kobayashi on pole for toyota at spa 2023 wec-001

WEC Spa Qualifying: Kobayashi takes pole for Toyota

kobayashi on pole for toyota at spa 2023 wec-001

While Formula 1 fires up in Baku, Spa-Francorchamps is alive with the third round of the 2023 World Endurance Championship (WEC) with Kamui Kobayashi claiming pole for Toyota Gazoo Racing; United Autosports on top in LMP2; and LMGTE pole going to ORT by TF Sport.

Michele Lupini reports that a cancelled lap time saw Toyota inherit pole position and prevent Ferrari from scoring an emphatic double pole position Friday evening.

Ex-F1 driver Antonio Giovinazzi had added the WEC Spa 6 Hour pole position to Charles Leclerc’s Formula 1 Azerbaijan pole earlier Friday afternoon. But a track limits penalty cost the Ferrari driver his fastest time.

Giovanazzi had outpaced Toyota’s Kamui Kobayashi after Gazoo Racing teammate Brendon Hartley crashed on his out lap. But the No. 51 Ferrari 499P’s lost lap handed Toyota its second pole in three races this season.

Below are the main talking points from the qualifying session at today’s TotalEnergies 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, round three of the FIA WEC.

WEC Hypercar: Pole – No.7 Toyota Gazoo Racing

  • Antonio Giovinazzi in No.51 Ferrari AF Corse 499P had taken brilliant pole position with pole lap of 2m00.77s
  • Giovinazzi survived spin at La Source midway through the session to take second pole for Ferrari this season.
  • No.7 Toyota Gazoo Racing entry driven by Kamui Kobayashi inherits pole with a 2m00.812s lap after Giovinazzi penalty for track limit violation at T7.
  • Giovinazzi slips to third behind No.50 Ferrari AF Corse driven by Miguel Molina places second.
  • No.2 Cadillac V-Series.R entry driven by Earl Bamber is fourth ahead of sister No.3 Cadillac qualified by Sebastien Bourdais
  • Sixth is the No.6 Porsche Penske 963 driven by Kevin Estre.
  • Hertz Team Jota Porsche 963 with Will Stevens aboard sets seventh best time on WEC debut for gold car.
  • Oliver Pla in Glickenhaus Racing place grabs eighth and is best placed non-Hybrid Hypercar.
  • The No.93 Peugeot 9X8 of Jean-Eric Vergne qualifies in ninth ahead of the No.5 Porsche 963 Hypercar of Frederic Makowiecki.
  • No.94 Peugeot 9X8 Hypercar with Gustavo Menezes is 11th ahead of the Floyd Vanwall entry driven by Tom Dillmann in 12th
  • No.8 Toyota GR010 does not post a time as Brendon Hartley crashes at Raidillon on preparation lap.
  • Points leaders will now have to start from rear of Hypercar grid for TotalEnergies 6 Hours of Spa tomorrow

LMP2: Pole – No.23 United Autosports 

  • No.23 United Autosports claims pole position as returning Tom Blomqvist stars with a rapid 2m05.979s best.
  • British driver is yet to drive in a race this season after Sebring retirement and missing Portimao for IMSA race.
  • Second on grid will be the No.41 WRT Oreca-Gibson as Louis Deletraz gets to within 0.3s of Blomqvist’s ultimate pace.
  • Prema Racing third with No.63 car with Daniil Kvyat setting time.
  • No.31 WRT starts fourth as Robin Frijns qualifies in car that won last year’s LMP2 race at Spa.
  • Jota fifth with Pietro Fittipaldi peaking on a 2m06.556s in gold liveried car.
  • No.9 Prema completes top six as Bent Viscaal qualifies Italian entered Oreca-Gibson.

LMGTE Am: Pole – No.25 ORT by TF Sport 

  • Ahmad Al Harthy in ORT by TF Aston Martin claims a sensational first pole position with a scorching 2m17.216s
  • Omani driver is a massive 1.9s faster than second placed Iron Dames Porsche driven by local ace Sarah Bovy.
  • Ryan Hardwick completes best qualifying of the season for the No.88 Dempsey Proton Porsche 911 RSR-19 with third position on the LMGTE Am grid.
  • Points leading No.33 Corvette Racing will start fourth as Ben Keating qualifies car.
  • Luis Perez Companc places fifth for the Richard Mille AF Corse Ferrari in solid result after two practice accidents for the No.83 car.
  • No.98 Northwest AMR entry rounds out top six as Ian James sets time in re-jigged crew.
  • Session red flagged after PJ Hyett in Project 1-AO Porsche 911 RSR-19 crashes at Raidillon. US driver emerges unscathed.

Find full results  HERE

Toyota Gazoo Racing WEC

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