Alpine took pole for the first round of the 2022 FIA World Endurance Championship season at Sebring, defeating Glickenhaus, while Toyota’s fastest vehicle will start from the fourth spot.
Nicolas Lapierre posted the fastest time in the #36 Alpine A480-Gibson grandfathered LMP1 car, clocking in at 1m47.407s to claim the French marque’s first pole since the Portimao event last year.
“It was a perfect lap, no traffic, and the car was incredible tonight,” Lapierre said. “We made some terrific setup adjustments, and the car was a lot of fun to drive.”
Lapierre beat Frenchman Olivier Pla’s best performance of 1m48.741s onboard the #708 Glickenhaus 007 LMH in second by 1.3 seconds.
Meanwhile Nicklas Nielsen, driving the Pro/Am-entered AF Corse Oreca 07-Gibson, was the best of the LMP2 runners, clocking a fantastic time of 1m49.014s to take class pole and third overall. That was enough to give the faster of the two Toyota GR010 Hybrids, Brendon Hartley’s #8 vehicle, a tenth of a second advantage.
The sister #7 Toyota was seventh overall, behind two more United Autosports LMP2 cars.
Jose Maria Lopez’s best time aboard the #7 was 1m49.581s, putting him behind both Filipe Albuquerque’s #22 United car and Paul di Resta’s #23 machine.
Rene Rast drove the finest of the WRT machines to fourth in LMP2 and seventh overall, followed by Ferdinand Habsburg and Robert Kubica in the Prema Oreca in the sister Realteam by WRT car.
On the Penske Oreca, Dane Cameron set the ninth quickest time in class, putting the American team in 13th place on the grid for their WEC debut.
After a shunt for Fabio Scherer, who is filling in for a COVID-positive Alex Brundle at the Inter Europol Competition LMP2 squad, the 10-minute Hypercar/LMP2 practice came to an early stop.
Porsche’s factory 911 RSR-19s swept the top two positions in the GTE Pro class, with Michael Christensen and Kevin Estre’s #92 vehicle taking pole.
Christensen waited until the very end of the 10-minute GTE session to set his best time of 1m57.233s, edging off Gianmaria Bruni in the #91 Porsche by 0.150s. Nick Tandy’s solitary Corvette C8.R was the best of the rest, finishing 0.463s behind the leaders.
AF Corse is in charge of the project. Both James Calado (#51) and team newcomer Antonio Fuoco (#52) set times that were slower than the GTE Am pole-sitting TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage.
Ben Keating won Am pole with a time of 1m59.204s, more than a second faster than Paul Dalla Lana in the NorthWest AMR car. Brendan Iribe, driving the #56 Project 1 Porsche, finished third.
Nicolas Leutwiler’s off on the sibling #46 Project 1 vehicle resulted in a brief red flag period.