Toyota Dominates Qualifying at Spa

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Toyota's pole-winning #7 vehicle has been excluded from the results of qualifying for WEC's season-opening 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps.

The declaration by the stewards erases the 1m54.563s average time from Kamui Kobayashi and Mike Conway and the No.7 will start the opening round of the 2018 FIA World Endurance Championship Super Season from pit lane, one lap down.

The Rebellion Racing #1, driven by Bruno Senna, Neel Jani and Andre Lotterer will now share the front row with the remaining Toyota.

The No. 7 Toyota TS050 Hybrid edged out the sister No. 8 entry, qualified by Fernando Alonso and Kazuki Nakajima, by 0.379 seconds. Alonso had been the slowest of the Toyota drivers with a 1:55.143, but both of the #8 drivers were down on the times set by the respective drivers in the #7.

Second in class and eight tenths of a second behind was the #7 TS050, Mike Conway put in a time of 1:57.939 to put that vehicle just two tenths of a second ahead of the third place auto.

The Brazilian remained conscious throughout his extrication from the auto before being transported by helicopter to the hospital in the nearby city of Liege with suspected fractures to both legs.

Nicolas Lapierre and Pierre Thiriet qualified quickest among the LMP2 cars at Spa on Friday.

The duo combined for a 2:02.405 in their Alpine A470-badged Oreca to edge out the No. 26 G-Drive Racing Oreca 07 Gibson by 0.024 seconds.

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The two other BR1s hit trouble in the 25-minute session, first with Stephane Sarrazin, who crawled to a halt on the Kemmel Straight in his No. 17 SMP entry.

The 2005 and 2006 F1 world champion is serious about his ambition of becoming only the second driver to complete motor racing's triple crown of the Monaco Grand Prix, the Indy 500 and Le Mans, after Britain's Graham Hill.

Rounding out the top three in class was the Mighty #38 of Jackie Chan DC Racing, a 2:03.357 from Ho Pin-Tung being that car's best time from the session.

The Ganassi Ford team took one-two in GTE Pro, with Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell claiming the class pole ahead of Olivier Pla and Stefan Mucke.

Porsche also took fourth place with its #92 team.

Best of the rest was the MTEK BMW M8 GTE of Tom Blomqvist and Antonio Felix da Costa on 2m14.017s, three tenths up on reigning class champions James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi in the fastest of the AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTEs.

Aston Martin once again struggled with their new Vantage AMRs, with one or both cars failing to beat the best time set in the GTE Am class for the third time this weekend.

Matt Campbell and Christian Ried claimed the GTE Am pole in their Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR by just two-thousandths of a second from Aston Martin Racing drivers Pedro Lamy and Paul Dalla Lana.