Spa WEC: #7 Toyota beats sister car to pole

Toyota's #7 crew secured pole position for this weekend's Spa FIA World Endurance Championship round, beating the points-leading #8 car by almost half a second.

Sharing the #7 Toyota TS050 Hybrid, Kamui Kobayashi and Mike Conway both outpaced their opposite numbers in the #8 machine, Kazuki Nakajima and Sebastien Buemi.

Kobayashi posted a 1m53.812s to end up half a second quicker than Nakajima in the #8 car, before Conway went slightly faster with a 1m53.683s to end up a similar margin ahead of Buemi. 

That gave the #7 Toyota a 1m53.747s average, which compared with the #8 entry's 1m54.243s. A late rain shower and red flag - caused by the ByKolles stopping along the start/finish straight - denied the #8 crew a chance to improve its time in the closing minutes.

Conway said: "I got a good lap, and it's always rewarding when you do that.

"It's good to get the point for fastest lap, but we know the race tomorrow is going to be hard with the poor weather that has been forecast, so it will be all about making the right calls."

The SMP Racing BR Engineering BR1 qualified by Sergey Sirotkin and Egor Orudzhev ended up best of the rest on a 1m54.711s average, just under one second off pole. 

They were nine tenths up on the best of the Rebellion R-13s in fourth place, Gustavo Menezes and Thomas Laurent ending up on 1m55.640s.

The second of the AER-engined BR1s was a further four tenths back in the hands of team newcomer Stoffel Vandoorne and Vitaly Petrov. 

Bruno Senna and Andre Lotterer were less than one hundredth of a second behind in sixth position aboard the second of the Rebellions. 

Jean-Eric Vergne and Job van Uitert claimed the LMP2 pole position in G-Drive Racing's Aurus-badged Oreca.

Van Uitert had been fourth after the first runs, before Vergne posted the fastest P2 time of the 25-minute session for the prototypes for a 2m00.674s average and the pole. 

Gabriel Aubry and Stephane Richelmi were just over half a second in arrears in the best of the Jackie Chan DC Racing Orecas on 2m01.225s. 

That was three tenths up on the sister Jota Sport-run car in which Will Stevens had been fastest after the first runs. 

Ford takes pole in GTE

Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell snatched GTE Pro pole for Ford right at the end of their session. 

The #67 Ganassi Ford GT had been fourth after the first runs with a 2m13.571s from Priaulx, but Tincknell briefly moved the car up to second with a 2m12.973s. 

Priaulx was then given a new set of tyres to try to improve on his time before the end of the 25 minutes and found seven tenths with a 2m12.797s.

That gave them a 2m12.285s average, which put them less than a tenth of a second up on the Aston Martin Vantage GTE of Maxime Martin and Alex Lynn. 

Martin, who had been third after the first runs, had been given another shot after Lynn went three tenths quicker than his Belgian teammate. 

Martin then went quicker still with 2m12.698s, which briefly put them on pole prior to Priaulx's improvement. 

The BMW M8 GTE of Augusto Farfus and Antonio Felix da Costa, who posted the single quickest laps in class, took third and was the fastest of the GTE Pro qualifiers not to go for an additional run. 

They ended up with a 2m12.977s average, just a couple of hundredths behind the Aston. 

The second BMW ended up fourth in the hands of Nicky Catsburg, who was fastest after the first runs, and Martin Tomczyk. 

Porsche, which leads the manufacturers' and drivers' standings, ended up seventh and eighth with its pair of mid-engined 911 RSRs, while two AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTEs brought up the rear of the 10-car field. 

TF Sport Aston Martin claimed a first GTE Am pole with Charlie Eastwood and Salih Yoluc.

