Porsche steal Spa WEC pole from Toyota, Bamber and Hartley to start fifth

Porsche drivers Neel Jani and Andre Lotterer claimed pole position for this weekend’s Spa round of the World Endurance Championship.

The qualifying drivers in the #1 Porsche 919 Hybrid finished with a 1m54.097s average to end up nearly six tenths of a second faster than the Toyota of Mike Conway and Kamui Kobayashi.

Jani said: “When I saw that we were 2.5s faster than our previous best of the weekend, I couldn’t believe it.

“It was a super lap until the last chicane.”

Jani trailed Stephane Sarrazin’s low-downforce Toyota TS050 HYBRID after the first runs with a 1m53.658s, which Lotterer followed up on with a 1m54.439s.

Conway posted a 1m53.911s to the put his high-downforce Toyota third after the first runs, before Kobayashi lost his first lap when Dominik Kraihamer spun in the ByKolles CLM privateer LMP1 entry out of the Bus Stop Chicane.

The Japanese driver could only manage a 1m55.476s on his second lap on his tyres, which gave them a 1m54.693s average.

Nicolas Lapierre, who took over the Toyota from Sarrazin, lost a time to a track limits violation and then put in a 1m55.745s after a visit to the pits to haul the car back to third with a 1m54.701s average.

Kazuki Nakajima and Sebastien Buemi took fourth on a 1m54.907s average, while Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernhard were a further half a second behind in fifth on a 1m55.440s.

The G-Drive Racing squad took a second consecutive LMP2 pole with Alex Lynn and Pierre Thiriet.

They ended up wtih a 2m02.601s average aboard their ORECA-Gibson 07 to pip Signatech Alpine duo Gustavo Menezes and Matt Rao by just two hundredths.

The second Signatech car was third-fastest, just 0.005s ahead of the best of the Manor cars driven by Jean-Eric Vergne and Tor Graves.

Manor’s second entry will start from the back of the grid after Vitaly Petrov hit the barriers at Turn 9, bringing out the red flags.

Ferrari claimed pole position with the factory AF Corse-run car driven by Davide Rigon and Sam Bird.

Rigon claimed the fastest time of the session during the first runs aboard the #71 Ferrari 488 GTE, before Bird emerged fastest of the second group of drivers.

He posted a 2m15.114s before improving to a 2m15.096s on his second lap on a new set of tyres, which gave the AF duo an average of 2m15.017s.

That put them almost exactly four tenths up on the Ganassi Ford GT qualified by Olivier Pla and Stefan Mucke, who took a 2m15.418s average.

Pla had trailed Andy Priaulx by just under four hundredths in the first runs, but Mucke ended up three tenths up on Harry Tincknell to reverse the positions.

Both Fords used only one set of tyres in qualifying.

The second AF Ferrari shared by James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi took fourth ahead of the two factory Porsche 911 RSRs.

GTE Am qualifying honours went to the Aston Martin Vantage GTE shared by Paul Dalla Lana and Pedro Lamy.


1LMP1N.Jani, A.Lotterer, N.TandyPorsche LMP TeamPorsche1m54.097s
2LMP1M.Conway, K.KobayashiToyota Gazoo RacingToyota0.596s
3LMP1S.Sarrazin, Y.Kunimoto, N.LapierreToyota Gazoo RacingToyota0.604s
4LMP1S.Buemi, A.Davidson, K.NakajimaToyota Gazoo RacingToyota0.810s
5LMP1T.Bernhard, E.Bamber, B.HartleyPorsche LMP TeamPorsche1.343s
6LMP2R.Rusinov, P.Thiriet, A.LynnG-Drive RacingORECA/Gibson8.504s
7LMP2R.Dumas, G.Menezes, M.RaoSignatech Alpine MatmutAlpine/Gibson8.527s
8LMP2P.Ragues, A.Negrao, N.PanciaticiSignatech Alpine MatmutAlpine/Gibson8.532s
9LMP2T.Graves, J.Hirschi, J-E.VergneCEFC Manor TRS RacingORECA/Gibson8.535s
10LMP2M.Beche, D.H.Hansson, N.Piquet Jr.Vaillante RebellionORECA/Gibson9.522s
11LMP1O.Webb, D.Kraihamer, J.RossiterByKOLLES Racing TeamENSO CLM/NISMO9.730s
12LMP2N.Moore, P.Hanson, K.ChandhokTockwith MotorsportsLigier/Gibson10.079s
13LMP2F.Perrodo, B.Hanley, E.CollardTDS RacingORECA/Gibson10.961s
14LMP2D.Cheng, A.Brundle, T.GommendyJackie Chan DC RacingORECA/Gibson11.324s
15LMP2J.Canal, N.Prost, B.SennaVaillante RebellionORECA/Gibson11.517s
16LMP2H-Pin Tung, O.Jarvis, T.LaurentJackie Chan DC RacingORECA/Gibson20.123s
17GTE ProD.Rigon, S.BirdAF CorseFerrari20.920s
18GTE ProS.Mucke, O.Pla, B.JohnsonFord Chip Ganassi Team UKFord21.321s
19GTE ProA.Priaulx, H.Tincknell, L.DeraniFord Chip Ganassi Team UKFord21.468s
20GTE ProJ.Calado, A.P.GuidiAF CorseFerrari21.668s
21GTE ProR.Lietz, F.MakowieckiPorsche GT TeamPorsche22.765s
22GTE ProM.Christensen, K.EstrePorsche GT TeamPorsche22.913s
23GTE ProN.Thiim, M.Sorensen, R.StanawayAston Martin RacingAston Martin23.059s
24GTE ProD.Turner, J.Adam, D.SerraAston Martin RacingAston Martin23.543s
25GTE AmP.D.Lana, P.Lamy, M.LaudaAston Martin RacingAston Martin24.562s
26GTE AmC.Ried, M.Cairoli, M.DienstDempsey-Proton RacingPorsche24.968s
27GTE AmT.Flohr, F.Castellacci, M.MolinaSpirit of RaceFerrari25.561s
28GTE AmW.Sun Mok, K.Sawa, M.GriffinClearwater RacingFerrari26.818s
29GTE AmM.Wainwright, B.Barker, N.FosterGulf RacingPorsche28.023s
30LMP2R.Gonzalez, S.Trummer, V.PetrovCEFC Manor TRS RacingORECA/Gibson

Porsche steal Spa WEC pole from Toyota, Bamber and Hartley to start fifth

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