Rebellion Take Pole at WEC Spa Event

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Rebellion Racing on track at Circuit Spa-Francorchamps
Credit: FIA World Endurance Championship

The Swiss team Rebellion Racing have taken pole position with their only competing car, ahead of the Toyota Gazoo Racing duo.

Rebellion has had a dominant start to the Spa-Francorchamps weekend as the two Toyotas received over three seconds of success ballast ahead of the race. Neither Toyota was really a threat to the Rebellion of Gustavo Menezes, Norman Nato and Bruno Senna as their average times were around a second off the pace of the #1 car.

None of the LMP1 cars changes tyres between drivers, which meant none of the second drivers had an advantage of fresh rubber. Menezes went out first, setting a 1:59.342, the fastest time of the session. Already the other teams were on the back foot as the closest time set to this was Kazuki Nakajima in the #8 Toyota, three tenths off. Mike Conway didn’t give the #7 the best start, with his lap over a second off the pace of Menezes, but enough to keep the team ahead of the fourth and final LMP1 in the race this weekend, the #4 ByKolles Racing Team, after Ginetta withdrew completely from the FIA World Endurance Championship race.

In LMP2, United Autosports continued their strong run of form after the six month break, securing pole position thanks to Paul di Resta and Phil Hanson. Their 2:02.148 average time gave them 1.5s advantage over second-placed JOTA Sport, who could do no better than 2:03.956 in the hands of Anthony Davidson and Roberto Gonzalez. It was close between them and third-placed Cool Racing as Nicolas Lapierre and Antonin Borga‘s aggregated time was only three tenths off the JOTA team.

After a shuffle in their driver line-up ahead of the race, Job van Uitert replaced Nyck de Vries once again as de Vries had a clash with the FIA Formula-E finale. The Racing Team Nederland car struggled to put the laps together and will start at the back of the LMP2 grid. Both Giedo van der Garde and van Uitert had lap times deleted due to violations of track limits, with van Uitert not posting a legal lap time during the session.

#97 Aston Martin Racing on track at Circuit Spa-Francorchamp
Credit: FIA World Endurance Championship

Reigning GTE Pro champions Micheal Christensen and Kevin Estre dominated the GTE qualifying session, and it looked like they had done everything right to secure class pole position. At the end of the session they were competitively fastest, setting lap times within three hundredths of a second of each other, but due to a violation of track limits Estre’s lap time was deleted, dropping them to the back of the grid.

It was Alex Lynn, who only two days ago was in Berlin competing with Mahindra in Formula-E, and Maxime Martin who inherited pole position at Martin’s home race, ahead of the sister #95 Aston Martin Racing car in the hands of Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorensen. It was extremely close between the two Aston Martins, with Lynn and Martin taking pole position by 0.008s.

The second Porsche GT Team car of Gianmaria Bruni and Richard Lietz was fourth on track, inheriting third on the start grid, and four tenths up on the quickest AF Corse Ferrari. Both Ferraris qualified at the back of the GTE Pro grid, and will start fourth and fifth after the #92 Porsche had its lap time deleted.

Matt Campbell and Christian Ried put their #77 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche on pole position in GTE Am with an average of 2:16.519, beating out the #56 Project 1 Porsche by just over a tenth of a second. The sister Project 1 car took third on the grid, just under half a second off the #56’s average time.

The #98 Aston Martin Racing team start fourth on the grid after Darren Turner was swapped out with ex-BMW GTE racer Augusto Farfus as Turner will be spending the rest of the year focused on developing the  Valkyrie road car for Aston Martin. Farfus will stay in the car with Paul Dalla Lana and Ross Gunn for the final races of the 2019/20 season: the 24 Hours of Le Mans and 8 Hours of Bahrain.

Lights go out for the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps at 12:30 BST.

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