8H Bahrain: Kobayashi claims pole position, Albuquerque tops LMP2

The #7 Toyota GAZOO Racing will start on the front spot at tomorrow’s 8 Hours of Bahrain after Kamui Kobayashi claimed pole position.

For the final qualifying sessions of the year, it was swift yet gripping as drivers sought about finding the most during the evening at the Sakhir International Circuit.

With between two and three flying laps available to attempt by each driver, considering the time limitations, the pressure was on to stand out in a competitive field.

This meant track limits were exceeded at certain points which diminished some of the drivers’ efforts during their endeavours.

In GTE-Am, it was Roberto Lacorte of the #47 Cetilar Racing who landed their first pole position with a 1m58.712s.

The top three places in GTE-Am were all taken by Ferraris, including the likes of Sarah Bovy in her most successful qualifying efforts so far in the WEC.

A mention to the #46 Team Project 1, who were unable to participate this weekend after failing to get two Bronze drivers.

GTE-Pro was topped by Kevin Estre, taking his fifth pole position of this season.

His 1m56.041s was a narrow 0.160s ahead of the #51 AF Corse of James Calado.

With a single point awarded for pole, the #51 and the #91 now tie on the FIA WEC GT Drivers’ Championship standings which adds to the pressure for tomorrow’s finale.

The #52 of Daniel Serra was over five-tenths away from Estre’s pole time after being unable to better his banker lap time.

LMP2 was topped by Filipe Albuquerque in the #22 after doing a lap time of 1m49.525s.

The fight for pole in the class was intense as usual with various contenders, but the Portuguese driver bettered his final flying lap to beat Realteam Racing’s Norman Nato by just under three-tenths-of-a-second.

Ferdinand Habsburg of the championship-leading #31 will start seventh in-class, two places ahead of the #28 but four behind the #38 – two of their main championship rivals.

In the Hypercar category, Kamui Kobayashi claimed overall pole position in the #7 Toyota GAZOO Racing-entered GR010 Hybrid.
His time of 1m46.250s bettered Hartley’s pole position time set last week and puts the #7 crew at the advantage as they target consecutive WEC Driver’s Championship to couple with their Le Mans win earlier in the year.

OVERALL POSITION CLASS POSITION TEAM DRIVER FASTEST TIME

DIFF TO SESSION POLE

Hypercar
1 1 #7 Toyota GAZOO Racing Kamui Kobayashi 1m46.250s – –
2 2 #8 Toyota GAZOO Racing Brendon Hartley 1m46.540s 0.290s
3 3 #36 Alpine Elf Matmut Matthieu Vaxiviere 1m47.025s 0.775s
LMP2
4 1 #22 United Autosports Filipe Albuquerque 1m49.525s 3.275s
5 2 #70 Realteam Racing (Pro/Am) Norman Nato 1m49.819s 3.569s
6 3 #38 JOTA Antonio Felix Da Costa 1m49.910s 3.660s
7 4 #29 Racing Team Nederland (Pro/Am) Guido Van Der Garde 1m50.149s 3.899s
8 5 #20 High Class Racing (Pro/Am) Robert Kubica 1m50.372s 4.122s
9 6 #1 Richard Mille Racing Sophia Floersch 1m50.744s 4.494s
10 7 #31 Team WRT Ferdinand Habsburg 1m51.063s 4.813s
11 8 #21 DragonSpeed USA (Pro/Am) Juan Pablo Montoya 1m51.134s 4.884s
12 9 #28 JOTA Tom Blomqvist 1m51.145s 4.895s
13 10 #34 Inter Europol Competition (Pro/Am) Renger Van Der Zande 1m51.187s 4.937s
14 11 #44 ARC Bratislava (Pro/Am) Oliver Caldwell 1m51.424s 5.174s
LM-GTE Pro
15 1 #92 Porsche GT Team Kevin Estre 1m56.041s – –
16 2 #51 AF Corse James Calado 1m56.201s 0.160s
17 3 #91 Porsche GT Team Gianmaria Bruni 1m56.541s 0.500s
18 4 #52 AF Corse Daniel Serra 1m56.603s 0.562s
LM-GTE Am
19 1 #47 Cetilar Racing Roberto Lacorte 1m58.712s 2.671s
20 2 #83 AF Corse François Perrodo 1m58.759s 2.718s
21 3 #85 Iron Lynx Sarah Bovy 1m58.958s 2.917s
22 4 #56 Team Project 1 Egidio Perfetti 1m58.989s 2.948s
23 5 #33 TF Sport Ben Keating 1m59.087s 3.046s
24 6 #98 Aston Martin Racing Paul Dalla Lana 1m59.096s 3.055s
25 7 #88 Dempsey-Proton Racing Khaled Al Qubaisi 1m59.359s 3.318s
26 8 #54 AF Corse Thomas Flohr 1m59.492s 3.451s
27 9 #77 Dempsey-Proton Racing Christian Ried 1m59.936s 3.895s
28 10 #57 Kessel Racing Takeshi Kimura 2m00.301s 4.260s
29 11 #777 D’station Racing Satoshi Hoshino 2m00.364s 4.323s
30 12 #86 GR Racing Michael Wainwright 2m01.282s 5.241s
31 13 #60 Iron Lynx Claudio Schiavoni 2m01.941s 5.900s