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Toyota back on pole for 6h of Portimão

After Ferrari's surprise pole at Sebring, Toyota countered with a front-row lockout for tomorrow's race in Portimão.

Brendon Hartley in the #8 Toyota was 0.273s faster than teammate Kobayashi in the #7 sister car. Both Ferrari's will occupy the second row, Nielsen in the #50 three tenths quicker than James Calado in the #51. The gap to the first Toyota is well over a second, 1.425 to be precise.

Nico Mueller qualified the #94 Peugeot 9X8 in p6, just behind Kevin Estre in the #6 Porsche 963. The 9X8 appears to be better on the pace than Sebring, where the car suffered more than the other manufacturers from the bumpy track. With the smoother asphalt in the Algarve, the 9X8 can compete better with the Porsches, Ferrari's and the Cadillac. The latter was qualified in p8, behind the #5 Porsche, which is a bit of a step back from Sebring were they qualified 5th, ahead of both Peugeots and Porsches.

Glickenhaus won the qualifying battle for the non-hybrids, as Dumas was 0.493s quicker than Dillmann in the Vanwall.

Pole in the LMP2 category went to Mirko Bortolotti in the #63 Prema. Bortolotti was no more than a thousands of a second faster than Gabriel Aubry in the #10 Vector Sport. Phil Hanson was third in the #22 United Autosports car.

In GT Am Ben Keating put the sole Chevrolet Corvette C8.R on pole, just ahead of Sara Bovy in the #85 Iron Dames Porsche.

Text & Images: Rick Kiewiet


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