The two Porsche 919 Hybrids will start from the front row for the second round of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). The reigning world champions Timo Bernhard (DE), Brendon Hartley (NZ) and Mark Webber (AU) claimed pole position with their number 1 car for Saturday’s six-hour race. Next to them on the grid in Spa-Francorchamps (BE) is the sister-car number 2 of Romain Dumas (FR), Neel Jani (CH) and Marc Lieb (DE).
“I managed to put a pretty good lap together and Timo did almost the same lap time,” commented Hartley. “But we didn’t expect such a gap. In the first practice session we were not happy with the balance of the car and the improvement since is a great team effort. We have now scored our first championship point for pole and want full points tomorrow. That’s the goal. After my accident in Silverstone our championship title defence starts here in Spa.”
In the WEC the average of the respective best laps of two drivers counts for the grid position. In Spa Bernhard/Hartley (car number 1 / 1:55.793 minutes) and Jani/Lieb (car number 2 / 1:56.590 minutes) were the qualifying drivers. It is the first pole position in 2016 for the 919 and its 13th pole since the prototypes’ debut in 2014. For the Bernhard/Hartley/Webber trio it is the 7th pole position in total. Due to higher track temperatures the pole time of Bernhard/Hartley was one second slower than their pole time from last year (1:54.767 minutes).
In the morning, during the third free practice session, the Porsche prototypes were the fastest cars on track – the number 1 car (1:56.465 min) ahead of the number 2 car (1:58.163 min).
The six-hour race starts on Saturday at 14:30 hrs local time.