Porsche pounce with pole for Spa 6 Hour

Speedcafe.com

Saturday 3rd May, 2014 - 7:12am

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(left to right) Romain Dumas, Neel Jani, Marc Lieb will start the Spa 6 Hour from pole

(left to right) Romain Dumas, Neel Jani, Marc Lieb will start the Spa 6 Hour from pole

In only its second race back among the LMP1 bridge, Porsche has clinched pole position for the Spa 6 Hour race.

As track conditions improved in the Ardennes region of Belgium, the #14 Porsche 919 Hybrid of Neel Jani and Marc Lieb snatched the top time from Toyota’s grasp for round 2 of the World Endurance Championship.

Porsche decided to send Lieb out late in the 30-minute run on a drying track as Toyota remained on top with the last gasp effort proving a vital move.

Lieb managed to lower the two-lap average of the combined times of the pair of qualifying drivers to nab the top time.

The time produced by Lieb and Jani in the #14 Porsche which will also be shared by Romain Dumas in the race was 2:01.198s.

It was .638s quicker than the combined time of Anthony Davidson and Sebastian Buemi as the Silverstone-winning Toyota had to settle for second in the TS 040 which will also be shared by Nicolas Lapierre.

“This pole position means a lot to me,” Lieb said.

“It has been hard work for a long time for many people. Taking pole position today came as a total surprise.

“On my first run the track wasn’t dry enough for slicks and then Neel got into the car.

” I was having a coffee in the back of the garage and watching him. Then I was suddenly told get your helmet back on and improve your earlier lap time.”

Andre Lotterer and Marcel Fassler were the best of the Audi R18 e-tron runners in third.

The #20 Porsche, which was qualified by Timo Bernhard and Kiwi Brendon Hartley with Mark Webber sitting out the session, will start from fifth place.

The #7 Toyota Hybrid of Alexander Wurz, Stephane Sarrazin and Kazuki Nakajima will start from fourth.

The Rebellion Racing outfit was plagued with electronics dramas with its all-new R-One Toyotas and only managed to get the #12 machine out for qualifying.

Nicholas Prost and Mathias Beche will start the race in the troublesome Rebellion from 12th position in the car which will also be shared by Nick Neidfeld.

The KCMG Chinese ORECA-Nissan of Richard Bradley and Alex Imperatori was the quickest of the LMP2 cars.

Gianmaria Bruni and Toni Vilander claimed the top spot in GTE Pro in their AF Corse Ferrari.

See below for full qualifying results

 1

P1

Dumas/Jani/Lieb

Porsche

2:01.198

 2

P1

Davidson/Lapierre/Buemi

Toyota

2:01.836

 3

P1

Fassler/Lotterer/Treluyer

Audi

2:02.499

 4

P1

Wurz/Sarrazin/Nakajima

Toyota

2:03.177

 5

P1

Bernhard/Webber/Hartley

Porsche

2:03.672

 6

P1

Di Grassi/Duval/Kristensen

Audi

2:03.881

 7

P1

Albuquerque/Bonanomi

Audi

2:06.160

 8

P2

Howson/Bradley/Imperatori

KCMG ORECA-Nissan

2:12.103

 9

P2

Zlobin/Minassian/Mediani

SMP ORECA-Nissan

2:12.751

10

P2

Rusinov/Pla/Canal

OAK Morgan-Nissan

2:13.143

11

P2

Dolan/Tincknell/Gene

Jota Zytek-Nissan

2:13.761

12

P1

Prost/Heidfeld/Beche

Rebellion-Toyota

2:14.934

13

GTE P

Bruni/Vilander

AF Ferrari

2:32.338

14

GTE P

Turner/Mucke/Senna

Aston Martin

2:32.505

15

GTE P

Holzer/Makowiecki

Manthey Porsche

2:32.581

16

GTE P

Pilet/Bergmeister

Manthey Porsche

2:32.817

17

GTE P

MacDowall/O’Young/Rees

Aston Martin

2:33.070

18

GTE P

Rigon/Calado

AF Ferrari

2:33.572

19

GTE A

Perez-Companc/Cioci/Venturi

AF Ferrari

2:33.962

20

GTE A

Perrodo/Collard/Vaxiviere

ProSpeed Porsche

2:33.981

21

GTE A

Wyatt/Rugolo/Bertolini

AF Ferrari

2:34.039

22

GTE A

Ried/Bachler/Al Qubaisi

Proton Porsche

2:34.828

23

GTE A

Potolicchio/Roda/Ruberti

8Star Ferrari

2:35.348

24

GTE A

Mann/Giammaria/Case

AF Ferrari

2:35.641

25

GTE A

Dalla Lana/Lamy/Nygaard

Aston Martin

2:39.390

26

GTE A

Poulsen/Hansson/Stanaway

Aston Martin

2:39.404