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Spa WEC: Audi dominates qualifying

Audi Spa WEC 2013Audi drivers Marcel Fassler and Andre Lotterer claimed pole position for the second round of the World Endurance Championship at Spa.

The duo emerged from the 30-minute qualifying session on Friday evening with the fastest four-lap average, which was three tenths quicker than that of the sister R18 e-tron quattro driven by Lucas di Grassi and Marc Gene.

The pole winning car, one of two high-downforce specification R18s in the race, was initially second in the times after the first runs by Fassler and di Grassi, which were interrupted by a brief red-flag period.

Lotterer then outpaced Gene, who was driving the solo long-tail Audi, on their first flying laps to move ahead on the averages, but both drivers were forced by traffic to back off on their second laps.

The German driver was quicker than Gene by a tenth of a second over their final laps to seal pole position with a 1m59.961s, which was 0.275s ahead of the sister car.

Lotterer, who is also joined in the pole-winning car by Benoit Treluyer, said: "It was a case of traffic management. I knew there was time [to do another lap], so I cooled down on that lap and made sure I got another one. It wasn't my best one, but it was good enough to get pole.

"Marcel did a fantastic job. When it matters he is there and drives the hell out of the car. It was a good day for us."

Di Grassi, who set the fastest lap in qualifying and was the only driver to break the 1m59s barrier, and Gene ended up a further four tenths ahead of Tom Kristensen and Allan McNish in the second short-tail Audi.

The two Toyota TS030 HYBRIDs were fourth and fifth in the times, the 2013 Le Mans-spec car driven by Alex Wurz and Kazuki Nakajima ending up three tenths ahead of the 2012 high-downforce version shared by Anthony Davidson and Stephane Sarrazin.

The second Toyota was only three tenths ahead of the fastest LMP1 privateer, the best of the Rebellion Racing Lola-Toyota B12/60s shared by Nick Heidfeld and Neel Jani.

The AF Corse-run Pecom Racing ORECA-Nissan 03 dominated LMP2 qualifying in the hands of Nicolas Minassian and Pierre Kaffer, ending up with a 2m08.640s average.

The car, which was ahead on the averages throughout the session, ended up two tenths clear of the Jota Sport Zytek-Nissan Z11SN shared by Oliver Turvey and Lucas Luhr.


Aston Martin Racing claimed its second GTE Pro class pole of the season courtesy of Bruno Senna and Frederic Makowiecki. All but one of their best four laps aboard the #98 Aston Martin Vantage GTE was under the 2m20 barrier, giving them a 2m19.811s average.

That was just a tenth ahead of the best of the AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italias driven by Giancarlo Fisicella and Gianmaria Bruni. Bruni set no fewer than four timed laps to lower their average to within four hundredths of the Aston.

GTE Am honours went to the Danish-crewed Aston shared by Christoffer Nygaard and Allan Simonsen. Two laps by Simonsen in the 2m20s bracket were just enough to get the car ahead of the AF-run 8Star Ferrari shared by Matteo Malucelli and Rui Aguas.

The controversial aggregate qualifying system calls for two drivers in each car to set two timed laps apiece, from which the average is calculated.

Pos  Cl     Drivers                         Team/Car                Time       Cl gap
 1.  P1     Lottere/Treluyer/Fassler        Audi                    1m59.961s
 2.  P1     Di Grassi/Gene/Jarvis           Audi                    2m00.236s  + 0.275s
 3.  P1     Kristensen/Duval/McNish         Audi                    2m00.610s  + 0.649s
 4.  P1     Wurz/Lapierre/Nakajima          Toyota                  2m00.947s  + 0.986s
 5.  P1     Davidson/Buemi/Sarrazin         Toyota                  2m01.203s  + 1.242s
 6.  P1     Prost/Jani/Heidfeld             Rebellion Lola-Toyota   2m01.482s  + 1.521s
 7.  P1     Belicchi/Beche/Cheng            Rebellion Lola-Toyota   2m03.278s  + 3.317s
 8.  P1     Leventis/Watts/Kane             Strakka HPD             2m03.688s  + 3.727s
 9.  P2     Perez Companc/Minassian/Kaffer  Pecom ORECA-Nissan      2m08.540s
10.  P2     Dolan/Turvey/Luhr               Jota Zytek-Nissan       2m08.762s  + 0.222s
11.  P2     Pla/Heinemeier Hansson/Brundle  OAK Morgan-Nissan       2m08.932s  + 0.392s
12.  P2     Baguette/Gonzalez/Plowman       OAK Morgan-Nissan       2m09.606s  + 1.066s
13.  P2     Graves/Pizzonia/Walker          Delta-ADR ORECA-Nissan  2m09.732s  + 1.192s
14.  P2     Rusinov/Martin/Conway           Delta-ADR ORECA-Nissan  2m09.892s  + 1.352s
15.  P2     Weeda/Liuzzi/Rossiter           Lotus                   2m10.361s  + 1.821s
16.  P2     Holzer/Kraihamer/Charouz        Lotus                   2m12.753s  + 4.213s
17.  P2     Nicolet/Merlin                  OAK Morgan-Nissan       2m13.518s  + 4.978s
18.  GTE P  Senna/Makowiecki/Bell           Aston Martin            2m19.811s
19.  GTE P  Bruni/Fisichella                AF Ferrari              2m19.853s  + 0.042s
20.  GTE P  Kobayashi/Vilander              AF Ferrari              2m20.089s  + 0.278s
21.  GTE P  Turner/Mucke/Dumbreck           Aston Martin            2m20.107s  + 0.296s
22.  GTE P  Dalla Lana/Lamy/Stanaway        Aston Martin            2m20.241s  + 0.430s
23.  GTE P  Bergmeister/Pilet/Bernhard      Manthey Porsche         2m20.243s  + 0.432s
24.  GTE P  Lieb/Lietz/Dumas                Manthey Porsche         2m20.860s  + 1.049s
25.  GTE A  Nygaard/Poulsen/Simonsen        Aston Martin            2m21.265s
26.  GTE A  Potolicchio/Aguas/Malucelli     8Star Ferrari           2m21.295s  + 0.030s
27.  GTE A  Goethe/Hall/Campbell-Walter     Aston Martin            2m21.549s  + 0.284s
28.  GTE A  Bornhauser/Canal/Rees           Larbre Corvette         2m21.745s  + 0.480s
29.  GTE A  Ried/Roda/Ruberti               Proton Porsche          2m22.690s  + 1.425s
30.  GTE A  Gerber/Griffin/Cioci            AF Ferrari              2m22.825s  + 1.560s
31.  GTE A  Narac/Vernay                    Imsa Porsche            2m23.421s  + 2.156s
32.  GTE A  Krohn/Jonsson/Mediani           Krohn Ferrari           2m25.564s  + 4.299s
33.  GTE A  Mallegol/Bachelier/Blank        AF Ferrari              2m27.888s  + 6.623s
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