6H Monza: Lopez claims Hypercar pole for #7, Estre continues qualifying form in GTE-Pro

Jose Maria Lopez of the #7 Toyota GAZOO Racing car claimed his first pole position of this season ahead of tomorrow’s 6 Hours of Monza.

A thrilling two-part qualifying session took place for the third round of Season 9 with temperatures much cooler compared to FP2 and FP3 running earlier in the day.

The #71 Inception Racing will not make their WEC debut this weekend after sustaining damage to the rear of the car from an incident at Ascari during FP2.

Nonetheless, qualifying allowed 19 GTEs and 17 LMP2s/Hypercars to fight out at the Temple of Speed within each of the 10-minute sessions.

Traffic and track limits were a factor to put the pressure on drivers with such a small window to pursue one or two flying laps.

Ben Keating of the #33 TF Sport in GTE-Am had his first quick lap ruined due to traffic he caught up.

The fight for pole was tight between Keating and home hero AF Corse with reigning GTE-Am champion Francois Perrodo.

It was Keating who denied a pole position to the #83 with a 1m47.272s to clear Perrodo by almost three-tenths.

The #60 failed to set a flying lap-time due to track limits, adding to a pit-lane speed infringement.

In GTE-Pro, Kevin Estre asserted his qualifying form in equal attempt to deny Alessandro Pier Guidi in the #51 AF Corse.

Their fight for pole as the fastest GTE was close, but saw Estre edge his Ferrari rival by 0.065s with a 1m46.412s.

In a more dramatic second session for the remaining two classes, the #7 Toyota aborted its first flying lap after locking up the rears at Turn 1 and headed straight onwards.

The Toyotas soon entered their form with Brendon Hartley breaking into the 1m35s barrier in the championship-leading #8, but Jose Maria Lopez bettered his existing strong form this weekend to secure (overall) pole in Hypercars.

A red flag was deployed with 2m47s on the clock after Stoffel Vandoorne in the #28 crashed into the barrier at the exit of the first Lesmo.

After not setting a flying lap, he will start at the back of the LMP2 field and puts it unlikely to claim a consecutive win after Portimao.

The session was restarted after Vandoorne, who walked away from the incident, and his car were transported – and the Tecpro Barrier was repaired.

Anthony Davidson in the sister JOTA utilised this lifeline to set a flying lap, edging themselves into 6th-in-class.

It was WEC Season 9 rookie Charles Milesi who charged to pole position in LMP2.

1 1 #7 Toyota GAZOO Racing Jose Maria Lopez 1m35.899s – –
2 2 #8 Toyota GAZOO Racing Brendon Hartley 1m35.961s 0.062s
3 3 #36 Alpine Elf Matmut Nicolas Lapierre 1m36.121s 0.222s
4 4 #708 Glickenhaus Racing Pipo Derani 1m36.686s 0.787s
5 5 #709 Glickenhaus Racing Richard Westbrook 1m38.323s 2.424s
6 1 #31 Team WRT Charles Milesi 1m38.527s 2.628s
7 2 #22 United Autosports Filipe Albuquerque 1m38.557s 2.658s
8 3 #21 DragonSpeed USA (Pro/Am) Ben Hanley 1m38.663s 2.764s
9 4 #29 Racing Team Nederland (Pro/Am) Nyck De Vries 1m38.726s 2.827s
10 5 #82 Risi Competizione Felipe Nasr 1m38.829s 2.930s
11 6 #38 JOTA Anthony Davidson 1m38.890s 2.991s
12 7 #70 Realteam Racing (Pro/Am) Loic Duval 1m39.472s 3.573s
13 8 #34 Inter Europol Competition (Pro/Am) Renger Van Der Zande 1m39.491s 3.592s
14 9 #1 Richard Mille Racing Sophia Floersch 1m39.905s 4.006s
15 10 #20 High Class Racing Anders Fjordbach 1m40.026s 4.127s
16 11 #44 ARC Bratislava (Pro/Am) Oliver Webb 1m40.413s 4.514s
17 12 #28 JOTA Stoffel Vandoorne NO TIME SET N/A
18 1 #92 Porsche GT Team Kevin Estre 1m45.412s – –
19 2 #51 AF Corse Alessandro Pier Guidi 1m45.477s 0.065s
20 3 #91 Porsche GT Team Gianmaria Bruni 1m45.844s 0.432s
21 4 #52 AF Corse Daniel Serra 1m46.214s 0.802s
22 1 #33 TF Sport Ben Keating 1m47.272s 1.860s
23 2 #83 AF Corse Francois Perrodo 1m47.541s 2.235s
24 3 #47 Cetilar Racing Roberto Lacorte 1m47.950s 2.538s
25 4 #56 Team Project 1 Egidio Perfetti 1m48.057s 2.645s
26 5 #61 AF Corse Christoph Ulrich 1m48.227s 2.815s
27 6 #54 AF Corse Thomas Flohr 1m48.403s 2.991s
28 7 #85 Iron Lynx Sarah Bovy 1m48.437s 3.025s
29 8 #98 Aston Martin Racing Paul Dalla Lana 1m48.457s 3.045s
30 9 #388 Rinaldi Racing Pierre Ehret 1m48.700s 3.288s
31 10 #77 Dempsey-Proton Racing Christian Reid 1m48.766s 3.354s
32 11 #777 D’station Racing Satoshi Hoshino 1m49.128s 3.716s
33 12 #88 Dempsey-Proton Racing Andrew Haryanto 1m49.211s 3.799s
34 13 #86 GR Racing Michael Wainwright 1m49.244s 3.832s
35 14 #46 Team Project 1 Anders Buchardt 1m51.051s 5.639s
36 15 #60 Iron Lynx Claudio Schiavoni NO TIME SET N/A