Text & Images: Rick Kiewiet
Toyota took pole for tomorrow's 8 hours of Bahrain, but the #8 and #7 were split by a Peugeot for the first time. Paul Di Resta managed to round a lap 0.128s faster in the #93 Peugeot 9x8 than the #7 Toyota of Mike Conway. Brendon Hartley took pole with the #8 Toyota in 1.46.800, 8 tenths of a second faster than Di Resta.
Mathieu Vaxivière qualified the other title contender, the #36 Alpine, only 5th, 0.009s behind the #94 Peugeot of Gustavo Menezes, who shares the car with Loïc Duval and Nico Müller. The driver crew of the #36 is now one point behind Hartley, Hirakawa and Buemi in the #8 in the championship, as one point is awarded for Pole Position.
In LMP2, Norman Nato drove the #41 WRT car to pole position. Will Stevens, leading the championship together with Antonio Felix da Costa and Roberto Gonzalez, put the #38 JOTA alongside him on p2. Their closest contenders for the title, Oliver Jarvis and Joshua Pierson in the #23 United Autosports car, will start tomorrow's race from p6.
The battle for pole in GT Pro was as close as ever. This time, Gianmaria Bruni in the #91 Porsche claimed pole. Antonio Fuoco put the #52 AF Corse Ferrari which he shares with Miguel Molina on p2. The main title contenders, Estre/Christensen in the #92 Porsche and leaders Pier Guidi/Calado in the #51 AF Corse Ferrari are 3rd and 4th respectively. Corvette made a lot of improvements compared to yesterday, but still over second of the pace in p5. They are well known however for an amazing race pace.
Ben Keating in the #33 TF Sport Aston dealt the first blow of the weekend in his fight for the GT Am title to competitor Paul Dalla Lana in the #98 AMR Aston. The Texan qualified his Vantage second, while Dalla Lana starts as far back as 9th. Pole in class went to the Iron Dames in the #85 Iron Linx Ferrari, driven by Sarah Bovy.