2015 FIA WEC: Six Hours of Spa preview
After a break of just three weeks, the FIA World Endurance Championship heads to the famous Spa-Francorchamps circuit in the Belgian Ardenne region this weekend for the second round of the 2015 season.
Last time out at Silverstone, the Porsche Team Manthey squad narrowly missed out on victory with the no. 91 Porsche 911 RSR of Richard Lietz and Michael Christensen finishing second, just over 10 seconds behind the winning Ferrari.
This weekend however, Lietz will be paired with Frédéric Makowiecki in the no. 92 RSR as both the former’s co-driver, Christensen and the latter’s partner, Patrick Pilet will be racing for Porsche North America Racing in the Tudor United SportsCar Championship event at Laguna Seca.
Porsche’s line-up shuffling means that the no. 91 car will feature an all-new driver pairing with Supercup racer and Porsche Junior, Sven Müller join Kévin Estre (the latter given permission to race for Porsche by McLaren).
Both drivers will be making their FIA WEC debuts at the demanding Belgain track however, the German-French duo have already acquitted themselves well, topping the times in today’s wet first practice session.
The second free practice session, also blighted by heavy rain, saw Lietz and Makowiecki lead the GTE-Pro field in their Porsche 911 RSR, setting a lap time nearly 0.3 seconds faster than the trailing no. 99 Aston Martin.
Down the pitlane, the Six Hours of Spa also marks Porsche’s warm-up event for June’s 24 Hours of Le Mans. In the LMP1 class, the two full-season 919 Hybrids are joined by a third top class racer piloted by F1 star, Nico Hülkenberg, 2014 Supercup champion, Earl Bamber and our very own Total 911 columnist, Nick Tandy.
Like the rookie pairing of Müller and Estre in the 911 RSR, the no. 19 Porsche 919 crew topped the times in one of today’s practice sessions with Bamber setting the fastest lap of FP2 despite only completing four tours of the track.
Qualifying takes place today, with the GTLM session starting at 6pm CET and the LMP1 session getting underway at 6:35pm local time. The six-hour race is green flagged at 2:30pm CET, concluding in the Belgian dusk on Saturday evening.
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