Spa WEC: Porsche fills top three on grid

Porsche drivers Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernhard set laps within two hundredths of each other to secure pole position for round two of the World Endurance Championship at Spa

Spa WEC: Porsche fills top three on grid

Hartley set a 1m54.779s and then Bernhard bettered it with a 1m54.755s aboard the #17 Porsche 919 Hybrid to end up with a 1m54.767s average.

That put them just under three tenths up on the second-placed Porsche of Formula 1 guest Nico Hulkenberg and Nick Tandy.

Hulkenberg had dropped from second to third after Audi driver Andre Lotterer did a second flying lap in the #7 Audi R18 e-tron quattro, but Tandy improved on his team-mate's 1m55.130s with a 1m54.920s to bring their average to 1m55.025s and jump back to second.

Neel Jani and Marc Lieb also moved ahead of the Audi to secure a qualifying one-two-three for Porsche with an average of 1m55.284s.

Hartley, who had also claimed pole at the Silverstone WEC opener with Mark Webber, said: "Three cars on top when we are running three cars for the first time is not as easy as everyone is saying - the team did a great job today."

Bernhard added: "Two poles in a row is good, but the important thing is to get points tomorrow after our retirement at Silverstone, so we are up there fighting for the championship."

Fassler followed up on Lotterer's 1m55.114s with a 1m55.967s, which left them with a 1m55.640s average and dropped them to fourth position.

Lucas di Grassi and Loic Duval were fifth with an average almost exactly a second behind after experiencing problems with their Audi's electronic systems.

Best Toyota was the #1 TS040 HYBRID shared by Anthony Davidson and Sebastien Buemi, who both set laps in the 1m57s bracket to end up with a 1m57.487s average.

All the LMP1 factory cars used two sets of Michelins on the abrasive Spa track on which consistent tyre wear will be key in the six-hour race.

The Silverstone-winning LMP2 Ligier-Nissan JSP2 from G-Drive Racing took class qualifying honours with Sam Bird and Julien Canal.

They ended up with a 2m07.761s average, which put them two tenths up on the KCMG ORECA-Nissan 05 shared by Matt Howson and Nicolas Lapierre.

Third fastest was the Team SARD Morand Morgan-Judd/BMW EVO driven by Oliver Webb and Pierre Ragues.

Fastest lap in P2 was set by the Jota Sport Gibson-Nissan 015S in the hands of Harry Tincknell, whose 2m07.074s moved the car he qualified along with Simon Dolan up to fifth in class.

Aston Martin Racing took its second GTE Pro pole of the season, this time with the #99 Vantage GTE driven by Richie Stanaway and Fernando Rees.

Stanaway was the fastest in the first group of drivers with a 2m17.167s and then Rees went faster with a 2m16.642s go give them a pole with a 2m16.840s average.

That put them nearly a tenth up on Gianmaria Bruni and Toni Vilander in the best of the AF Corse Ferraris, which ended up on a 2m16.910s average after Bruni got back in the car for a second run and set the fastest GTE lap to propel the 458 Italia from fourth to second.

That demoted Stefan Mucke and Darren Turner, who finished with a 2m17.231s average, to third.

Pedro Lamy and Paul Dalla Lana claimed a second consecutive pole in GTE Am in another works Aston Martin.

Follow the Spa 6 Hours as it happens in AUTOSPORT Race Centre Live from 1.30pm UK time on Saturday

QUALIFYING RESULTS:

Pos Class Driver Team Car Time Gap
1 LMP1 T.Bernhard, M.Webber, B.Hartley Porsche Team Porsche 1m54.767s -
2 LMP1 N.Hulkenberg, E.Bamber, N.Tandy Porsche Team Porsche 1m55.025s 0.258s
3 LMP1 R.Dumas, N.Jani, M.Lieb Porsche Team Porsche 1m55.284s 0.517s
4 LMP1 M.Fassler, A.Lotterer, B.Treluyer Audi Sport Team Joest Audi 1m55.540s 0.773s
5 LMP1 L.di Grassi, L.Duval, O.Jarvis Audi Sport Team Joest Audi 1m56.541s 1.774s
6 LMP1 A.Davidson, S.Buemi, K.Nakajima Toyota Racing Toyota 1m57.487s 2.720s
7 LMP1 A.Wurz, S.Sarrazin, M.Conway Toyota Racing Toyota 1m57.929s 3.162s
8 LMP1 F.Albuquerque, M.Bonanomi, R.Rast Audi Sport Team Joest Audi 1m58.000s 3.233s
9 LMP1 S.Trummer, V.Liuzzi, C.Klien Team ByKolles CLM/AER 2m07.286s 12.519s
10 LMP2 R.Rusinov, J.Canal, S.Bird G-Drive Racing Ligier/Nissan 2m07.761s -
11 LMP2 P.Ragues, O.Webb, Z.Amberg Team SARD Morand Morgan/SARD 2m08.055s -
12 LMP2 G.Yacaman, P.Derani, R.Gonzalez G-Drive Racing Ligier/Nissan 2m08.258s -
13 LMP2 S.Dolan, M.Evans, H.Tincknell JOTA Sport Gibson/Nissan 2m08.329s -
14 LMP2 N.Panciatici, P-L.Chatin, V.Capillaire Signatech Alpine Alpine/Nissan 2m08.901s -
15 LMP2 S.Sharp, R.Dalziel, D.H.Hansson Extreme Speed Motorsports Ligier/HPD 2m09.989s -
16 LMP2 N.Leventis, D.Watts, J.Kane Strakka Racing Dome/Nissan 2m11.655s -
17 LMP2 E.Brown, J.van Overbeek, J.Fogarty Extreme Speed Motorsports Ligier/HPD 2m16.721s -
18 GTE Pro A.MacDowall, F.Rees, R.Stanaway Aston Martin Racing V8 Aston Martin 2m16.840s -
19 GTE Pro G.Bruni, T.Vilander AF Corse Ferrari 2m16.910s -
20 GTE Pro D.Turner, S.Mucke, R.Bell Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 2m17.231s -
21 GTE Pro D.Rigon, J.Calado AF Corse Ferrari 2m17.526s -
22 GTE Pro C.Nygaard, M.Sorensen, J.Adam Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 2m17.757s -
23 GTE Pro S.Muller, K.Estre Porsche Team Manthey Porsche 2m18.025s -
24 GTE Pro F.Makowiecki, R.Lietz Porsche Team Manthey Porsche 2m18.038s -
25 LMP2 J.Nicolet, J-M.Merlin, E.Maris Oak Racing Ligier/Nissan 2m18.487s -
26 GTE Am P.D.Lana, P.Lamy, M.Lauda Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 2m19.578s -
27 GTE Am G.Roda, P.Ruberti, K.Poulsen Larbre Competition Chevrolet 2m20.694s -
28 GTE Am C.Ried, K.Al Qubaisi, K.Bachler Abu Dhabi-Proton Racing Porsche 2m21.432s -
29 GTE Am D.Cameron, M.Griffin, A.Mortimer AF Corse Ferrari 2m21.893s -
30 GTE Am F.Perrodo, E.Collard, R.Aguas AF Corse Ferrari 2m21.958s -
31 GTE Am V.Shaytar, A.Bertolini, A.Basov SMP Racing Ferrari 2m22.909s -
32 GTE Am P.Dempsey, P.Long, M.Seefried Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche 2m23.303s -
33 GTE Am F.Castellacci, R.Goethe, S.Hall Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 2m24.519s -
34 LMP2 M.Howson, R.Bradley, N.Lapierre KCMG ORECA/Nissan - -


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