Rebellion have proven untouchable in the opening stages for this weekend’s Six Hours of Spa on the first post-lockdown return of the FIA World Endurance Championship by thumping Toyota by eight-tenths to secure pole position.
The sole Kiwi entry for the event, Brendon Hartley will line-up alongside the lonely Rebellion in second. Hartley and teammate Kazuki Nakajima set an average time of a 2.00.417s, well down on the 1.59.342 that was pole position.
Both Toyota’s have been hindered by success handicaps due to their runaway championship lead, with the No.7 of Hartley slowed down by around 3.08s per lap while provisional points leaders in the No.8 have been restrained even further by 3.52s.
This year marks Hartley’s first run with Toyota at the hallowed Belgian circuit but will likely need fortune to fall on his side and Rebellion to run into drama if he is to challenge for the victory.
Pole in LMP2 went to the United Autosports squad with its solo Oreca-Gibson 07 as ex-Formula 1 ace Paul di Resta and co-driver Phil Hanson ending up over half-a-second quicker than their nearest rival.
The single Eurasia entry that was meant to be shared by Kiwi duo Daniel Gaunt and Nick Cassidy would end up 12th overall after making a myriad of mistakes on their flying laps.
Paul di Resta was quickest on a 2m01.888s during the opening runs, which Phil Hanson followed up with a 2m02.409s.
GTE will have an all Aston Martin front row after both works Vantages were promoted to the top of the timesheets after Porsche duo Michael Christensen and Kevin Estre had their provisional pole time deleted due to track limits.
An identical situation then occurred moments later for the Porsche outfit who had its next fastest lap time, which would have put them second on the grid, scrubbed as a consequence of abusing track limits.
Thus, Aston Martin snared an unlikely 1-2 with Porsche ruing down in third.
Bathurst 12 Hour winner Matt Campbell and Christian Ried claimed pole in GTE Am aboard their #77 Dempsey-Proton Porsche 911 RSR with a 2m16.519s, two-tenths quicker than the sister Porsche.
The German manufacturer were light years ahead of the competition with the outfit scoring a 1-2-3, over a second ahead of the fourth-placed Aston Martin.
The Six Hours of Spa kicks off from 11.30 pm NZT August 15.