Toyota takes 3rd pole of year ahead of 6hrs COTA | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile

Toyota takes 3rd pole of year ahead of 6hrs COTA

Toyota Racing won the first battle of the weekend at Circuit of the Americas this evening by taking pole position for the fourth round of the 2014 FIA WEC.

It was the perfect way for the Japanese manufacturer to renew its title campaign after losing points to rivals - Audi Sport Team Joest - at the Le Mans 24 Hours in June.
The No.8 Toyota TS 040 Hybrid, driven by Anthony Davidson, Nicolas Lapierre and Sebastien Buemi celebrated their third pole position of the 2014 season, with Buemi confirming the top position with some scintillating laps. The pole-sitters average for the four best times stood at 1m49.093, and they were the only entry to get below the 1m50s mark at all.
After a red flag was flown for the retrieval of the No.12 Rebellion R-One-Toyota, which had stopped at turn 11, it set up a dramatic final four and a half minutes shootout to decide the front of the grid.
When the No.37 SMP Racing Oreca-Nissan spun and stalled on the track, bringing out the yellow flags, any chance the Toyota’s opposition had of challenging instantly faded.
The chase of the pole sitter was incredibly close with the #14 Porsche 919 Hybrid of Neel Jani, Romain Dumas and Marc Lieb just heading off stable mates Mark Webber, Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley, by an average of just 0.019s.
Jani had one of his laps annulled due to going over his ERS limit which dictates the fuel consumption allowance during individual laps. It was the first time this season that this particular sanction was carried out.
Audi will start the 6 Hours of the Circuit of the Americas from fourth and sixth positions with the No.2 Le Mans 24 Hours winning Audi R18 e-tron Quattro heading the No.1 Audi Sport Team Joest LMP1, both cars suffering from a software issue during qualifying.
The Audis sandwiched the No.7 Toyota Racing entry which featured LMP1-H debutant Mike Conway qualifying the Toyota TS 040 Hybrid.
The LMP1-L category was a straightforward affair as a fly-by-wire throttle problem for the No.12 Rebellion car ensured that the No.13 Rebellion R-One-Toyota took the pole with an average of 1m54.665.
Sadly, the Lotus entered CLM P1/01 AER did not take part in the qualifying session after experiencing a gearbox problem in the final free practice session this morning. The team have been given dispensation to start the race but must do so from the pit lane and after the first flying lap is completed by the entire field.
Celebrating its third pole in LMP2 this season and the team’s second consecutive COTA pole, albeit in a different chassis, was the G-Drive Racing squad with their new Ligier JS P2-Nissan.
Roman Rusinov and Olivier Pla delivered an average lap time of 1m58.075 to give themselves the best start to clawing back some of the 25 point deficit to the SMP Racing points table leader, Sergey Zlobin.
Sharing the front row will be the KCMG Oreca-Nissan. Matt Howson and Richard Bradley took part in the qualifying session and came within three tenths of a second of pole but have a solid foundation to challenge for their first win of the season in tomorrow’s race.
Extreme Speed Motorsports upheld US honour in qualifying third fastest to make it three different chassis in the top three grid positions. The Scott Sharp, Ryan Dalziel and Ed Brown piloted car will be in a good position to ensure the local crowd has plenty to cheer throughout the race, which begins at 17.00 local time tomorrow.
19:13:49 : In P2 #26 Ligier fastest from #47 Oreca and #30 HPD
19:12:37 : Toyota #7 under investigation for blocking
19:11:55 : In P1 #8 Toyota fastest from #14 Porsche and #20 Porsche - #8 first pole this year
19:10:00 : Chequered Flag
19:09:43 : #37 Oreca has stopped on circuit
19:08:54 : Buemi in #8 Toyota goes fastest
19:08:14 : Jani in #14 Porsche will lose a lap due to exceeding track limits
19:04:19 : Green Flag
19:01:47 : Rebellion #12 now behind barriers
18:59:31 : 4 mins 33 seconds remain on clock
18:58:29 : Red Flag
18:57:58 : Rebellion #12 has stopped on circuit
18:55:37 : Ligier #26 fastest in P2
18:54:57 : Porsche #14 now fastest after 4 laps
18:54:17 : Porsche #20 completes 4 laps in fastest time
18:53:24 : Porsche #14 now fastest after 3 laps
18:52:35 : Porsche #20 fastest after 3 timed laps
18:49:55 : Davidson in #8 Toyota now fastest
18:49:05 : The sun is now shining
18:48:27 : Davidson now 2nd fastest in #8 Toyota
18:47:27 : Porsche #14 now fastest
18:46:54 : Matsuda fastest in P2 in #47
18:45:24 : Davidson has minor off in #8 Toyota
18:44:49 : Porsche #20 now fastest
18:43:03 : Jani in #14 Porsche sets early fastest time
18:41:00 : Track now completely dry
18:38:22 : Green Flag
18:38:08 : #9 Lotus will not take part due to gearbox problem