Spa WEC: Porsche takes comfortable 1-2 in first practice

Porsche comfortably topped the opening practice session for the 6 Hours of Spa, the second round of the World Endurance Championship, with Brendon Hartley setting the pace in the #1 919 Hybrid.

Spa WEC: Porsche takes comfortable 1-2 in first practice

The New Zealander topped the times just shy of the halfway mark in the 90-minute session with a best time of 1m58.012s, improving slightly on his teammate Timo Bernhard's early benchmark of 1m58.206s.

Hartley's effort remained the benchmark for the rest of the session, Mark Webber failing to improve when he took over the #1 machine in the final 15 minutes.

The reigning champions finished the session 0.665s up on the sister #2 919 Hybrid, whose best time of 1m58.677s came courtesy of Neel Jani in the early stages.

The #2 car was also shown a black-and-orange flag during the session for a lack of telemetry, which has landed Porsche a fine of €1,000 suspended for the rest of the weekend.

Toyota beat Audi for the honour of best of the rest, with Mike Conway putting the #6 TS050 Hybrid in third place, 1.417s off the pace.

That was enough to edge out Marcel Fassler in the #7 Audi R18 e-tron quattro by four tenths, with the #5 Toyota and the #8 Audi completing the top six.

Rebellion occupied their customary seventh and eighth slots, the #13 R-One lapping some six seconds slower than the #1 Porsche but ending comfortably clear of the #4 ByKolles machine.

ESM, Aston Martin take class honours

In the LMP2 class, it was the #31 Extreme Speed Motorsports Oreca that set the pace, Pipo Derani putting in what would transpire to be the class benchmark of 2m08.974s inside the first 15 minutes.

That was enough to beat the #26 G-Drive Oreca by a scant 0.055s, while the #36 Signatech Alpine was a further 0.080s back in third place.

The best time in the GTE-Pro class was also set in the early stages by the #97 Aston Martin, benefitting from an improved Balance of Performance this weekend, as Jonathan Adam clocked in a 2m19.296s.

Pedro Lamy made it a clean sweep of the two GTE classes by leading the way among the Am contingent in the #98 Aston with a 2m19.748s, which was enough to beat all the Pro entries bar the #97.

The works Ferrari 488s took second and third in Pro, the #51 heading the #71, ahead of the #66 and #67 Ford GTs in fourth and fifth places.

Practice times:

