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Kobayashi, Conway lead Toyota to Shanghai WEC pole

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Toyota Gazoo Racing continued its strong late-season form in the FIA World Endurance Championship as Kamui Kobayashi and Mike Conway teamed up to grab pole position for the 6 Hours of Shanghai on Saturday.

Entering the penultimate round of the WEC season after a one-two finish in Fuji three weeks ago, Toyota picked up its fourth pole of the season with its No. 7 TS050 Hybrid, finishing four-tenths of a second clear of the rival Porsche team.

Kobayashi’s time of 1:42.526 proved crucial in securing the No. 7 Toyota pole after Conway lapped some six-tenths of a second slower, giving the duo an average of 1:42.832.

Nick Tandy and Andre Lotterer finished 0.440 seconds behind in the No. 1 Porsche 919 Hybrid, with Lotterer losing his first flying lap after being adjudged to have exceeded track limits.

The duo were left to settle for second, with the No. 8 Toyota and No. 2 Porsche cars finishing two-tenths of a second further back in P3 and P4 respectively.

The No. 2 Porsche crew of Brendon Hartley, Timo Bernhard and Earl Bamber will clinch the WEC drivers’ title in Shanghai with a top-four finish on Sunday.

The No. 31 Vaillante Rebellion Oreca 07 Gibson took pole position in LMP2 through Bruno Senna and Julien Canal, beating the No. 26 G-Drive Racing crew by two-tenths of a second.

GTE-Pro pole went to the ‘Dane Train’ No. 95 Aston Martin Racing crew, with Nicki Thiim and Marco Sørensen combining to finish two-tenths of a second clear of Michael Christensen and Kevin Estre in the No. 92 Porsche 911 RSR. Class championship leaders James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi will start third in the No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE.

Aston Martin also topped the timesheets in GTE-Am as Pedro Lamy and Paul Dalla Lana grabbed pole by four-tenths of a second in the No. 98 Aston Martin Vantage GTE, beating the No. 77 Dempsey-Proton Racing team by four-tenths of a second.

Holmatro, INDYCAR renew partnership in five-year extension

Photo: IndyCar
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Holmatro, a long-time partner of INDYCAR and title sponsor of the Holmatro Safety Team, have renewed a long-standing partnership that will see Holmatro and INDYCAR continue their partnership in a five-year contract extension.

“Holmatro has been a trusted partner and supplier in Indy car racing for more than 20 years,” said president of competition and operations Jay Frye. “Holmatro’s growth parallels some of the great strides made in safety for INDYCAR drivers and teams. We’re pleased to see this partnership continue, as it is a great benefit to everyone in the paddock.”

Holmatro’s relationship with INDYCAR dates back to 1991, when they first supplied tools to the safety team of the CART sanctioned PPG IndyCar World Series. Holmatro branding will continue to be featured on the firesuits, vehicles, and transporters of INDYCAR’s safety team throughout the agreement.

“Holmatro is extremely pleased to extend our partnership with INDYCAR for another five years,” said Tony Barboza, general manager for Holmatro. “We’re extremely proud to be affiliated with the premier on-track safety team in the world. Members of the safety team serve on their home fire departments when not at INDYCAR events and, like them, we believe in constant improvement and innovation. When the race is for life, you can count on the INDYCAR Safety Team and Holmatro rescue tools.”

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