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Aston Martin Sweeps GTE Qualifying at Spa

Aston Martin Racing takes poles in GTE-Pro, GTE-Am…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

Aston Martin Racing has again swept qualifying in the FIA World Endurance Championship, with the British manufacturer taking poles in both GTE-Pro and GTE-Am for Saturday’s Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps.

The No. 99 Aston Martin Vantage V8 will start from the top spot in GTE-Pro, thanks to Richie Stanaway and Fernando Rees’ two-lap combined average of 2:16.840 in the 25-minute session.

Their time edged out the No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari F458 Italia of Gianmaria Bruni and Toni Vilander by 0.070 seconds, despite Bruni setting the quickest single lap with just seconds left on the clock.

While it marked Stanaway and Rees’ first pole of the year, it was remarkably Aston’s tenth GTE-Pro/GTE-Am qualifying sweep since 2013.

The pairing will share driving duties of the Hanergy-sponsored entry with Alex MacDowell in tomorrow’s second round of the season.

It was nearly an Aston 1-2 in GTE-Pro, but the No. 97 car of Darren Turner was docked his quickest lap for abusing the track limits, forcing the Englishman to reel off another flyer.

Turner and co-driver Stefan Muecke settled for third quickest, ahead of the James Calado and Davide Rigon-qualified No. 71 AF Corse Ferrari in fourth.

The Silverstone pole-sitting No. 95 car of Marco Sorenson and Christoffer Nygaard made it three Aston Martins in the top-five in class.

Pedro Lamy and Paul Dalla Lana, meanwhile, scored their second consecutive pole in GTE-Am, thanks to the pairing’s 2:19.578 average in the No. 98 Aston Martin.

It was a considerable 1.358 seconds quicker than the No. 50 Larbre Competition Corvette C7.R, qualified by Paolo Ruberti and Gianluca Roda, in second.

Lamy and Dalla Lana will share driving duties on Saturday with Mathias Lauda.

The No. 88 Abu Dhabi by Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR completed the top-three in class, although nearly two seconds down from the dominant Aston.

The FIA WEC Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps gets underway Saturday at 2:30 p.m. local (8:30 a.m. ET, Live! FOX Sports 1).

RESULTS: Qualifying (GTE-Pro/Am)

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

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