After a front-row lockout by Audi at Silverstone, Porsche has retaliated with a 1-2 sweep in qualifying for the second round of the FIA World Endurance Championship season at Spa-Francorchamps.
Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley gave Porsche its first pole of the year, taking their No. 1 Porsche 919 Hybrid to a best two-lap average of 1:55.793 in the 25-minute session.
Their average time was 0.797 seconds quicker than teammates Marc Lieb and Neel Jani, who along with Romain Dumas, inherited the overall win in last month’s season-opener.
Porsche proved to be the class of the field in qualifying, with the German manufacturer nearly 2 seconds ahead of the LMP1 competition.
The No. 6 Toyota TS050 Hybrid, qualified by Stephane Sarrazin and Kamui Kobayashi, was best of the rest with a 1:57.698 average, and will start third overall.
Bernhard and Hartley will share driving duties of the No. 1 Porsche with fellow defending World Champion Mark Webber in Saturday’s WEC Six Hours of Spa.
Loic Duval and Oliver Jarvis qualified the No. 8 Audi R18 in fourth, with the No. 5 Toyota completing the top-five overall and in the LMP1 class.
Third through fifth in class were separated by only 0.052 seconds.
G-Drive Racing scored its second consecutive pole in LMP2, thanks to Rene Rast and Roman Rusinov’s 2:07.363 average set in their No. 26 Oreca 05 Nissan.
The pairing outran the No. 36 Signatech Alpine A460 Nissan of Nicolas Lapierre and Gustavo Menezes by 0.459 seconds.
Manor scored a career-best third in qualifying, with Will Stevens and Tor Graves’ recording a 2:08.893 average in their No. 45 Oreca Nissan.
The No. 43 RGR Sport by Morand Ligier JS P2 Nissan and No. 37 SMP Racing BR Engineering BR01 Nissan completed the top-five in class.
The session was red-flagged 10 minutes for debris following contact between the RGR Sport Ligier and the No. 4 ByKolles Racing CLM P1/01 AER.
Both cars continued and set qualifying times.
The FIA WEC Six Hours of Spa gets underway Saturday at 2:30 p.m. local time (8:30 a.m. ET).