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Spa Pre-Race Notebook

John Dagys’ pre-race notebook from Six Hours of Spa…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

***The No. 47 KCMG Oreca 05 Nissan’s qualifying time has been disallowed due to a front skid block infraction, stripping the LMP2 team of its second place starting position. The Richard Bradley, Matt Howson and Nicolas Lapierre-driven entry will start from the pit lane with a 30-second penalty. The final grid can be found here.

***It promotes the No. 43 Team SARD-Morand Morgan LMP2 Evo to a front row starting position in class, marking the Benoit Morand-led team’s best qualifying effort to date. The team makes its FIA WEC debut this weekend after missing Silverstone.

***Both of the full season Audi R18 e-tron quattros are running in low-downforce Le Mans trim in order to give both points-scoring cars an equal chance, according to Audi’s Head of LMP1, Chris Reinke. “We have the confidence in the new package that they will be able to fight for victory here with that package,” Reinke said. “We wanted to thoroughly prepare for Le Mans, therefore it is an advantage on that side as well.”

***It’s a busy weekend for Audi Sport, which is represented at Spa-Francorchamps with three R18 e-tron quattros, while also taking part in the season-opening DTM round in Hockenheim. Audi looks to defend its manufacturers’ championship in the touring car series with its eight-car lineup.

***Toyota Gazoo Racing technical director Pascal Vasselon said there were no plans to have reserve driver Kamui Kobayashi on-site at either Silverstone or Spa-Francorchamps because of the Japanese driver’s Super Formula commitments. As a result, the No. 1 car will run with a two-driver lineup today.

***Porsche has a total of seven factory cars in action this weekend between Spa-Francorchamps and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, which has stretched the limits of the German manufacturer’s factory driver pool, particularly in GTE/GTLM.

***Sven Mueller and Kevin Estre make their factory debuts this weekend in the No. 91 Porsche Team Manthey Porsche 911 RSR, while Fred Makowiecki and Richard Lietz team up in the No. 92 car. Makowiecki and Lietz are the only full-season GTE-Pro drivers for Porsche in the FIA WEC.

***A total of 55 Porsche drivers are on the track this weekend at Spa, between the FIA WEC, Porsche Carrera Cup Great Britain and Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Benelux.

***The Nissan GT-R LM NISMO is expected to wrap up U.S. testing next week before continuing development of the LMP1 car in Europe ahead of its debut in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. A two-day test is scheduled at NCM Motorsports Park in Bowling Green, Ky. beginning on Monday.

***Today’s FIA WEC Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps will be broadcast live and in its entirety between FOX Sports family of networks, beginning at 8:30 a.m. ET on FOX Sports 1. Coverage will also be available via the FIA WEC Second Screen App, with radio coverage on Radiolemans.com.

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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