Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Qualifying report

WEC Spa: Toyota takes pole after Ferrari gets track-limits penalty

Kamui Kobayashi claimed pole position for Toyota at the Spa round of the World Endurance Championship after Ferrari’s Antonio Giovinazzi lost his fastest lap to a track-limits violation.

#7 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota GR010 - Hybrid: Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi, Jose Maria Lopez

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

Giovinazzi found two tenths on a second quick lap aboard his Ferrari 499P Le Mans Hypercar to leapfrog AF Corse team-mate Miguel Molina and Kobayashi right at the end of the 15-minute Hypercar session.

The Italian’s 2m00.777s was good enough to give Ferrari pole by just three hundredths before the time was scratched out for the infraction on the exit of Les Combes.

Kobayashi moved back to the top of the times after the penalty for the Ferrari was confirmed, his 2m00.812s aboard his GR010 HYBRID LMH giving him a fifth pole of the Hypercar era.

His time was just two hundredths quicker than Molina’s 2m00.836s.

Giovinazzi took third with his previous best of 2m00.973s.

The two Ganassi-run Cadillac Racing entries took fourth and fifth in the hands of Earl Bamber and Sebastien Bourdais.

Bamber’s 2m01.043s in Ganassi’s full-season V-Series.R LMDh put him within three tenths of the pole, while Bourdais was more than a second slower on 2m02.138s.

Porsche took sixth just two tenths behind the second Caddy with Kevin Estre in the best of the Penske-run factory 963 LMDhs.

#6 Porsche Penske Motorsport Porsche 963: Kevin Estre, André Lotterer, Laurens Vanthoor

#6 Porsche Penske Motorsport Porsche 963: Kevin Estre, André Lotterer, Laurens Vanthoor

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

His 2m02.306s was six tenths up on the debuting customer 963 run by the British Jota team in which Will Stevens got down to 2m02.907s.

Olivier Pla, pole winner for the Spa WEC round last year, was eighth in the solo Glickenhaus-Pipo 007 on 2m02.960s.

Jean-Eric Vergne was the fastest Peugeot driver on a 2m03.217s, while Frederic Makowiecki rounded out the top 10 in the second of the Porsche Penske Motorsport entries with a 2m03.650s.

Gustavo Menezes was 11th in the second Peugeot 9X8 LMH, while Tom Dillmann was 12th in the Vanwall-Gibson Vandervell 680.

The session was red flagged after just a couple of minutes when Brendon Hartley crashed the #8 Toyota at Raidillon straight out of the pits on cold tyres.

Tom Blomqvist took a second LMP2 pole of the season for the #23 United Autosports ORECA-Gibson 07, following up on team-mate Oliver Jarvis qualifying in top spot at Sebring in March.

The Briton posted a 2m05.979s to beat late-improver Louis Deletraz at the top of the times by more than three tenths.

#23 United Autosports Oreca 07 - Gibson: Joshua Pierson, Tom Blomqvist, Oliver Jarvis

#23 United Autosports Oreca 07 - Gibson: Joshua Pierson, Tom Blomqvist, Oliver Jarvis

Photo by: Paul Foster

Deletraz’s 2m06.318s in the best of the WRT ORECAs bettered the 2m06.506s from Daniil Kvyat in the fastest of the two Prema entries.

Robin Frijns took fourth in the second WRT car with a time just three hundredths slower than Kvyat.

Ahmad Al Harthy claimed a maiden WEC pole position in GTE Am aboard the ORT by TF Sport Aston Martin.

The Omani driver topped the times before a red-flag stoppage of nearly 10 minutes and improved twice afterwards to claim the top spot by nearly two seconds with a 2m17.216s aboard his Vantage GTE.

Sarah Bovy took a last-gasp second in the Iron Dames Porsche 911 RSR with a 2m19.150s on a lap completed after the chequered flag had fallen.

Luis Perez Companc lost a time good enough for second to a track-limits infraction in his AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE Evo and ended up fifth.

The stoppage was caused by PJ Hyett when he crashed his Project 1 Porsche at the top of Eau Rouge.

Only 13 of the 14 GTE Am cars took part in the 15-minute session.

The #21 AF Corse Ferrari crashed by Diego Alessi in second free practice on Thursday afternoon was undergoing a rebuild around a fresh shell during the session.

The Spa 6 Hours, round three of the 2023 WEC, begins at 12:45 local time on Saturday.

