TOYOTA Racing made the perfect start to its FIA World Endurance Championship season by taking first and second on the grid for the season-opening Six Hours of Silverstone.
The #7 TS030 HYBRID of Alex Wurz and Nicolas Lapierre took pole position - the team’s fourth from seven races since its 2012 debut - with the #8 of Anthony Davidson, Stéphane Sarrazin and Sébastien Buemi in second.
A new qualifying format for this season means two drivers from each car must set a minimum of two flying laps each. The grid is decided by the combined average of each driver’s fastest two laps.
In changing conditions, the #7 crew’s decision to switch to slick tyres for Alex, having started on intermediates with Nicolas, paid dividends.
A rain shower just before the session left the track damp, but a dry line gradually emerged and Alex took advantage of this on the slick tyres to improve the #7’s average time and set the fastest lap of the session in the process.
Anthony started the session in the #8 on intermediate tyres and handed over to Sébastien, who stayed on intermediates and secured second spot. With only two drivers taking part in the session, Stéphane watched from the garage.
Today’s result means TOYOTA will have cars in first and second on the grid of an FIA world championship race for the first time since the 2009 Bahrain Grand Prix.
The race begins at 12.00 on Sunday.
TS030 HYBRID #7 (Alex Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre) Free practice 3: 3rd (1min 49.754secs), 26 laps Qualifying: 1st (1min 48.021secs average)