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Shanghai Pole for Toyota Gazoo Racing

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Toyota Gazoo Racing took pole position for the 6 Hours of Shanghai in qualifying for the penultimate round of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) in China today.

The #7 TS050 HYBRID of Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and José María López had been fastest in all three practice sessions and kept up the pace in qualifying, earning their fourth pole of the season by 0.440secs.

Sébastien Buemi, Anthony Davidson and Kazuki Nakajima will start tomorrow’s race from third position after a more challenging qualifying session in the #8 TS050 HYBRID.

Mike and Sébastien began qualifying in their respective cars and played a patient game, allowing the rest of the LMP1 and LMP2 field to start their attempts before leaving the pits clear of the traffic.

Mike immediately put the #7 in contention for pole position but Sébastien’s lap was compromised when a settings issue meant his car did not deliver full hybrid boost at the beginning of the lap.

Anthony took the wheel of the #8 on new tyres for his first action of the day, having been unable to drive in final practice when the session was prematurely ended due to kerb damage. He set a time marginally faster than Sébastien’s but it was not enough to earn a front-row start.

Kamui had his eyes on top spot and, on fresh tyres for his one flying lap, he delivered another pole position to earn one additional World Championship point, setting the fastest LMP1 lap time at Shanghai International Circuit in the process.

Both TS050 HYBRIDs will start tomorrow’s six-hour race, the eighth of the season, looking for the team’s fourth win this year, and third in Shanghai following victories in 2012 and 2014.