Kamui Kobayashi has taken pole for the FIA World Endurance Championship’s 6 Hours of Spa, after original pole sitter Antonio Giovinazzi had his lap, a 2:00.777, deleted for exceeding track limits.
This means the #7 Toyota GR010 will start from pole, with Kobayashi setting a 2:00.812. Miguel Molina in the sister #50 Ferrari 499P will start second, just 0.024 back, while Giovinazzi will have to settle for third, 0.161 off Kobayashi.
Kobayashi had pitted thinking he’d done enough to secure pole, before Giovinazzi crossed the line to steal it at the last gasp — but it wasn’t to be.
Fourth and fifth are the two Cadillacs, Earl Bamber in the #2 Cadillac V-Series.R, the full season car, ahead of Sebastien Bourdais in the yellow #3 car which will only race here and at Le Mans in June.
Sixth is Kevin Estre in the #6 Porsche 963, while Will Stevens did a great job to outqualify a factory Porsche in the customer JOTA-run #38 Porsche, the car’s first race and the team’s first appearance in Hypercar.
The #708 Glickenhaus, qualified by Olivier Pla, will start eighth, with the first of the Peugeots, the #93 driven by Jean Eric Vergne, ninth. 10th is the sister factory #5 Porsche of Fred Makowiecki, with the #94 Peugeot and the #4 Vanwall 680 11th and 12th.
You may be thinking there’s one notable omission – the #8 Toyota. This car will start last in Hypercar after Brendon Hartley lost the rear end of the car on stone cold tyres early on, going through Raidillon, nosing into the barrier heavily.
IMSA champion Tom Blomqvist took pole for United Autosports in LMP2, with the #23 Oreca 07-Gibson driver shining as many teams made strategic mistakes changing tyres.
In second was Louis Deletraz in the #41 Team WRT Oreca 07-Gibson, 0.339 off Blomqvist, with the Swiss driver unable to match the Brit. And, in third, was #63 Prema Oreca 07-Gibson’s Daniil Kvyat.
In GTE-Am, it was initially expected to be another battle between Corvette’s Ben Keating and Iron Dames’ Sarah Bovy. However, while Keating did top the times as the 14 drivers were warming their tyres up, Ahmad Al Harthy stomped the field to take pole by two seconds.
Mid-way into the session, just as the tyres got up to temperature, disaster for PJ Hyett in the #56 Project 1 AO Porsche 911 RSR-19. The American, who had just gone third on the timesheets and set the fastest third sector time overall, lost the rear of the Porsche going into Radillion, crashing heavily into the barriers on drivers’ right and destroying the front end of the car.
When the session resumed, with just over six minutes remaining, the tyres on the surviving cars had cooled, meaning the drivers would only get two representative laps to set a time.
However, no one could best Al Harthy, with the Oman driver setting a 2:17.216 in the #25 ORT by TF Aston Martin Vantage AMR. In second, 1.934 seconds off, was Sarah Bovy, who only had a single lap to get off the back row of the grid. She did the job in the #85 Porsche 911 RSR-19, though, but it was nowhere near enough to beat Al Harthy.
In third was Ryan Hardwick in the #88 Proton Porsche 911 RSR-19, a further three tenths off Bovy.
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