Porsche Bag Treble in Spa Qualifying

Porsche Team took a faultless and historic 1-2-3 today in qualifying for the FIAWEC 6 Hours of Spa.

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From the start of the session it was more a question of whether anybody could challenge the 8MJ might of the 919 Hybrid than whether it would take pole position or not. With fully charged batteries the three German prototypes made unbeatable headway on the fast, twisting Belgian circuit, with just a brief interjection from Audi ace Andre Lotterer to keep the fans guessing.

It was the #17 of Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley that flew to the front of the pack, with the #19 of newcomers Hulkenberg and Tandy a quarter of a second behind. The super quick duo of Jani and Lieb had an oddly quiet day, finishing third on the grid and half a second off the polesetters’ time.

The two full season Audis took fourth and fifth with #7 edging the #8 by almost a second, testament to a phenomenal lap by Lotterer which on its own would have troubled the Porsche dominance.

Toyota Racing look to be struggling to replicate 2014’s world championship winning pace so far this year, with the #1 and #2 TS040s both around 3s off the front runners, while the #9 Audi of Rast and Albuquerque were unlucky to finish last of all the big three factory teams’ entries. The lone privateer P1, the CLM of ByKolles, finished just over 9s further back.

G-Drive racing carried their Silverstone form into the Spa qualifying session with a class pole for the #26 Ligier-Nissan. Hong Kong outfit KCMG took second in their firey chrome and blue Oreca 05 under a tenth ahead of the debuting SARD-Morand entry.

The sister G-Drive took fourth, a tenth in front of the reigning Le Mans LMP2 champions JOTA Sport and the #36 Signatech-Alpine. Extreme Speed Motorsports put their brand new Ligier-Hondas into 7th and 9th, split by Strakka Racing’s new Dome which is yet to unlock its full potential. The three gentleman driver team of Oak Racing rounded out the class field.

The GTE session ended with a show of dominance from the Aston Martin of Fernando Rees and Richie Stanaway, both of whom proved that the #99 team is really starting to come into its own. It would have been a front row double for Aston were it not for a last ditch flyer from (who else) Gimi Bruni, the multiple world champion jumping his Ferrari into second at the expense of the #97 of Turner and Muecke.

The #71 AF Corse took fourth on the grid ahead of the #95 ‘Dane Train’ Aston, a car having a quiet weekend with the temporary loss of superstar Nicki Thiim. The two Porsche 911s, also subject to some quick switching among the team, could only manage sixth and seventh but were separated by less than a tenth of a second.

Aston Martin also led the way in GTE Am with Paul Dalla Lana and Pedro Lamy not even bothering to stay out when they saw their one second lead over the chasing pack. The #50 Corvette took second ahead of the #88 Porsche, with the #55 and #83 AF Corses, #72 SMP, Dempsey Racing Porsche and #96 Aston rounding out the grid.