Fernando Alonso, Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima will start Sunday’s FIA World Endurance Championship round at Fuji from pole position after the sister Toyota crew’s qualifying time was deleted by the stewards following the session.

Alonso and Buemi had fallen 0.091 seconds shy of Jose Maria Lopez and Kamui Kobayashi in the #7 Toyota TS050 Hybrid in qualifying at Fuji Speedway, leaving the #8 Toyota second for the start of Sunday’s race.

However, the stewards confirmed soon after the conclusion of qualifying at Fuji that Lopez had been caught speeding in the pit lane. Lopez was found to have exceeded the pit lane speed limit of 60 km/h by 8.7 km/h, resulting in "annulment of all lap times achieved by the driver.

The mistake led to Lopez's lap times being deleted, meaning the #7 Toyota did not complete a two-driver average, dropping it to the back of the grid. Toyota has also been fined €900 for Lopez's error.

"It happened and from my side I have learned from this and will avoid a similar situation in the future. My biggest mistake is not reporting the issue because I had a little doubt," Lopez said.

"I didn’t know it could affect my lap time, which had been completely legal. If I knew that I would have reported it and for sure we would have done another lap but I will learn from this. It’s a pity but there is still a long race ahead of us.”

Alonso, Buemi and Nakajima therefore inherit pole position, continuing their perfect qualifying record in WEC this season. It also marks the second time in four races they have taken pole as the result of a penalty awarded to the sister Toyota car.

The stewards at Fuji also confirmed the #3 Rebellion R13 Gibson was found to have exceeded the permitted fuel per lap quantity limit on its third lap of LMP qualifying, resulting in its Lap 3 and Lap 4 times being deleted. However, as Gustavo Menezes set his fastest time on Lap 2, the team does not receive a grid drop.