The green flag dropped for the 7th Round of the FIA WEC at Fuji for GT AM and GT PRO Cars. The beaming sun glared down on the track leaving the drivers with optimal conditions for the Qualifying session
The #98 Aston Martin headed out on the track first with Paul Dalla Lana on driving duties for the first laps of the session. The #98 took provisional class pole position with the #50 Chevrolet Corvette in second place but would be bumped down to P3 after their time was bettered.
In the Pro Class the #97 Aston Martin was put on pole position in the early stages of the session but was soon bettered by both of the Ford GT who locked out the front row the the #66 Ford GT, driven by Olivier Pla and Stefan Mukle leading the #67 Ford GT of Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell. The struggling #77 Porsche RSR 2016 could only manage 7th place, 1.2 seconds off the pace of the #66 Ford GT continuing their disappointing 2016 season.
After the two Ford GT’s the two Ferrari 488’s lined up in P3 & P4 with the #71 Of Sam Bird and Davide Rigon outpacing their teammates in the #51 by just under 1 tenth of a second.
It seemed the grid was in formation as the next two cars in P5 & P6 were the two Aston Martins as the #95 Car driven by Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorensen edged out their #97 teammates (Richie Stanaway & Darren Turner ) just over 2 and a half tenth of a Second.
The #98 Aston Martin of Paul Dalla Lana and Pedro Lamy took their fourth pole position of the season by 3 tenths of a second from the #83 Ferrari 458. In the GTE AM Class, third place was occupied by #50 Corvette who was dumped down in the later stages of the session. 4 tenths of a second behind the leader of GTE AM Class. The last 3 places in GTE AM were taken by the 3 Porsche RSR. In fourth place, the #88 looked on course to bumped up the field but was hindered by the second driver’s average laps. Fifth place was taken by the #78 Porsche RSR just 3 tenths of a second off the #88 and a whole 1.1 seconds slower than the lead in GTE Am. The final spot in the GTE Qualifying was taken by the #86. The first lap from the #86 was not too far off the pace, after the first run the lap was good enough for P4 but was let down yet again by the second driver’s lap who was 2 seconds off the lap time of the pace of the unstoppable #98 Aston Martin