Prototype results:

Cla # Drivers Car Class Avg Time Gap
1 7 Mike Conway
Kamui Kobayashi
Jose Maria Lopez
Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 1'53.747  
2 8 Sébastien Buemi
Kazuki Nakajima
Fernando Alonso
Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 1'54.243 0.496
3 17 Stéphane Sarrazin
Egor Orudzhev
Sergey Sirotkin
BR Engineering BR1 LMP1 1'54.711 0.964
4 3 Nathanael Berthon
Thomas Laurent
Gustavo Menezes
Rebellion R13 LMP1 1'55.640 1.893
5 11 Mikhail Aleshin
Vitaly Petrov
Stoffel Vandoorne
BR Engineering BR1 LMP1 1'56.018 2.271
6 1 Neel Jani
Andre Lotterer
Bruno Senna
Rebellion R13 LMP1 1'56.021 2.274
7 26 Roman Rusinov
Job Van Uitert
Jean-Eric Vergne
Aurus 01 LMP2 2'00.674 6.927
8 38 Ho-Pin Tung
Gabriel Aubry
Stéphane Richelmi
Oreca 07 LMP2 2'01.225 7.478
9 37 David Heinemeier Hansson
Jordan King
Will Stevens
Oreca 07 LMP2 2'01.558 7.811
10 31 Roberto Gonzalez
Pastor Maldonado
Anthony Davidson
Oreca 07 LMP2 2'01.816 8.069
11 36 Nicolas Lapierre
Andre Negrao
Pierre Thiriet
Alpine A470 LMP2 2'01.832 8.085
12 4 Tom Dillmann
Oliver Webb
Paolo Ruberti
ENSO CLM P1/01 LMP1 2'02.246 8.499
13 29 Frits van Eerd
Giedo van der Garde
Nyck de Vries
Dallara P217 LMP2 2'03.959 10.212
14 28 François Perrodo
Matthieu Vaxiviere
Norman Nato
Oreca 07 LMP2 2'04.967 11.220
15 50 Erwin Creed
Romano Ricci
Nicholas Boulle
Ligier JSP 217 LMP2 2'06.234 12.487

GTE results:

Cla # Drivers Car Class Avg Time Gap
1 67 Andy Priaulx
Harry Tincknell
Ford GT LMGTE PRO 2'12.885  
2 97 Alex Lynn
Maxime Martin
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE PRO 2'12.952 0.067
3 82 Augusto Farfus
Antonio Felix da Costa
BMW M8 GTE LMGTE PRO 2'12.977 0.092
4 81 Martin Tomczyk
Nick Catsburg
BMW M8 GTE LMGTE PRO 2'13.313 0.428
5 95 Marco Sorensen
Nicki Thiim
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE PRO 2'13.341 0.456
6 66 Stefan Mücke
Olivier Pla
Ford GT LMGTE PRO 2'13.392 0.507
7 92 Michael Christensen
Kevin Estre
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE PRO 2'13.683 0.798
8 91 Richard Lietz
Gianmaria Bruni
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE PRO 2'13.836 0.951
9 51 Alessandro Pier Guidi
James Calado
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 2'14.060 1.175
10 71 Davide Rigon
Sam Bird
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 2'14.182 1.297
11 90 Salih Yoluc
Euan Hankey
Charles Eastwood
Aston Martin Vantage LMGTE AM 2'16.061 3.176
12 88 Gianluca Roda
Giorgio Roda
Matteo Cairoli
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 2'16.171 3.286
13 56 Jörg Bergmeister
Patrick Lindsey
Egidio Perfetti
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 2'16.390 3.505
14 77 Christian Ried
Riccardo Pera
Matt Campbell
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 2'17.005 4.120
15 98 Paul Dalla Lana
Pedro Lamy
Mathias Lauda
Aston Martin Vantage LMGTE AM 2'17.093 4.208
16 54 Thomas Flohr
Francesco Castellacci
Giancarlo Fisichella
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE AM 2'17.173 4.288
17 61 Luis Perez Companc
Matteo Cressoni
Matthew Griffin
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE AM 2'17.288 4.403
18 86 Michael Wainwright
Benjamin Barker
Thomas Preining
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 2'19.225 6.340
19 70 Motoaki Ishikawa
Olivier Beretta
Eddie Cheever III
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE AM    

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