Earl Bamber, Brendon Hartley have seized pole for tomorrow’s 6 Hours of Fuji in treacherous conditions that caught out many of the major players.
With visibility dropping, Toyota wasted no time in getting out onto track to set a banker lap, hoping their lightly stronger wet pace from practice would translate into qualifying.
A massive oversteer moment from Nick Tandy in the number 1 Porsche might have damaged his lap, but with the overall average and consistency playing the largest part it would be a matter of who would make the least mistakes and utilising the peak performance of the tyre.
Andre Lotterer would be looking to exploit his knowledge of Japanese circuits acquired during his time in Super Formula and immediately slotted in the quickest second sector. Both Toyota’s (Kamui Kobayashi in particular) meanwhile were experiencing trouble in traffic. Buemi would set the quickest first sector mid-way through the session only to get caught out towards the end of his lap.
Vaillante Rebellion appeared to be chancing intermediates and if so, it looked to be working, with Bruno Senna leading the way in LMP2 in the number 31 entry. Senna would eventually be usurped by team-mate Nelson Piquet Jnr in the number 13 sister entry.
However it was a late charge from the Jackie Chan DC Racing entries of Ho Pin Tung and Thomas Laurent on inters, putting the Chinese-Anglo team 2nd in class and splitting the Rebellions.
The GTE field started in wet conditions with Porsche looking to be the manufacturer in the box seat early on. AF Corse however were preparing frying wets, hoping the humidity would offer an advantage as the session progressed.
As it stood, the Michelins yielded a slight advantage in the wet with Richard Leitz eventually taking GTE Pro pole in the number 91 Porsche ahead of the Fords of Olivier Pla and Harry Tincknell. In GTE Am the Clearwater Racing Ferrari of Matt Griffin Weng Sun Mok edged the Dempsey Proton Porsche of Matteo Cairoli and Aston Martin of Paul Dalla Lana.
Images: Adrenal Media/FIAWEC and Porsche
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