The FIA World Endurance Championship returned to on-track action at Spa-Francorchamps following a break of almost six months. In warm and humid conditions, it was the #1 Rebellion Racing crew of Bruno Senna, Gustavo Menezes and Norman Nato who took the pole position for Saturday’s six-hour race with an average time of 1:59.577.
Senna and Nato handled qualifying duties and were two of only three drivers to dip below the two-minute mark around the seven-kilometre circuit. The third was Kazuki Nakajima, who helped put his #8 Toyota TS050 on the front row ahead of the seventh round of the season around eighth tenths back on the Rebellion.
The championship-leading #7 Toyota TS050 will start the race from third on the grid, after qualifying around six tenths down on the sister car. Fourth fastest were guest starters Bykolles Racing with a fastest average lap time of 2:01.907.
Aston Martin with GTE Pro pole after Porsche DQ
Aston Martin appear to be in fine fettle ahead of the season’s conclusion as the British marque locked out the front row in GTE Pro qualifying. Alex Lynn and Maxime Martin took their maiden pole of the 2019-2020 season with a fastest two-lap average of 2:14.635.
That was only half the story, as Kevin Estre saw all of his laps erased from the record due to track limits violations. The #92 Porsche 911 RSR-19 had originally taken the pole position, with Michael Christensen the fastest driver of all in GTE Pro, but the car will now have to start the race from the back of the field.
Runaway drivers’ championship leaders Marco Sørensen and Nicky Thiim were just 8 thousandths of a second behind the sister car in second, in one of the tightest GTE Pro qualifying sessions seen this season.
Elsewhere, United Autosports secured LMP2 pole by a massive 1.5 seconds on average lap time ahead of the #38 JOTA crew. Cool Racing rounded out the top three, with championship contenders #37 Jackie Chan DC Racing qualifying in fourth.
GTE Am was an all-Porsche affair, with the German marque securing the top three spots in qualifying. Pole went to the #77 Dempsey-Proton Racing team ahead of the pair of Team Project 1 Porsches.
Images © WEC-Magazin (Walter Schruff / Ton Kerdijk)