Porsche takes 1-2-3 clean sweep at Spa

Porsche dominated the qualifying session for tomorrow’s second round of the World Endurance Championship at Spa, claiming a 1-2-3 sweep with its 919 Hybrids.

The #17 car of Timo Bernhard, Mark Webber and Brendon Hartley followed up their Silverstone pole after setting a scintillating average lap speed of 1m54.767s.

After taking pole, Bernhard was quick to pay tribute to his hero Stefan Bellof, who died at Spa in 1985.

“This is really a special and a great moment to pay tribute to Stefan Bellof,” said Bernhard, who is racing in a replica Bellof helmet this weekend. “He was a great idol of mine and I think he would be proud of what Porsche achieved today.

“It is a perfect start for us as we head in to the race tomorrow. It shows we have a quick package but we know how tough the opposition is here in WEC.”

Bernhard set a time just 0.024s quicker than his teammate Brendon Hartley in the car to confirm the 919 Hybrid’s superiority in qualifying trim.

Nico Hulkenberg will start his endurance racing debut from second place as he and teammate Nick Tandy finished the session just 0.258s behind the sister #17 Porsche. The #18 car of Romain Dumas/Marc Lieb and Neel Jani will start third.

The closest challengers to Porsche were again Audi, with its R18 e-tron quattros in fourth and fifth respectively with the low-drag-spec LMP1 cars.

Toyota struggled in the qualifying period and was nowhere near the pace of the Porsche and Audi LMP1 cars. The #1 and #2 cars will start sixth and seventh respectively, but are expected to have better race pace than they showed in Silverstone.

More success for G-Drive in LMP2

G-Drive Racing celebrated a second pole in as many races in LMP2 with Julien Canal and Sam Bird setting the best average two laps of 2m07.761s in the Ligier JS P2.

The KCMG ORECA 05 of Matt Howson and Nicolas Lapierre will start second in class. The Nissan-powered LMP2 coupe were in P1 going in to the final stages but were ultimately outpaced by Canal’s times on fresh tyres in the final few laps. The gap between the top two in class was just 0.3s.

Aston double in LMGTE

The #99 Aston Martin Vantage V8, driven by Fernando Rees and Richie Stanaway in qualifying,  will start from pole position in the LMGTE Pro class. They beat the reigning champions Toni Vilander and Gianmaria Bruni in the #51 AF Corse Ferrari by just 0.070s, as the Ferrari took time to get its tyres up to optimum temperature.

The LMGTE Am class pole fell to the #98 Aston Martin Racing duo of Paul Dalla Lana and Pedro Lamy to make it a double pole celebration for the British constructor.

The Canadian/Portuguese pairing set an average of 2m19.578s, with an outright fastest time set by Lamy of 2m16.642s.

The 6 Hours of Spa is scheduled to take place tomorrow at 14.30 local time.

6 Hours of Spa – Qualifying times

  Drivers Car Time
17  Timo Bernhard
Mark Webber
Brendon Hartley
Porsche 1m54.767
19  Nico Hulkenberg
Earl Bamber
Nick Tandy
Porsche 1m55.025
18  Romain Dumas
Neel Jani
Marc Lieb
Porsche 1m55.284
Marcel Fassler
Andre Lotterer
Benoit Treluyer
Audi 1m55.540
Lucas di Grassi
Loic Duval
Oliver Jarvis
Audi 1m56.541
Anthony Davidson
Sebastien Buemi
Kazuki Nakajima
Toyota 1m57.487
Alexander Wurz
Stephane Sarrazin
Mike Conway
Toyota 1m57.929
Filipe Albuquerque
Marco Bonanomi
Rene Rast
Audi 1m58.000
Simon Trummer
Vitantonio Liuzzi
Christian Klien
CLM/AER 2m07.286
10  26  Roman Rusinov
Julien Canal
Sam Bird
Ligier/Nissan 2m07.761
11  47  Matt Howson
Richard Bradley
Nicolas Lapierre
ORECA/Nissan 2m07.970
12  43  Pierre Ragues
Oliver Webb
Zoel Amberg
Morgan/SARD 2m08.055
13  28  Gustavo Yacaman
Luis Derani
Ricardo González
Ligier/Nissan 2m08.258
14  38  Simon Dolan
Mitchell Evans
Harry Tincknell
Gibson/Nissan 2m08.329
15  36  Nelson Panciatici
Paul-Loup Chatin
Vincent Capillaire
Alpine/Nissan 2m08.901
16  30  Scott Sharp
Ryan Dalziel
David Hansson
Ligier/HPD 2m09.989
17  42  Nick Leventis
Danny Watts
Jonny Kane
Dome/Nissan 2m11.655
18  31  Ed Brown
Johannes van Overbeek
Jon Fogarty
Ligier/HPD 2m16.721
19  99  Alex MacDowall
Fernando Rees
Richie Stanaway
Aston Martin 2m16.840
20  51  Gianmaria Bruni
Toni Vilander
Ferrari 2m16.910
21  97  Darren Turner
Stefan Mucke
Rob Bell
Aston Martin 2m17.231
22  71  Davide Rigon
James Calado
Ferrari 2m17.526
23  95  Christoffer Nygaard
Marco Sorensen
Jonathan Adam
Aston Martin 2m17.757
24  91  Sven Muller
Kevin Estre
Porsche 2m18.025
25  92  Frederic Makowiecki
Richard Lietz
Porsche 2m18.038
26  35  Jacques Nicolet
Jean-Marc Merlin
Erik Maris
Ligier/Nissan 2m18.487
27  98  Paul Dalla Lana
Pedro Lamy
Mathias Lauda
Aston Martin 2m19.578
28  50  Gianluca Roda
Paolo Ruberti
Kristian Poulsen
Chevrolet 2m20.694
29  88  Christian Ried
Kalid Al Qubaisi
Klaus Bachler
Porsche 2m21.432
30  55  Duncan Cameron
Matt Griffin
Alex Mortimer
Ferrari 2m21.893
31  83  François Perrodo
Emmanuel Collard
Rui Aguas
Ferrari 2m21.958
32  72  Viktor Shaitar
Andrea Bertolini
Aleksey Basov
Ferrari 2m22.909
33  77  Patrick Dempsey
Patrick Long
Marco Seefried
Porsche 2m23.303
34  96  Frederico Castellacci
Roald Goethe
Stuart Hall
Aston Martin 2m24.519

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About this article
Series WEC
Event Spa-Francorchamps
Track Spa-Francorchamps
Teams Porsche Team , Audi Sport Team Joest , Toyota Racing
Article type Qualifying report