TOYOTA GAZOO Racing will start the 6 Hours of Nürburgring from pole position after an impressive performance in qualifying for the fourth round of the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC).
Kamui Kobayashi and José María López took top spot by 0.154secs from the #2 Porsche for a third pole position in four races for #7 TS050 HYBRID they share with Mike Conway.
The Nürburgring has not been a happy hunting ground for TOYOTA, with fifth place its best result in the Eifel, but a strong qualifying raises hopes of a best-ever result at this track.
José María took part in his first WEC qualifying and immediately put the #7 in first place. Kamui, who set a record-beating pole time at Le Mans last month, completed the job with another quick time, beating the 2016 pole position average by 1.326secs.
The point earned for pole reduces TOYOTA’s gap to Porsche to 23.5 points. The target for Sunday’s race remains to fight for victory and move closer to the lead of both championships.
Kamui Kobayashi (TS050 HYBRID #7): “We will enjoy this moment; qualifying is only a small part of the weekend but it’s nice to be on pole and earn another point for the team. We made continuous improvements during practice after we struggled a bit on Friday. José did a really good lap today and everyone did a great job; this is the result of our team work. Now our focus is on the race.”
José María López (TS050 HYBRID #7): “We needed to catch up a bit after Friday so everyone pushed really hard to improve the set-up and be competitive in qualifying. In final practice we saw the potential and the team did really well to put it together, including a fantastic lap from Kamui. I’m really happy with my first WEC qualifying and pole position so now I can’t wait for the race.”