Glickenhaus Racing won pole position for the FIA World Endurance Championship 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, beating Toyota Gazoo Racing and Alpine Elf Team for their maiden WEC pole and the first overall pole position for an American-flagged team in the competition.
In the Hypercar class, the top four drivers were separated by just three-tenths of a second. Olivier Pla’s time of 2:02.771 earned the privateer team their first WEC pole position, putting them in front of the field for tomorrow’s six-hour race.
Pla and Matthieu Vaxiviere onboard the Alpine for pole and second had the largest distance between them in the class. Pla’s first pole position since the 2018 6 Hours of Shanghai.
Despite having the fastest time in class in final practice, Toyota had to settle for third and fourth on the grid, with Brendon Hartley being 0.050s slower than his sister vehicle, Kamui Kobayashi.
AF Corse earned pole in LMP2 again, demonstrating the team’s speed as pole sitters from the 1,000 Miles of Sebring. With Alessio Rovera setting a time of 2:04.246 for the Pro/Am squad, they once again outqualified their pro line-up competitors. The difference was exceedingly minor, with Robin Frijns in the WRT winning by 0.044s.
Filipe Alburquerque’s 2:04.452 rounded out the top three, continuing the WRT versus United Autosports duel that had been ongoing this season. LMP2 proved to be a fiercely competitive class, with only three-tenths of a second separating the top five.
In GTE Pro, Porsche was once again on top, but this time the #91 took the lead instead of the regular #92. Ginamaria Bruni led the Porsche GT Team one-two at the chequered flag, beating Michael Christensen by 0.180s.
All of the GTE drivers agreed that the course’s evolution as a result of the support Porsche Carerra Cup races this weekend has changed the track’s characteristics and grip levels, making the first few laps around the track in the practice crucial.
The margin between Porsche and the other GTE Pro cars was roughly three-tenths of a second, giving them the lead but not the dominance they had in Sebring.
Nick Tandy’s Corvette Racing took third place in class, much to the dismay of a slightly more confident Ferrari following the practice sessions. The race will reveal whether Ferrari’s BoP weighting continues to hamper them, or whether their practice pace is more comparable to a six-hour endurance race.
Ben Keating’s excellent lap helped Aston Martin achieve another class one-two, with the TF Sport leading the class. He admitted that it took him a few laps to get back into the swing of things after the support races, as he struggled to find grip, but once he did, he was untouchable.
His time of 2:17.408 was more than 1.5 seconds faster than second-placed Northwest Aston Martin Racing’s Paul Dalla Lana’s, giving the American a highly competitive pole position.
Team Project 1 finished third, seven-tenths of a second behind Dalla Lana, and the Iron Danes car will start fourth in class as the highest-placed GTE Am Ferrari.