PosDriverTeamCarTimeGap
1 AustraliaMark Webber 
New ZealandBrendon Hartley 
GermanyTimo Bernhard 
Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid '16 1:58.012 1:58.012
2 GermanyMarc Lieb 
FranceRomain Dumas 
SwitzerlandNeel Jani 
Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid '16 1:58.577 +0.565
3 JapanKamui Kobayashi 
United KingdomMike Conway 
FranceStéphane Sarrazin 
Toyota Racing Toyota TS050 HYBRID 1:59.429 +1.417
4 GermanyAndre Lotterer 
FranceBenoit Tréluyer 
SwitzerlandMarcel Fassler 
Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 E-Tron Quattro '16 1:59.983 +1.971
5 United KingdomAnthony Davidson 
JapanKazuki Nakajima 
SwitzerlandSébastien Buemi 
Toyota Racing Toyota TS050 HYBRID 2:00.053 +2.041
6 FranceLoic Duval 
United KingdomOliver Jarvis 
BrazilLucas di Grassi 
Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 E-Tron Quattro '16 2:00.440 +2.428
7 SwitzerlandAlexandre Imperatori 
SwitzerlandMatheo Tuscher 
AustriaDominik Kraihamer 
Rebellion Racing Rebellion R-One 2:04.157 +6.145
8 BrazilNelson Piquet Jr. 
GermanyNick Heidfeld 
FranceNicolas Prost 
Rebellion Racing Rebellion R-One 2:06.914 +8.902
9 United KingdomRyan Dalziel 
BrazilPipo Derani 
CanadaChris Cumming 
Extreme Speed Motorsports Ligier JS P2 2:08.974 +10.962
10 RussiaRoman Rusinov 
GermanyRené Rast 
FranceNathanael Berthon 
G-Drive Racing ORECA 05 2:09.029 +11.017
11 FranceNicolas Lapierre 
United StatesGustavo Menezes 
MonacoStéphane Richelmi 
Signatech Alpine A460 2:09.109 +11.097
12 United KingdomJames Rossiter 
United KingdomOliver Webb 
SwitzerlandSimon Trummer 
ByKOLLES Racing Team CLM P1/01 2:09.442 +11.430
13 FranceNelson Panciatici 
ChinaHo-Pin Tung 
ChinaDavid Cheng 
Baxi DC Racing Alpine Alpine A460 2:09.445 +11.433
14 United KingdomJonny Kane 
United KingdomNick Leventis 
United KingdomDanny Watts 
Strakka Racing Gibson 015S 2:09.483 +11.471
15 RussiaVitaly Petrov 
RussiaKirill Ladygin 
RussiaViktor Shaytar 
SMP Racing BR Engineering BR01 2:09.529 +11.517
16 ThailandTor Graves 
United KingdomWill Stevens 
United KingdomJames Jakes 
Manor ORECA 05 2:09.573 +11.561
17 SpainRoberto Merhi 
United KingdomMatt Rao 
United KingdomRichard Bradley 
Manor ORECA 05 2:10.205 +12.193
18 MexicoRicardo Gonzalez 
PortugalFilipe Albuquerque 
BrazilBruno Senna 
RGR Sport by Morand Ligier JS P2 2:10.280 +12.268
19 RussiaDevi Markozov 
FranceNicolas Minassian 
ItalyMaurizio Mediani 
SMP Racing BR Engineering BR01 2:10.936 +12.924
20 United KingdomSimon Dolan 
NetherlandsGiedo van der Garde 
United KingdomJake Dennis 
G-Drive Racing Gibson 015S 2:11.002 +12.990
21 United StatesScott Sharp 
United StatesEd Brown 
United StatesJohannes van Overbeek 
Extreme Speed Motorsports Ligier JS P2 2:11.168 +13.156
22 United KingdomJonathan Adam 
New ZealandRichie Stanaway 
BrazilFernando Rees 
Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage V8 2:19.296 +21.284
23 PortugalPedro Lamy 
CanadaPaul Dalla Lana 
AustriaMathias Lauda 
Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage V8 2:19.748 +21.736
24 ItalyGianmaria Bruni 
United KingdomJames Calado 
AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE 2:19.810 +21.798
25 ItalyDavide Rigon 
United KingdomSam Bird 
AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE 2:20.075 +22.063
26 United StatesBilly Johnson 
FranceOlivier Pla 
GermanyStefan Mücke 
Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK Ford GT '16 2:20.115 +22.103
27 United KingdomAndy Priaulx 
United KingdomMarino Franchitti 
United KingdomHarry Tincknell 
Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK Ford GT '16 2:20.155 +22.143
28 ItalyPaolo Ruberti 
JapanYutaka Yamagishi 
FrancePierre Ragues 
Larbre Competition Chevrolet Corvette C7 GT3 2:20.156 +22.144
29 AustriaRichard Lietz 
DenmarkMichael Christensen 
Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR 2:20.484 +22.472
30 United Arab EmiratesKhaled Al Qubaisi 
DenmarkDavid Heinemeier Hansson
United StatesPatrick Long 
Abu Dhabi-Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR 2:20.603 +22.591
31 FranceEmmanuel Collard 
PortugalRui Aguas 
FranceFrançois Perrodo 
AF Corse Ferrari F458 Italia 2:20.810 +22.798
32 DenmarkNicki Thiim 
DenmarkMarco Sorensen 
United KingdomDarren Turner 
Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage V8 2:20.900 +22.888
33 United KingdomMike Wainwright 
United KingdomAdam Carroll 
United KingdomBen Barker 
Gulf Racing UK Porsche 911 RSR 2:21.087 +23.075
34 GermanyChristian Ried 
SwitzerlandJoel Camathias 
GermanyWolf Henzler 
KCMG Porsche 911 RSR 2:21.115 +23.103
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