Spa WEC: Audi dominates qualifying
|By Gary Watkins||Friday, May 3rd 2013, 19:10 GMT|
Audi 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.
GT QUALIFYING: ASTON ON TOP
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