Toyota is in pole position for the first round of the 2017 World Endurance Championship.

Mike Conway and Kamui Kobayashi earned pole position with a combined average lap time of 1min 37.304secs in the #7 TS050 HYBRID they share with José María López. That was achieved via the fastest lap ever recorded by an LMP1 car at Silverstone in WEC.

Photo Courtesy of WEC © Marcel Langer

The pole-sitting #7 crew will start next to their sister car after Kazuki Nakajima, and Anthony Davidson set the second quickest time, in the #8 they race alongside Sébastien Buemi.

That meant TOYOTA locked out the front of the grid for the first time since Bahrain in 2013, while the team’s 11th pole position in WEC is its first since Fuji in 2014.

In the WEC, the average of the two fastest laps of two drivers counts for the qualifying result. In Silverstone, the qualifying drivers were Neel Jani and Nick Tandy in car number 1. They finished in third position (1:38.615 minutes). Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley shared qualifying duties in car number 2 and came fourth (1:39.063 minutes).

Alex Lynn and Pierre Thiriet put the G-Drive Racing team at the front of the LMP2 class. Lynn was fastest after the first runs aboard the ORECA-Gibson 07 with a 1m43.412s. Thiriet backed it up with 1m45.3663s, giving them a 1m44.387s average time.

Second place went to the Signatech Alpine ORECA driven by Matt Rao and Nicolas Lapierre.

Photo Courtesy of Ford Chip Ganassi Racing

Ford claimed pole in GTE Pro after British drivers Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell put in some hard work. Priaulx was the only driver in the class to go under the 1m56s barrier, his 1m55.858s aboard the #67 Ganassi-run Ford GT from the first run being the best. Tincknell managed a 1m56.947s to give the car a 1m56.202s average, almost a second faster than the Ferrari driven by Davide Rigon and Sam Bird.

Photo Courtesy of Ferrari S.P.A.

Rigon was more than second slower than Priaulx on the first outing aboard the factory AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE with a 1m56.905s, the car ending up eight-tenths downs on the averages with a 1m57.011s. That put the Ferrari just up on the #95 factory Aston Martin Vantage GTE shared by Nicky Thiim and Marco Sorensen.

Photo Courtesy of Aston Martin Racing

After a year-long development period, the Porsche GT Team returned to the Sports Car World Endurance Championship WEC as a factory squad with the new Porsche 911 RSR. The newly developed 510 hp race car from Weissach takes up the season-opening race on Sunday from the fourth grid row. In the qualifying on the historic Grand Prix racetrack in the British Midlands, the primary focus was clearly on preparing for the race, Richard Lietz and Frédéric Makowiecki put their 911 RSR on the seventh grid spot. Their works driver colleagues Michael Christensen and Kévin Estre set the eighth quickest time in the number 92 car.

Photo Courtesy of Aston Martin Racing

Pedro Lamy and Paul Dalla Lana took qualifying honours in GTE Am for Aston Martin.

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15/04/2017