Given the opportunity to revisit Spa twice in one (Super-) season, we thought it would be interesting to compare the performance of each category (splitting LMP1 into its sub-parts) and asked our good friends @theBPillar to run some numbers for our collective enjoyment. Agreed the number of variables have changed its just a bit of fun, but interesting to see that in comparable dry weather conditions these average times are remarkably consistent across categories and over time.
AVERAGE OF FASTEST 20 LAPS PER CLASS – 6 HOURS OF SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS
Given development over a year and the changes in Equivalence of Technology (EoT) we might have expected some improvement, but of course it is only practice and you never quite know what teams are trialling in any one session.. Toyota certainly focused on race pace runs which given the expected changeable weather conditions for race-day may prove meaningless, other than delivering valuable data on their latest low-downforce spec for next months Le Mans 24hrs.
On a similar theme Rebellion made a point with their low d/f configuration and unrestricted fuel flow (hence no need to lift and coast) delivered a top speed of the day 326.5km/h. once again breaking the 200 mph barrier (202.816mph) through the Kemmel straight trap. Indeed both Toyota and Rebellion cars made it into the 200-plus club.
SMP Racing had a torrid day, the highlight of which was a stunning fastest lap (1:56.264) from Sergey Sirotkin in Free Practice 1, highlighted below. Given how it stands out we will be checking to see if track limits were exceeded in this free session. Unfortunately the #17 barely completed 2 laps in Free Practice 2 with Stephane Sarrazin washed from the track at Blanchimont damaging the car and unable to continue in the session. The cherry on the SMP Racing cake was the award of a €1000 for the late addition of Stoffel Vandoorne (replacing Jenson Button) in the No. 11 BR1 alongside Vitaly Petrov and Mikhail Aleshin.
Back to the charts from @theBPillar, take a closer look at the timing of the fastest laps as the session passes. Interestingly as the session progesses, the trendline actually shows an increase in the average which is counter-intuitive to what we would expect for a cleaner, rubbered in track. This chart also highlights why the Sirotkin lap is such a surprise and may be a bit of an anomaly…
The #4 ByKolles has acquired Gibson power similar to the not present #10 Dragonspeed & Rebellions. In the dry it took some time and requires further testing to find the LMP1 pace, but in the wet it was right on it and just a fraction of a second behind the slower of the Rebellions #1
The LMP2s showed remarkable consistency with the re-badged Orecas of Signatech and G-Drive Racing taking the leading positions pursued by the slippery sole Dallara of the Racing Team Nederland #29 entry. Rest assured the Jackie Chan DC Racing entries are probably holding themselves back until it counts, and we have high expectation of the stars from Sebring in #37 of David Heinemer-Hansson, Jordan King and Will Stevens.
TDS Racing #28 went well in the wet conditions, though missing Loic Duval this weekend (required at the DTM round at Hockenheim). He is replaced by the ever-rapid Norman Nato who is keen to impress and progress to a full season WEC contract.
With the track improving and little prospect of rain on Friday we are expecting some very fast times in the 1500cet Qualifying session. If you can’t be at Spa, then the WEC App will be streaming that session live. Worth clocking off early for!