WEC Spa: Porsche pilots hope for improvement in the race

470_WEC_SPA_Porsche_GDIn the qualifying for the six hour race of Spa-Francorchamps, round two of the World Endurance Championship (WEC) for sports cars on the storied circuit in the Ardennes, Porsche works pilots Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) and Patrick Pilet (France) planted their Porsche 911 RSR on the sixth grid spot in the GTE-Pro class. For Saturday’s race, they share the cockpit of the number 91 car with Timo Bernhard (Germany). Their works driver colleagues Marc Lieb (Germany) and Romain Dumas (France) take up the race one position behind them. The third driver in the 470 hp # 92 GT racer is Richard Lietz (Austria). Porsche AG Team Manthey field both Porsche 911 RSR.

From this season on, the qualifying in the WEC is conducted following a new format: For the first time, two drivers must qualify one car. The grid positions for the race are determined by the average of the two fastest timed laps of each of these drivers.

Joerg Bergmeister (#91): “I made a small mistake in my second lap. Otherwise I could have gone a little faster. But I still pitted so that I didn’t wear the tyres too much for Patrick.”
Patrick Pilet (#91): “The car ran very steadily and that’s good for the race. We’re not too far back and I hope that we can do even better tomorrow.”
Romain Dumas (#92): “That qualifying wasn’t perfect. But I’m sure we’ll look better in the race.”
Marc Lieb (#92): “Our car performed better than in practice so that’s a small step in the right direction. Let’s see what tomorrow’s race brings.”

Qualifying result
GTE-Pro class
1. Makowiecki/Bell/Senna (F/GB/BRA), Aston Martin Vantage, 2:19.811 minutes
2. Bruni/Fisichella (I/I), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 0.042 seconds
3. Kobayashi/Vilander (J/SF), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 0.278
4. Turner/Mücke/Dumbreck (GB/D/GB), Aston Martin Vantage, + 0.296
5. DallaLana/Stanaway/Lamy (CAN/NZ/P), Aston Martin Vantage, + 0.430
6. Bergmeister/Pilet/Bernhard (D/F/D), Porsche 911 RSR, + 0.432
7. Lieb/Lietz/Dumas (D/A/F), Porsche 911 RSR, + 1.049

GTE-Am class
1. Nygaard/Poulsen/Simonsen (DK/DK/DK), Aston Martin Vantage, 2:21.265 minutes
2. Potolicchio/Aguas/Malucelli (I/P/I), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 0.030 seconds
3. Goethe/Hall/Campbell-Walter (D/GB/GB), Aston Martin Vantage, + 0.284
4. Bornhauser/Canal/Rees (F/F/BRA), Chevrolet Corvette, + 0.480
5. Ried/Roda/Ruberti (D/I/I), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 1.425
7. Narac/Vernay (F/F), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 2.156

The World Endurance Championship
In the World Endurance Championship, sports prototypes and GT vehicles start in four classes: LMGTE-Pro, LMGTE-Am, LMP1 and LMP2. They all compete together in one race but are classified separately.

(Image: Gerlach Delissen)