Antonio Fuoco put the #50 Ferrari AF Corse car on overall and Hypercar pole at the FIA World Endurance Championship round 3 at Spa Francorchamps in Belgium. Putting in a late lap that blew open an otherwise tight qualifying session with a time over half a second faster than his nearest rivals. In LMGT3 the Iron Dames were all-conquering with Sarah Bovy setting the pace early on to secure the top position and never really looked troubled by the competition in either session.


Completing just 4 laps in the opening session, Sarah Bovy driving the  #85 Iron Lynx Lamborghini secured the top spot early on with a blistering lap of 2:20.527 some 0.706 seconds ahead of the #46 Team WRT BMW M4 LMGT3 of Ahmad Al Harthy. Taking third place was Yasser Shahin in the #91 Manthey Porsche.

With 5 minutes of the session remaining the top 9 seemed secure with a 0.2 second gap from the 78 Akkodis ASP car on 1.958 back to the #88 Proton Mustang in P10. However, while the #88 Mustangs was looking over its should at the sister car, the #77 of Ryan Hardwick, both were dumped out of the top 10 by the #27 Heart of Racing Aston Martin of Ian James jumped to P4 knocking both Mustangs out of the top 10.

LMGT3 Hyperpole

The Hyperpole session was stopped within 3 minutes of the start as Alex Malykhin in the #92 Manthey PureRxcing Porsche lost control through Radillon and went hard into the barriers at the top of the hill. Following the lengthy delay to repair the barrier, the session got back underway with a possibility of a maximum of 2 flying laps for the drivers.


At the restart Sarah Bovy once again held the fastest lap with a gap back to the second-placed #95 United Autosports car of Josh Caygill of 0.265 however her final lap significantly improved despite a slow middle sector, she extended the gap over Caygill to 0.337 seconds. Third place went to Ahmed Al Harthy in the #46 Team WRT BMW.


The Hypercar session got underway in dramatic style as the #5 and #6 Penske Porsches Matt Campbell and Kevin Estre respectively, nearly ended their qualifying session on the outlap as the pair discovered their tyres weren’t quite up to temperature. Braking hard at the end of the Kemmel Straight and going into Les Coombes both cars running one behind the other briefly lost control and were forced to take the escape road.

The first flying laps saw Toyota dominating with the #8 taking the top spot with a time of 2:02.586. Behind the #8 the order was changing every few seconds with the various Porsches all running within a fraction of a second of each other. While Porsche was dominating the session, Ferrari seemed to be struggling with Robert Kubica in the #83 AF Corse customer car running in third whilst both factory teams were out of the top ten.  Antonio Fuoco in the #50 was quick to make amends and leapt to the top of the board at the halfway mark with a lap 0.124 seconds quicker than the #8 Toyota.

Further down the field the #7 Toyota was struggling in P15 following earlier track limit violations making it difficult for Kobayashi to get the best out of his tyres when he needed it. 

Hypercar Hyperpole

Evidence from the opening session suggested it would take until the second flying lap for the times to start to stick. Brendan Hartley in the #8 Toyota posted a lap of 2:03.572 which was pipped almost immediately by the #99 Proton Competition car of Julian Andlauer with the #6 Porsche of Kevin Estre taking third place.

The times continued to fall until Antonio Fuoco took half a second out of the top time taking the pole with a lap of 2:02.600. Robert Kubica in the #83 Ferrari was gambling on one flying lap and was pushing hard but lost time in the middle sector upon encountering a slower car which kept the AF Corse Ferrari down in P9.

Late in the session the #35 Alpine of Charles Milesi stopped on track halfway along the Kemmel straight and was unable to finish the session. The car was out of harms way and wouldn’t cause a problem for anyone else but by this point it looked like the times were set. Nobody could dislodge Fuoco from the top with the #5 Porsche Penske Motorsport of Matt Campbell taking second place and Alex Lynn in the #2 Cadillac Racing taking third place.


The 6 hours of Spa Francorchamps get underway on Saturday afternoon at 13:00hrs CET.


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