WEC Spa: Conway and Kobayashi take pole, Alonso and Nakajima second
|By Gary Watkins||Friday, May 4th 2018, 15:19 GMT|
Mike Conway and Kamui Kobayashi took pole position for the World Endurance Championship superseason opener at Spa ahead of Toyota team-mates Fernando Alonso and Kazuki Nakajima.
Conway outpaced Alonso by just under half a second on the opening runs with a 1m54.679s compared with the McLaren Formula 1 racer's 1m55.143s.
Kobayashi then set the fastest time of the session with a 1m54.488s, just under three tenths up on Nakajima's 1m54.781s.
That gave Conway and Kobayashi a 1m54.583s average aboard the #7 Toyota TS050, nearly four tenths up on Alonso and Nakajima's 1m54.962s.
Neel Jani and Bruno Senna took third in the best of the Rebellion Racing entries with a 1m56.425s average - 1.8s shy of pole.
They were just over half a second up on Thomas Laurent and Gustavo Menezes in the second of the Rebellion-Gibson R-13s.
Vitaly Petrov and Mikhail Aleshin took fifth in the only of SMP Racing BRE Engineering-AER BR1s to set a time.
The sister car trigged an early-session red flag when Stephane Sarrazin stopped on the Kemmel Straight.
The 25-minute session was interrupted for more than half an hour after Pietro Fittipaldi crashed heavily at Eau Rouge in DragonSpeed's Gibson-engined BRE.
The Brazilian was transported to the circuit medical centre after his extrication.
Nicolas Lapierre and Pierre Thiriet were quickest in LMP2 aboard the Signatech Alpine ORECA-Gibson 07.
Their 2m02.405s average put them just one hundredth of a second up on the 2m02.429s from G-Drive drivers Jean-Eric Vergne and Andrea Pizzitola.
The two Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECAs took third and fourth positions, with Ho-Pin Tung and Gabriel Aubry edging out Jazeman Jafaar and Nabil Jeffri by two tenths.
The Ganassi Ford team took a one-two in GTE Pro, with Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell claiming the class pole ahead of Olivier Pla and Stefan Mucke.
Pla topped the times after the first runs in the #66 Ford GT with a 2m12.420s, which was just under two tenths up on Priaulx's mark.
Tincknell followed up with a 2m13.290s, which compared with Mucke's best of 2m13.641s.
That gave the British duo an average of 2m12.947s - just under a tenth up on Pla and Mucke's 2m13.030s.
Richard Lietz and Gianmaria Bruni were less than a tenth behind in third aboard the best of the factory Porsche 911 RSRs on a 2m13.034s average.
The second Porsche took fourth in the hands of Michael Christensen and Kevin Estre on 2m13.034s.
Best of the rest was the MTEK BMW M8 GTE of Tom Blomqvist and Antonio Felix da Costa on 2m14.017s.
They were three tenths up on reigning class champions James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi in the fastest of the AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTEs.
The best of the new Aston Martin Vantage GTEs took eighth on a 2m15.127s in the hands of Alex Lynn and Maxime Martin.
Matt Campbell and Christian Ried claimed the GTE Am pole in their Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR by just two thousandths of a second from Aston Martin Racing drivers Pedro Lamy and Paul Dalla Lana.