Kamui Kobayashi has taken pole in the #7 Toyota GR010 Hybrid for the 6 Hours of Monza, with a mixed up grid following the Japanese driver.

The 5-times Le Mans polesitter set a 1:35.358, 0.017 faster than Antonio Fuoco in the #50 Ferrari 499P. Third was Brendon Hartley in the sister #8 Toyota, with the Kiwi 0.102 off his teammate.

Kobayashi locked up at the first chicane which lost him time, but even so: it looks very close for the race.

Toyota topped the 15 minute session without break once they set their first representative laps. Peugeot’s Jean-Eric Vergne was initially quickest, with a 1:35.733, but this was quickly beaten by Hartley, then Kobayashi as the #7 Toyota gained an all-important slipstream from the team car.

They then went again, with Kobayashi beating his own time by just under two tenths. Hartley too improved but wasn’t able to better Kobayashi, who again benefitted from a slipstream down the long straights at Monza.

Although Fuoco got close — very close — in the Ferrari, he wasn’t able to beat Kobayashi, and will start alongside the Toyota for tomorrow’s race. With the tyres overheating in the sweltering Italian heat, most cars pitted early, having not left enough time to get a new set of rubber fitted.

Starting alongside Hartley will the Vergne in the #93 Peugeot 9X8, still decked out in its popular Le Mans livery. The French driver couldn’t quite match the Toyotas and Fuoco in the Ferrari, but with Peugeot’s struggle to extract competitive one lap pace from the 9X8, the team and driver will likely be happy to be just over three tenths off the pole time.

Cadillac’s Alex Lynn will start fifth, 0.362 off Kobayashi, with the other Ferrari, #51 driven by Antonio Giovinazzi, in sixth. The sister #94 Peugeot will start seventh, pilotted in qualifying by Gustavo Menezes, while the first of the Porsches, #5 Porsche 963’s Fred Makowiecki, will start eighth, over six tenths off Kobayashi in a competitive field.

The Frenchman was driving the only car to have new tyres fitted, but with very little time to get them into a temperature window he wasn’t able to beat his time set earlier in the session, and bailed on his only flying lap on the fresh rubber.

Rounding out the top 10 were Yifei Ye in the #38 JOTA Porsche 963, and Kevin Estre in the sister factory #6 Porsche.

Robert Kubica took pole in LMP2 by over three and a half tenths — a huge margin in identical cars, with all 11 cars running Oreca 07-Gibsons.

It took well over half the session for the lap times to start coming in, with the two Alpines initially fastest. This was soon bettered, with the times continually tumbling by multiple seconds as the track rubbered in and tyres got up to temperature.

Over the session, Alpine’s Olli Caldwell, Prema’s Doriane Pin, Kubica, and JOTA’s Pietro Fittipaldi topped the session, with Gabriel Auby in the #10 Vector car and Phil Hanson, in the #22 United Autosports machine, also vying for pole.

The battle to be quickest in the end was between Kubica and Fittipaldi in the #28 JOTA Oreca 07-Gibson, but the Brazilian was quite a way off the Polish driver’s 1:39.354 in the #41 WRT Oreca 07-Gibson.

In third was Hanson in the #22 United Autosports Oreca 07-Gibson, with the Brit 0.083 off Fittipaldi.

In GTE-Am, Sarah Bovy took pole, the class of the field in LM-GTE-Am, onboard the #85 Iron Dames Porsche 911 RSR-19.

Second was Ahmad Al Harthy in the #25 ORT by TF Aston Martin Vantage AMR. Al Harthy was initially quickest in the session, before a red flag half way through for the WEC debutant, Efrin Castro in the #56 Project 1 AO Racing spun at the Ascari chicane.

Although the Dominican driver managed to keep it out of the barriers, he did end up spreading gravel all over the track, causing a red flag while the marshals swept the track. 

When the session resumed, Bovy set the fastest lap and then never looked back, to take her fifth WEC pole. Al Harthy was 0.426 off the Belgian in the end, unable to match her speed.

Third was Christian Reid in the #77 Dempsey-Proton Porsche 911 RSR-19, 0.058 off. The German set his fastest lap in the dying moments of the session after the chequered flag had waved, the last car to cross the line.

Source:  Read More 

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *