Porsche beat Toyota to first pole position of season

World Endurance Championship

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Porsche will start the first round of the World Endurance Championship from pole position after beating Toyota by a tenth of a second.

Matt Campbell put the works-run number five on pole at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar in the final moments of the Hyperpole session for the Hypercar class.

While one Toyota reached the front row, the team’s other car failed to reach the Hyperpole shoot-out, missing the cut by just 12 thousandths of a second.

In a strong showing for Porsche, all bar one of their five 963s reached the top 10 shoot-out for pole position. The customer JOTA Porsche of Will Stevens, Callum Ilott and Norman Nato will line up third behind the number seven Toyota.

The second works Porsche also claimed a place in the top five. It will line up behind the leading Ferrari of Antonio Fuoco, Miguel Molina and Nicklas Nielsen.

Both Peugeots made it into the Hyperpole session. The number 93 car of Mikkel Jensen, Nico Mueller, Jean-Eric Vergne claimed the best qualifying position for the 9X8s in sixth. The fourth row of the grid belongs to the sole Cadillac and second works Ferrari.

Jenson Button will make his debut as a full-time WEC Hypercar driver from ninth on the grid in the second JOTA Porsche. The second Peugeot completes the top 10.

Most of the new entrants to the series failed to make the cut for Hyperpole. They include the AF Corse-run third Ferrari of Robert Kubica, Robert Shwartzman and Yifei Ye, who took 12th place alongside the second Toyota.

The leading Alpine of Nicolas Lapierre, Mick Schumacher and Mathieu Vaxiviere took 14th on the grid, behind the sole Proton-run Porsche. It is followed by the two BMWs and second Alpine.

While all those cars were closely matched on pace, two other newcomers were further behind. The single Lamborghini was more than a second away from making the cut, and the Isotta Fraschini more than two-and-a-half seconds away.

Times to follow.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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One comment on “Porsche beat Toyota to first pole position of season”

  1. Gonna be a great race. Looking forward to it more than the F1 race

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