn, M.MartinAston Martin1m37.820s0.464s
6GTE ProM.Christensen, K.EstrePorsche1m37.935s0.579s
7GTE AmB.Keating, F.Fraga, J.BleekemolenPorsche1m38.733s1.377s
8GTE AmS.Yoluc, C.Eastwood, J.AdamAston Martin1m38.821s1.465s
9GTE AmF.Perrodo, E.Collard, N.NielsenFerrari1m38.850s1.494s
10GTE AmP.D.Lana, D.Turner, R.GunnAston Martin1m38.917s1.561s
11GTE AmE.Perfetti, D.H.Hansson, M.CairoliPorsche1m39.022s1.666s
12GTE AmS.Hoshino, A.De Leener, T.PreiningPorsche1m39.025s1.669s
13GTE AmT.Flohr, F.Castellacci, G.FisichellaFerrari1m39.291s1.935s
14GTE AmC.Ried, R.Pera, M.CampbellPorsche1m39.549s2.193s
15GTE AmM.Wainwright, A.Watson, B.BarkerPorsche1m39.610s2.254s
16GTE AmM.Ishikawa, O.Beretta, K.CozzolinoFerrari1m39.628s2.272s
17GTE AmB.Grimes, J.Mowlem, C.HollingsFerrari1m39.889s2.533s

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