Alex Wurz, who shares the #7 TS030 HYBRID with Nicolas Lapierre, recorded his best effort on his second flying lap to take pole position by exactly 0.1secs with the quickest time of the week so far.
That marks TOYOTA Racing’s third pole position from six attempts in its debut season, once again illustrating the impressive performance of the TS030 HYBRID and the TOYOTA HYBRID System – Racing, which delivers 300hp of power boost.
There are four hybrid recovery zones around the 5.451km Shanghai International Circuit, where the TOYOTA HYBRID System – Racing charges its super capacitor under braking prior to the release of 500kJ of energy, as limited by regulation.
Conditions in qualifying were warm and dry, in contrast to the changing weather of final practice this morning when rain fell just a few minutes before the green flag.
Nicolas started and alternated between wet and intermediate Michelins before Alex got his chance, switching to slick tyres and setting the quickest lap of the session, breaking the 1min 50secs barrier for the first time this week.
Tomorrow’s six-hour race begins with a rolling start at 11.00, after the 20-minute morning warm-up from 08.00.
TS030 HYBRID #7 (Alex Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre)
Free practice 3: 1st (1min 48.979secs), 23 laps
Qualifying: 1st (1min 48.273secs), 6 laps
Alex Wurz: “We know we have to put in a good performance to beat the Audis in qualifying and the TS030 HYBRID was better today than the driver to be honest. In Brazil I got the perfect pole lap but here I didn’t have the best last sector and lost a few tenths. I didn’t calculate enough for the change in wind direction so lost some time there. Nevertheless it was good enough to fight the Audis for pole position so I am very happy. From the long runs yesterday we looked competitive but the traffic fell pretty well for me. For sure it is going to be close; I expect nothing different than another hard fight like we had in Fuji.”
Pascal Vasselon, Technical Director: “So far this weekend has gone very well performance-wise and we are very pleased with the result today. There was potential for the gap to be a little bigger but Alex did two really strong sectors and this was enough. To achieve our third pole position in just our sixth event is very satisfying and of course our target for the race tomorrow is to convert this into our third win. It will be an extremely interesting race because tyre degradation is a bit more of a factor than usual on this track and there is the potential for different strategies. We can expect another tough fight with Audi so we have to aim for another perfect race like in Fuji to finish the season on a high note.”