Köln, Germany,

Qatar 1812 KM: Qualifying


Close Qatar Qualifying for TOYOTA GAZOO Racing

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing is determined to challenge for a strong result after earning a front-row start in a hard-fought qualifying session for the Qatar 1812 KM, the opening race of the 2024 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC).

A determined team effort following the challenging Prologue and Thursday free practice sessions brought the GR010 HYBRIDs, carrying more Balance of Performance weight than last season, back into a fight at the front.

Nyck de Vries earned second place on the grid for Saturday’s 10-hour race in the #7 GR010 HYBRID he shares with Mike Conway and Kamui Kobayashi. He was denied pole position by just 0.164secs at the end of the Hyperpole session. There were contrasting emotions for the #8 GR010 HYBRID of Sébastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley and Ryo Hirakawa, which was unfortunate to miss out on Hyperpole and will start 11th.

Qualifying this season follows a new format and, late in the Qatar afternoon, all 19 Hypercars took to the Lusail International Circuit for a 12-minute opening session, from which the top 10 would progress to a Hyperpole shoot-out for the leading grid positions.

After struggling for one-lap pace in practice, the drivers and team had worked overnight to improve and Nyck, participating in his first race event for the team, demonstrated the strong progress they had made by setting the second fastest lap in qualifying.

Brendon initially looked to have joined him in Hyperpole, despite encountering tyre issues early in the session. He held 10th place when the chequered flag waved but a rival improved in the final seconds and dropped the #8 down to 11th, missing the shoot-out by just 0.017secs.

The 10-minute Hyperpole session saw a close contest between 10 cars from five different manufacturers, and Nyck put TOYOTA GAZOO Racing firmly in the fight at the front. He moved into provisional pole position twice before slipping to second place in the closing moments, when the #5 Porsche improved its time.

The team now approaches Saturday’s 10-hour contest, which begins at 11am local time (9am CET), determined to start the defence of its World Championship titles with a strong result.

Nyck de Vries (Driver, car #7): “I think we are all a little bit surprised by our performance. I am very happy to be up there at the front in our first qualifying of the season, especially after a tough week for everyone during the Prologue and then free practice. The whole team has worked really hard to find improvements and now we have to put it together for the race. Ten hours is a long race, so we need to be clean in our execution, but it is good to be starting from the front.”

Brendon Hartley (Driver, car #8): “It was a tricky day for us on car #8. I grained the left-hand side tyres within a couple of laps and didn’t get to do a representative lap time. It came as a bit of a surprise. Unfortunately, we start 11th and we are down a set of tyres because those are completely destroyed. We have to analyse and understand what happened with our tyres and why we couldn’t do a proper lap. Overall, it is positive from a team perspective because Nyck did a great job. Second was unexpected but they really maximised the performance of the car.”


Qatar 1812 KM – Free Practice 3 

1st#2 Cadillac Racing (Bamber/Lynn/Bourdais)1min 40.667secs24 laps
2nd#5 Porsche Penske (Campbell/Christensen/Makowiecki)+0.180secs30 laps
3rd#12 Hertz Team JOTA (Stevens/Ilott/Nato)+0.454secs29 laps
4th#6 Porsche Penske (Estre/Lotterer/Vanthoor)+0.489secs29 laps
5th#94 Peugeot TotalEnergies (Di Resta/Duval/Vandoorne)+0.509secs27 laps
6th#83 AF Corse (Kubica/Shwartzman/Ye)+0.545secs29 laps
9th#7 TOYOTA GAZOO Racing+0.868secs29 laps
17th#8 TOYOTA GAZOO Racing+2.024secs30 laps

Qatar 1812 KM – Qualifying 

1st#5 Porsche Penske (Campbell/Christensen/Makowiecki)1min 39.154secs
2nd#7 TOYOTA GAZOO Racing+0.413secs
3rd#12 Hertz Team JOTA (Stevens/Ilott/Nato)+0.560secs
4th#93 Peugeot TotalEnergies (Jensen/Müller/Vergne)+0.820secs
5th#50 Ferrari AF Corse (Fuoco/Molina/Nielsen)+0.943secs
6th#94 Peugeot TotalEnergies (Di Resta/Duval/Vandoorne)+1.127secs
11th#8 TOYOTA GAZOO Racing+1.432secs

Qatar 1812 KM – Hyperpole 

1st#5 Porsche Penske (Campbell/Christensen/Makowiecki)1min 39.347secs
2nd#7 TOYOTA GAZOO Racing+0.164secs
3rd#12 Hertz Team JOTA (Stevens/Ilott/Nato)+0.275secs
4th#50 Ferrari AF Corse (Fuoco/Molina/Nielsen)+0.629secs
5th#6 Porsche Penske (Estre/Lotterer/Vanthoor)+0.634secs
6th#93 Peugeot TotalEnergies (Jensen/Müller/Vergne)+0.720secs


The 2024 TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WEC press kit, along with rights-free video material and photography of all TOYOTA GAZOO Racing’s motorsport projects, can be found at https://toyotagazooracing.com/media/.

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TOYOTA GAZOO Racing’s motorsport activities in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) are supported by the following partners: