6H Spa: #7 takes first Hypercar pole, Estre tops GTE for Porsche

Kamui Kobayashi took overall pole position during qualifying for the opening FIA World Endurance Championship round at Spa-Francorchamps.

Qualifying ahead of the opening round, the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, was split into two sessions: one for the two GTE classes, and the other for LMP2 and Hypercar qualifying.

The GTE session started in dramatic fashion as #77 of Christian Reid lost the rear of his Porsche 911 RSR on his out-lap and crashed at the top of the Eau Rouge-Raidillon complex. He got out the car safely and conscious.

After a brief red flag period, with six-and-a-half minutes on the clock in the GTE session, the #56 of Egidio Perfetti had a heavy crash in the same place and of similar nature to Reid.

Both of these crashes, on their out-laps, could be put down to cold tyres and low tyre pressures.

Several cars had their first laps deleted, leaving a single-flying lap as their main attempt. The debuting D’Station Racing squad being one of them.

In GTE-Pro, Kevin Estre of the #92 stormed to the top with a potent GTE lap record of a 2m11.219s.

Ben Keating sought redemption after the crash earlier at the Prologue this week but secured class-pole in his first days in the #33 Aston Martin Vantage GTE.

LMP2 qualifying was an intense fight but the #22 of Filipe Albuquerque secured the fifth-consecutive class pole position in the FIA WEC LMP2; it is their 10th consecutive-pole in light of all their sportscar commitments carried over from last year.

The reigning LMP2 world champion set a time over two-tenths quicker than the #36 Alpine Elf Matmut Hypercar in the class above.

His main rival for pole was current Formula E championship leader Nyck De Vries in the #26 who closely rivaled the pace of the Portuguese driver.

Reigning world LMP drivers’ champion Kamui Kobayashi secured overall pole position and the first in Toyota’s new GR010 Hybrid. A time of 2m00.747s was pushed out ahead of his compatriot Kazuki Nakajima who did a 2m01.266s in the sister #8 car.

1 1 #7 Toyota GAZOO Racing Kamui Kobayashi 2m00.747s
2 2 #8 Toyota GAZOO Racing Kazuki Nakajima 2m01.266s
4 3 #36 Alpine Elf Matmut Nicolas Lapierre 2m02.652s
3 1 #22 United Autosports Filipe Albuquerque 2m02.404s
5 2 #26 G-Drive Racing Nyck De Vries 2m02.984s
6 3 #29 Racing Team Nederland Giedo Van Der Garde 2m03.435s
7 4 #70 Realteam Racing (Pro/Am) Norman Nato 2m03.475s
8 5 #25 G-Drive Racing (Pro/Am) Roberto Merhi 2m03.485s
9 6 #28 JOTA Stoffel Vandoorne 2m03.516s
10 7 #38 JOTA Anthony Davidson 2m03.625s
11 8 #21 DragonSpeed USA (Pro/Am) Ben Hanley 2m03.816s
12 9 #24 PR1 Motorsports (Pro/Am) Gabriel Aubry 2m03.869s
13 10 #31 Team WRT Robin Frijns 2m03.915s
14 11 #34 Inter Europol Competition (Pro/Am) Alex Brundle 2m04.207s
15 12 #1 Richard Mille Racing Tatiana Calderon 2m05.284s
16 13 #44 ARC Bratislava (Pro/Am) Darren Burke 2m05.522
17 14 #20 High Class Racing Anders Fjordbach 2m07.051s
18 1 #92 Porsche GT Team Kevin Estre 2m11.219s
19 2 #52 AF Corse Miguel Molina 2m12.351s
20 3 #91 Porsche GT Team Richard Lietz 2m12.370s
21 4 #51 AF Corse Alessandro Pier Guidi 2m12.443s
22 5 #63 Corvette Racing Antonio Garcia 2m13.106s
23 1 #33 TF Sport Ben Keating 2m14.660s
24 2 #98 Aston Martin Racing Paul Dalla Lana 2m15.615s
25 3 #88 Dempsey-Proton Racing Andrew Haryanto 2m16.319s
26 4 #54 AF Corse Thomas Flohr 2m16.367s
27 5 #83 AF Corse François Perrodo 2m17.560s
28 6 #47 Cetilar Racing Roberto Lacorte 2m17.719s
29 7 #85 Iron Lynx Manuela Gostner 2m18.452s
30 8 #86 GR Racing Michael Wainwright 2m18.813s
31 9 #60 Iron Lynx Claudio Schiavoni 2m20.356s
32 10 #56 Team Project 1 Egidio Perfetti NO TIME
33 11 #77 Dempsey-Proton Racing Christian Ried NO TIME
34 12 #777 D’station Racing Satoshi Hoshino 2m19.870s*