Kamui Kobayashi took pole position for tomorrow’s opening round the 2021 FIA World Endurance Championship at the TOTAL 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, while Kevin Estre starred with a brilliant performance in LMGTE Pro.
The action-packed qualifying sessions ushers in a new era of endurance racing and sees the first ever pole position for a Hypercar categorised entry.
The #7 Toyota Gazoo Racing GR010-Hybrid, driven by reigning World Champion Kamui Kobayashi, set the first ever Hypercar pole time with a 2m00.747 lap, the fastest of the weekend so far. Kazuki Nakajima qualified the #8 Toyota GR010-Hybrid 0.519s behind his teammate, making it an all-Toyota front-row. The #36 Alpine ELF Matmut will start fourth on the grid
#92 Porsche GT Team 911 RSR–19 driven by Kevin Estre clinched the pole position with a dominant time of 2m11.219. Estre’s sensational time is the fastest ever qualifying lap in a WEC entered LMGTE Pro entry and is a full 1.1 s clear of AF Corse Ferrari #52 car of Daniel Serra and Miguel Molina.
Reigning LMP2 champions, United Autosports USA, continue to be the benchmark in LMP2 as Filipe Albuquerque sets a blistering pole lap of 2m02.404s to finish third overall ahead of the #36 Alpine Elf Matmut A480. The #22 Oreca-Gibson finished the session 0.05s ahead of second placed G-Drive Racing Aurus 01-Gibson driven by Nyck de Vries. Lining up third for tomorrow’s race is the Racing Team Nederland entry driven by Giedo van der Garde
LMGTE Am class was topped by the #33 TF Sport Aston Martin with Ben Keating leaving it late to score the first point of the season. Keating lapped in 2m14.660 to beat the #98 Aston Martin Racing entry of Paul Dalla Lana by just under a second. The #88 Dempsey Proton Racing Porsche, driven by Andrew Haryanto, grabbed third on his WEC debut with a best of 2m16.319s best.
The #77 Dempsey Proton Porsche crashed spectacularly at Raidillon and caused a red flag four minutes into the session. Christian Ried stepped away uninjured. A second stoppage was needed after Egidio Perfetti also crashed at in similar place as Ried in the #56 Team Project 1 Porsche, with Perfetti also walking away unharmed.
The first round of the 2021 FIA World Endurance Championship is scheduled to go green at 13.30 local time tomorrow afternoon.