United Autosports has topped the timesheets in a disrupted first session for the 2021 FIA World Endurance Championship Prologue that saw no representative pace from the new Hypercars.
Of the three Hypercar entered for the opening round of the season, only two completed a flying lap as the #8 Toyota GR010 Hybrid logged a 02:06:896, which was only enough for eighth overall.
The #36 Alpine A480-Gibson was thirteenth overall as Matthieu Vaxiviere posted a 02:07:586.
With the Hypercar not showing their true colours, it was up to the LMP2 field to dictate the pace as reigning champions United Autosports went quickest overall, courtesy of a 02:04:968 from Phil Hanson in the #22 ORECA 07-Gibson.
Hanson was over half a second clear of Racing Team Nederland’s #29 ORECA, with newcomers Realteam Racing in third place.
The session was marked by three separate red flags, with race control ultimately bringing running to a close 30 minutes early. The first stoppage came when Filipe Albuquerque spun and beached his ORECA at the Bus Stop.
The second red flag was more serious as Ben Keating crashed hard, wrecking the #33 TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage AMR at Raidillon. Keating walked to the medical car unaided and was taken to the medical center for checks.
The third and final stoppage once again involved a TF Sport-run car at Raidillon as this time, Satoshi Hoshino found the wall in the #777 D’Station Racing Aston Martin Vantage AMR, which is operated by the British squad.
Following the third red flag, the session was curtailed half an hour early as repairs were needed to the barrier.
Porsche leads GTE Pro, Fuoco quickest in Am
Porsche brought the Porsche 911 RSR-19 to Spa-Francorchamps with a revised exhaust and set the quickest time in the morning session. Kevin Estre posted a 02:14:198 aboard the #92 car.
That was 0.189s faster than the #51 Ferrari 488 GTE Evo, while Corvette made it into the top three upon the C8.Rs European debut.
The #63 Corvette’s best efforts were slower than that of Antonio Fuoco, however, who led the way in GTE Am for Cetilar Racing.
The former single seater racer put down a 02:14:509 aboard the team’s new #47 Ferrari 488 GTE Evo, just over four-tenths ahead of the Corvette.
The WEC prologue resumes with an afternoon session at 13:30 pm local time.