Friday 5 May 2017

FIA WEC 2017 - 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps: Qualifying

WEC Qualifying started on time at 14:50 with the GTE session. 

In the first flying laps Christensen in #92 Porsche was quickest with a lap of 2:17.185 but very soon Calado in the #51 Ferrari set the top time 2:16.020 but not for long as Davide Rigon in Ferrari #71 set a time of 2:14.938.

The #54 Spirit of Race Ferrari had lap 3 deleted due to track limit violation. This was to be a common theme in both qualifying sessions. In GTE Am Cairoli in the #77 Dempsey Proton Porsche set an early time of 2:16.323 which was fastest in GTE Am at that point. at 5 past the hour Aston #98 & Porsche #86 had laps deleted for track use abuse at Eau Rouge knocking out a quick lap by Lamy. Similarly in GTE Pro Mucke in the Ford GT #66 had its fastest overall has lap deleted. Not to be left out, the Clearwater Racing Ferrari #61 also had 2 laps deleted for track limit abuse.

First of the quick 2 lap averages in GTE Pro was the #67 Ford GT (2:15.565) which was soon displaced by the #71 AF Corse Ferrari (2:15.017). In GTE Am it was the Porsche #77 with fastest average for a while (2:19.065) but it was ultimately the #98 Aston Martin of Lamy and Dalla-Lana that ended up with the pole time of 2:18.659. It must be said that during the session it was very hard to keep track of all the positions as laps were repeatedly deleted due to track limits violations. 

The LMP session started and just as the first flying laps were being completed, Petrov put the Manor #25 into the tyres at Turn 9 (Bruxelles) bringing about a red flag. This seriously messed-up the majority of the LMP competitors who were on quick laps at that point.

At 15:25 the session was retarted and clock resumed counting down but of course there had been 5 minutes lost with aborted flying laps that had to be re-done. Jani in Porsche #1 set a time of 1:53.756 just as the Porsche #2 of Hartley ran off the track at the Bus Stop chicane (T18-19).

Fastest in LMP2 at that stage was Beche in #13 Vaillante Rebellion. Sarrazin then was fastest overall with a time of 1:53.658 in Toyota #9. There was then an announcement of 9 cars under investigation for speeding under the red flag 34/26/28/9/35/7/31/4/37.

At 15:49 Kraihamer in the ByKolles Enso #4 had a spin at turn 19 in front of #7 Toyota. Shortly after that the Porsche #1 set an average time of 1:54.097 which stood until the chequered flag, giving Neel Jani his 15th pole position in the FIA WEC.  At 15:52 The fastest 2 lap average in LMP2 was set by the #35 Signatech Alpine, only to have a lap deleted. It was in the end the #26 G-Drive of Pierre Thiriet and Alex Lynn fastest average with a 2:02.601.

Weather : Cloudy
Wind : 296° - 3.2
Air : 12.1 °C
Humidity : 75%
Track temp : 13.3 °C
Pressure : 968.5 hPa

Qualifying results LMP
Qualifying results GTE