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Spa WEC: Marc Lieb and Neel Jani give Porsche 919 Hybrid first pole

Marc Lieb snatched pole position for Porsche ahead of Saturday's Spa round of the World Endurance Championship in a frenetic session held on a drying track

Lieb, who shared qualifying duties in the #14 Porsche 919 Hybrid with Neel Jani, put in two quick laps at the end of the 30-minute session to lower the car's four-lap average and jump to the top of the times ahead of the Toyota TS040 HYBRID driven by Sebastien Buemi and Anthony Davidson.

Lieb had gone out first on intermediate tyres prior to Jani taking over on slicks as the track dried.

Jani put the car second on the timesheets behind the Toyota before all the factory LMP1s returned to the pits to switch back to their first driver in an attempt to bring down their qualifying average.

Two laps in the 2m01s bracket from Lieb gave Porsche pole position at the second time of asking on its return to top-flight sportscar racing.

Lieb, who has graduated to the LMP1 squad from Porsche's GT ranks, said: "I was drinking a coffee in the back of the garage when I was told to put my helmet back on and get back in the car.

"I was quite tough: I got a really good out-lap so I could get the two timed laps in.

"The past year has been quite dramatic. We have built a brand new team and done so many test kilometres, so to get the first pole position is really cool."

Lieb and Jani ended up with a 2m01.198s average, which was just over six tenths better than that of Buemi and Davidson.

Andre Lotterer and Marcel Fassler ended up third in the best of the Audi R18 e-tron quattros with an average a further seven tenths adrift.

Chinese entrant KCMG took pole in LMP2 with its ORECA-Nissan 03 driven by Richard Bradley and Alex Imperatori.

They looked to have secured the class pole before the SMP Racing ORECA-Nissan shared by Nicolas Minassian and Maurizio Mediani jumped to the top of the times after waiting in the pits until the conditions improved.

Bradley was put back in the car and managed one flying lap good enough to snatch pole back by six tenths.

FERRARI CLAIMS GTE POLES

AF Corse Ferrari drivers Gianmaria Bruni and Toni Vilander claimed a surprise GTE Pro pole position in conditions that traditionally favour rival Porsche.

Vilander had been only fourth in the Pro classification after the first runs in the wetter GTE session, but crucially made the call to send his team-mate back out on scrubbed wets.

A pair of 2m30s laps from Bruni gave their 458 Italia a 2m33.338s average to jump ahead of the factory Manthey Porsche 911 RSR shared by Marco Holzer and Frederic Makowiecki.

Darren Turner also improved his and Aston Martin team-mate Stefan Mucke's average after the chequered flag had come out to further demote the Porsche to third.

GTE Am honours went to the AF Corse Ferrari shared by Marco Cioci and Mirko Venturi with an average a couple of tenths up on the Porsche 911 GT3-RSR of Emmanuel Collard and Matthieu Vaxiviere.

Pos  Cl     Drivers                      Team/Car           Time       Cl gap
 1.  P1     Dumas/Jani/Lieb              Porsche            2m01.198s
 2.  P1     Davidson/Lapierre/Buemi      Toyota             2m01.836s  +0.638s
 3.  P1     Fassler/Lotterer/Treluyer    Audi               2m02.499s  +1.301s
 4.  P1     Wurz/Sarrazin/Nakajima       Toyota             2m03.177s  +1.979s
 5.  P1     Bernhard/Webber/Hartley      Porsche            2m03.672s  +2.474s
 6.  P1     Di Grassi/Duval/Kristensen   Audi               2m03.881s  +2.683s
 7.  P1     Albuquerque/Bonanomi         Audi               2m06.160s  +4.962s
 8.  P2     Howson/Bradley/Imperatori    KCMG ORECA-Nissan  2m12.103s
 9.  P2     Zlobin/Minassian/Mediani     SMP ORECA-Nissan   2m12.751s  +0.648s
10.  P2     Rusinov/Pla/Canal            OAK Morgan-Nissan  2m13.143s  +1.040s
11.  P2     Dolan/Tincknell/Gene         Jota Zytek-Nissan  2m13.761s  +1.658s
12.  P1     Prost/Heidfeld/Beche         Rebellion-Toyota   2m14.934s  +13.736s
13.  GTE P  Bruni/Vilander               AF Ferrari         2m32.338s
14.  GTE P  Turner/Mucke/Senna           Aston Martin       2m32.505s  +0.167s
15.  GTE P  Holzer/Makowiecki            Manthey Porsche    2m32.581s  +0.243s
16.  GTE P  Pilet/Bergmeister            Manthey Porsche    2m32.817s  +0.479s
17.  GTE P  MacDowall/O'Young/Rees       Aston Martin       2m33.070s  +0.732s
18.  GTE P  Rigon/Calado                 AF Ferrari         2m33.572s  +1.234s
19.  GTE A  Perez-Companc/Cioci/Venturi  AF Ferrari         2m33.962s
20.  GTE A  Perrodo/Collard/Vaxiviere    ProSpeed Porsche   2m33.981s  +0.019s
21.  GTE A  Wyatt/Rugolo/Bertolini       AF Ferrari         2m34.039s  +0.077s
22.  GTE A  Ried/Bachler/Al Qubaisi      Proton Porsche     2m34.828s  +0.866s
23.  GTE A  Potolicchio/Roda/Ruberti     8Star Ferrari      2m35.348s  +1.386s
24.  GTE A  Mann/Giammaria/Case          AF Ferrari         2m35.641s  +1.679s
25.  GTE A  Dalla Lana/Lamy/Nygaard      Aston Martin       2m39.390s  +5.428s
26.  GTE A  Poulsen/Hansson/Stanaway     Aston Martin       2m39.404s  +5.442s

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