Fuoco claims Ferrari pole position for 6 Hours of Spa

Fuoco claims Ferrari pole position for 6 Hours of Spa

Ferrari’s Antonio Fuoco secured pole position after topping in qualifying for this weekend’s 6 Hours of Spa round of the FIA World Endurance Championship.

Ferrari AF Corse’s #50 499P will start tomorrow’s 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps from pole position after Antonio Fuoco set a time half a second quicker than anyone else in Hypercar Hyperpole this afternoon.

The Italian’s best time on the iconic Belgian circuit was a 2:02.600 and his lap time time was so quick he parked up in pit lane with more than two minutes remaining in the session, confident nobody could match him.

That was enough to secure pole for the car he shares with Nicklas Nielsen and Miguel Molina by 0.507 seconds ahead of Matt Campbell in the best of the Porsche Penske Motorsport cars, the No. 5.

“It was a really good qualifying,” Fuoco said after qualifying. “We made a big difference today with the tyres with a different approach that worked really well.

“We put a lap together, we know it will be tough tomorrow and we will do our best.”

Third on the grid went to Cadillac Racing’s solo V-Series.R courtesy of a 2:03.115 from Lynn, just 0.008 seconds slower than Campbell, while Julien Andlauer bagged a spot on the second row of the grid for the No. 99 Proton Porsche 963 in fourth.

Kevin Estre could only manage sixth in the championship-leading No. 6 Porsche, a place behind Callum Ilott’s No. 12 Hertz Team JOTA entry. On the other hand, Toyota only managed to get one of its two GR010 Hybrids through to Hyperpole, the No. 8 car, which qualified seventh in the hands of Brendon Hartley.

Rounding out the order in Hyperpole were the No. 35 Alpine A424 of Charles Milesi, who stopped on track along the Kemmel Straight at the end of the session, the No. 83 AF Corse Ferrari of Robert Kubica and Robin Frijns in the No. 20 BMW M Hybrid V8.

The No. 51 Ferrari was the most notable car to fail to make the Hyperpole cut as James Calado missed out on a spot in the top 10 by just 0.021 seconds, leaving he and teammates Alessandro Pier Guidi and Antonio Giovinazzi starting 11th.

Peugeot again failed to get either of its 9X8s in the top 10 as Mikkel Jensen and Loic Duval took 14th and 16th on the grid respectively, split by Kamui Kobayashi’s No. 7 Toyota. Kobayashi’s best lap was 1.276 seconds off the pace, his chances of making the top 10 not helped by a lurid slide exiting the second part of Fagnes.

The only factory team to get both of its cars in the shootout was Porsche Penske Motorsport. It could have been a very different story for its two 963s though, as Kevin Estre and Matt Campbell nearly came together at Les Combes on their out-lap, the Frenchman coming inches from rear-ending the #5 under braking.

The #38 Hertz Team JOTA Porsche managed to make it out for the first session following Oliver Rasmussen’s off in Free Practice 3. It will start 18th behind the Lamborghini SC63.

Hypercar Hyperpole Results

Sarah Bovy scored pole in the LMGT3 class aboard the No. 85 Iron Dames Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2.

However, the headline in LMGT3 came early in Hyperpole, when the championship-leading Pure Rxcing Porsche brought out red flags for a huge incident at Raidillon. Alex Malykhin, pushing to earn his second pole position of the season, lost the rear-end on entry, sending him backward into the tyre barriers on driver’s right at full speed.

Thankfully Malykhin was confirmed as ‘ok’ by Manthey via a radio message played on the TV broadcast, after being taken to the medical centre for checks on a stretcher. The impact was hard and severely damaged the car. It remains to be seen whether or not it is repairable for the race tomorrow.

The session resumed after a delay of just over 20 minutes, after which Bovy set the benchmark time of 2:20.755, putting her 0.337 seconds up on the No. 95 United Autosports McLaren 720S GT3 Evo of Josh Caygill.

Ahmad Al Harthy took third in the No. 46 WRT BMW M4 GT3 ahead of Manthey’s surviving Porsche, the No. 91 car of Yasser Shahin and the No. 59 United McLaren of James Cottingham. The Imola-winning No. 31 WRT BMW didn’t make Hyperpole, with Darren Leung only managing 13th on the grid.

The 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps is due to begin on Saturday at 1 p.m. local time (7 a.m. EDT).

LMGT3 Hyperpole Results

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