Audis Lead First WEC Spa Practice Session


Treluyer put the #1 ahead in the first running of the Spa weekend (Photo Credit: Frederic le Floc'h/DPPI)

The three Audi R18 e-tron quattro ended the opening practice session for the Six Hours of SpaFrancorchamps first, second and third to begin the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) weekend at the Belgian track.

The two hour session, starting the two days on track for the second round of the championship, began on a wet track but with dry weather through the session the track dried with times falling to allow all the Audis to set their best times in the second half of the session.

Benoit Treluyer was the fastest man of the session in the #1 Audi hybrid, lapping the 7km track in 2:01.972. Treluyer, sharing the car with Marcel Fassler and Andre Lotterer topped a top five covered by less than a second with the #7 Toyota and the #12 Rebellion Racing Lola behind the trio of Audis with best laps from Nicolas Lapierre and Nick Heidfeld respectively.

Treluyer’s lap completed a sequence of laps in which each of the eventual top four set their best laps, each taking the lead of the session at the time. Lapierre set the best time in the 2013-spec Toyota TS030 shortly before the hour mark before Lucas di Grassi, in the ‘longtail’ bodied #3 e-tron quattro and then star of Silverstone Allan McNish both west faster, the Scot’s 2:02.312 topping the times for only five minutes before Treluyer set the lap that was to win the session.

Anthony Davidson was the fastest man in the #8 Toyota, which remains a 2012 spec car, but ended the session sixth fastest.

Olivier Pla was the fastest man in LMP2 for OAK Racing, taking the best time class from G-Drive Racing’s John Martin with the final lap of the session as he improved from 2:10.561 to 2:10.318. In doing so he leapt ahead of Martin (2:10.508). Nicolas Minassian was third fastest in Pecom Racing’s ORECA-Nissan. The Silverstone winning #25 ADRDelta crew were fourth fastest.

LMGTE – both Pro and Am – was an AF Corse dominated affair. Toni Vilander – who shares the #71 with Kamui Kobayashi – was the fastest man in the Pro ranks. The Finn was four tenths faster than teammate Gimmi Bruni in the #51.

Stefan Mucke and Marc Lieb made sure that all of the LMGTE Pro manufacturers – Aston Martin and Porsche racing the Ferraris – ended the session with best laps within a second of the faster.

Marco Cioci made sure the that the Pro squad’s performance was reflected in the Am class, with the #61 458 Italia over a half second quicker around Spa that Jamie CampbellWalter’s lap in the #96 Aston Martin Racing.