WEC Spa - Qualifying results


Cla Drivers Car Class Time Gap Interval
1 United Kingdom Mike Conway
Japan Kamui Kobayashi
Argentina Jose Maria Lopez
Toyota GR010 - Hybrid HYPERCAR 2'00.812    
2 Italy Antonio Fuoco
Spain Miguel Molina
Denmark Nicklas Nielsen
Ferrari 499P HYPERCAR 2'00.836 0.024 0.024
3 Italy Alessandro Pier Guidi
United Kingdom James Calado
Italy Antonio Giovinazzi
Ferrari 499P HYPERCAR 2'00.973 0.161 0.137
4 New Zealand Earl Bamber
United Kingdom Alex Lynn
United Kingdom Richard Westbrook
Cadillac V-Series.R HYPERCAR 2'01.043 0.231 0.070
5 France Sébastien Bourdais
Netherlands Renger van der Zande
United Kingdom Jack Aitken
Cadillac V-Series.R HYPERCAR 2'02.138 1.326 1.095
6 France Kevin Estre
Germany Andre Lotterer
Belgium Laurens Vanthoor
Porsche 963 HYPERCAR 2'02.306 1.494 0.168
7 Portugal Antonio Felix da Costa
United Kingdom Will Stevens
China Ye Yifei
Porsche 963 HYPERCAR 2'02.907 2.095 0.601
8 France Romain Dumas
France Olivier Pla
France Franck Mailleux
Glickenhaus 007 HYPERCAR 2'02.960 2.148 0.053
9 United Kingdom Paul di Resta
Denmark Mikkel Jensen
France Jean-Eric Vergne
Peugeot 9X8 HYPERCAR 2'03.217 2.405 0.257
10 United States Dane Cameron
Denmark Michael Christensen
France Frédéric Makowiecki
Porsche 963 HYPERCAR 2'03.650 2.838 0.433
11 France Loic Duval
United States Gustavo Menezes
Switzerland Nico Müller
Peugeot 9X8 HYPERCAR 2'03.879 3.067 0.229
12 France Tom Dillmann
Argentina Esteban Guerrieri
Canada Jacques Villeneuve
Vanwall Vandervell 680 HYPERCAR 2'04.614 3.802 0.735
13 Switzerland Sébastien Buemi
New Zealand Brendon Hartley
Japan Ryo Hirakawa
Toyota GR010 - Hybrid HYPERCAR      


Cla Drivers Car Class Laps Avg Time Gap Interval
1 United States Josh Pierson
United Kingdom Tom Blomqvist
United Kingdom Oliver Jarvis
Oreca 07 LMP2 6 2'05.979    
2 Portugal Rui Andrade
Poland Robert Kubica
Switzerland Louis Deletraz
Oreca 07 LMP2 6 2'06.318 0.339 0.339
3 France Doriane Pin
Italy Mirko Bortolotti
Russian Federation Daniil Kvyat
Oreca 07 LMP2 7 2'06.506 0.527 0.188
4 Indonesia Sean Gelael
Austria Ferdinand Habsburg
Netherlands Robin Frijns
Oreca 07 LMP2 6 2'06.532 0.553 0.026
5 Denmark David Heinemeier Hansson
Brazil Pietro Fittipaldi
Denmark Oliver Rasmussen
Oreca 07 LMP2 4 2'06.556 0.577 0.024
6 Filip Ugran
Netherlands Bent Viscaal
Italy Andrea Caldarelli
Oreca 07 LMP2 7 2'06.601 0.622 0.045
7 Frederick Lubin
United Kingdom Philip Hanson
Portugal Filipe Albuquerque
Oreca 07 LMP2 6 2'06.684 0.705 0.083
8 Poland Jakub Smiechowski
Switzerland Fabio Scherer
Spain Albert Costa
Oreca 07 LMP2 7 2'06.825 0.846 0.141
9 Ireland Ryan Cullen
Matthias Kaiser
France Gabriel Aubry
Oreca 07 LMP2 6 2'07.035 1.056 0.210
10 Brazil Andre Negrao
Mexico Memo Rojas
United Kingdom Olli Caldwell
Oreca 07 LMP2 6 2'07.099 1.120 0.064
11 France Matthieu Vaxiviere
France Julien Canal
France Charles Milesi
Oreca 07 LMP2 6 2'07.157 1.178 0.058


Cla Drivers Car Class Avg Time Gap Interval
1 United Kingdom Ahmad Al Harthy
Michael Dinan
Ireland Charles Eastwood
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE AM 2'17.216    
2 Belgium Sarah Bovy
Denmark Michelle Gatting
Switzerland Rahel Frey
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 LMGTE AM 2'19.150 1.934 1.934
3 United States Ryan Hardwick
Canada Zacharie Robichon
United Kingdom Harry Tincknell
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 LMGTE AM 2'19.481 2.265 0.331
4 United States Ben Keating
Nicolas Varrone
Netherlands Nick Catsburg
Chevrolet Corvette C8.R LMGTE AM 2'19.506 2.290 0.025
5 Argentina Luis Perez Companc
France Lilou Wadoux
Italy Alessio Rovera
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 2'19.723 2.507 0.217
6 United Kingdom Ian James
Italy Daniel Mancinelli
Spain Alex Riberas
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE AM 2'19.976 2.760 0.253
7 PJ Hyett
United States Gunnar Jeannette
Italy Matteo Cairoli
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 LMGTE AM 2'20.017 2.801 0.041
8 Switzerland Thomas Flohr
Italy Francesco Castellacci
Italy Davide Rigon
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 2'20.382 3.166 0.365
9 Japan Satoshi Hoshino
Casper Stevenson
Japan Tomonobu Fujii
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE AM 2'20.507 3.291 0.125
10 Japan Takeshi Kimura
United States Scott Huffaker
Brazil Daniel Serra
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 2'20.515 3.299 0.008
11 Germany Christian Ried
Mikkel Pedersen
France Julien Andlauer
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 LMGTE AM 2'21.247 4.031 0.732
12 United Kingdom Michael Wainwright
Italy Riccardo Pera
United Kingdom Benjamin Barker
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 LMGTE AM 2'22.469 5.253 1.222
13 Italy Claudio Schiavoni
Italy Matteo Cressoni
Belgium Alessio Picariello
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 LMGTE AM 2'23.097 5.881 0.628
14 Diego Alessi
France Simon Mann
Ulysse De
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM      

Be part of the Autosport community

Join the conversation
Previous article WEC Spa: Toyota beats Cadillac to fastest FP3 time on drying track
Next article Porsche reveals special livery for Le Mans 24 Hours

Top Comments

There are no comments at the moment. Would you like to write one?

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content