Porsche started the second weekend of the World Endurance Championship P1 and P2 at the top of the screens in Free Practice 1. The #1 919 which is looking to bounce back after crashing out at Silverstone managed a 1:58.012 with Brendon Hartley at the wheel after 30 minutes of running in the Belgian sunshine.
Hartley’s time was half a second faster than the #2 Porsche 919 of Marc Lieb, Romain Dumas and Neel Jani and 1.4 clear of the fastest of the other LMP1 factory cars. The #6 Toyota TS050 finished the 90-minute session third overall (1:59.429), with the first of the Audi R18’s, the #7, fourth.
In LMP1-L, both Rebellion Racing R-Ones ran faster than the ByKolles CLM; the fastest lap from the Silverstone podium sitters was a 2:04.157 by the #13.
The #31 ESM Ligier headed the LMP2 class, after Ryan Dalziel set a 2:08.974 in the opening minutes. Dalziel’s time would stand at the top for the rest of the session while Pipo Derani and Chris Cumming turned in their first laps of the weekend.
Audi factory driver Rene Rast went second quickest in P2 for G-Drive Racing, setting a 2:09.028 just after Dalziel’s early flyer.
The GTE classes saw Aston Martin Racing lead the way, with Jonny Adam driving the #97 Vantage reeling off a 2:19.296 in his first competitive appearance in the car after missing Silverstone. Second of the GTE runners and first in Am was the #98 Aston Vantage following Pedro Lamy’s 2:19.748 lap which is just two tenths shy of the 2015 Am pole time.
Six tenths back from the lead Aston and third among the overall GTE times was the first of the other manufacturers. The #51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 of James Calado and Gianmaria Bruni finished up the morning with a 2:19.810 as its best time.
It was a quiet 75-minutes of running, with the #50 Larbre Corvette stopping out on the circuit at Turn 11 on its way back to the pits, after the session had finished the only notable incident.
The #2 Porsche 919 meanwhile was shown the black and orange flag twice during the session for a breach in technical regulations regarding the car’s telemetry system, DSC understands that a battery change was required.