In an unexpected turn of events, the #7 Toyota has lost its pole position to the sister car, granting Fernando Alonso pole position in his first World Endurance Championship race.
Due to a fuel flow infringement, the #8 Toyota has been stripped of the pole position it claimed earlier on today. During qualifying, Mike Conway and Kamui Kobayashi put in a mega effort to set an average lap time of 1:54.583, but that will now be rendered moot as the car will have to start from the back of the grid.
[UPDATE] #8 @Toyota_Hybrid entry driven by @alo_oficial, Kazuki Nakajima @Sebastien_buemi will start from POLE position as #7 TOYOTA has been penalised and will start from the pitlane for tomorrow's #6hSpa.
— WEC (@FIAWEC) May 4, 2018
According to the stewards’ notice, the team incorrectly declared the Fuel Flow Meter and following a hearing and the team accepting the facts stated to them by the stewards, the decision has been made to cancel all the lap times the car set during qualifying. The #8 will start the race from the pit lane, which grants the sister car of Sebastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Fernando Alonso, pole position.
The #8 will now find itself alongside Andre Lotterer, Neel Jani and Bruno Senna in the #1 Rebellion R13 as the car is promoted to the front row of the grid. Given that the #7 must start from the pitlane, that now means that the #17 SMP Racing of Stephane Sarrazin, Egor Orudzhev and Matevos Isaakyan (which sits at the back of the grid) is no longer the last starting car – the #7 must wait until all cars have passed before leaving the pit lane. Providing they can repair damage sustained earlier today, the #10 Dragonspeed BR1 will also be starting towards the back of the grid having only set a qualifying time with one driver.
Tomorrow’s race starts at 13.30 CET.