Close qualifying at Spa

The qualifying of the 6 hours of Spa was a close affair.

Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK #67 set the quickest time in GTE Pro with Andy Priaulx behind the wheel – a laptime that Michael Christensen in Porsche #92 tried to beat, but he missed by a fraction. Olivier Pla wouldn’t sit back and let his teammate have all the fun, and he went out to set the quickest time out of everybody.

As always there has to be two men in the car, so the result keeps changing.

Ford remained the fastest of all, with #67 in front of #66, while the two Porsches #92 and #91 qualified third and fourth. Nicki Thiim and Marco Sørensen were the ones to qualify the Aston Martin Racing #95, but they only managed to reach the tenth best time in GTE Pro. So it can possibly be a hard race for the team, since there are three seconds separating them and the car on P1. BMW Team MTEK #82 sneaked themselves in the fifth place, in front of the two Ferraris.

AF Corse Ferrari #51 & MR Racing Ferrari #70
Photo: JJ Media

In GTE Am, Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche #77 was the fastest car, followed by Aston Martin Racing #98, and Team Project 1 Porsche #56. It was extremely close between #77 and #98, since their average time was only 0,002 seconds of each other! It’s a difference of a bonus point or not in today’s qualifying.

Aston Martin Racing #98
Photo: JJ Media

The LMP classes barely started their qualifying when a red flag occurred.

SMP Racing #17 stopped in the middle of Kemmel Straight, which meant that only Rebellion Racing #3 managed to set a time. On the other hand it was a supertime, that would make the other team sweat a little.

There were only nine cars that could set their times, before another red flag came out on the track. This time it was something more serious than the previous one.

Pietro Fittipaldi in DragonSpeed #10 hit the tire barrier in Eau Rouge with full speed, due to some defect in the car that prevented him from taking the corner. The medical team was naturally sent out to check on him, while he was carefully extracted out of the car. We’ll keep you updated as soon as we get the official update on his condition.

After more than half an hour, the qualifying resumed.

SMP Racing #17
Photo: JJ Media

Most of the teams got busy right away, since none of their drivers had set a time, and there were only 16 minutes left on the clock.

Toyota Gazoo Racing gave their competitors a hard reality check, when they set the fastest time with almost two seconds advantage. Rebellion Racing qualified third and fourth, while SMP Racing #11 was fifth, in front of ByKolles Racing Team #4.

CEFC TRSM Racing did not drive in the qualifying at all. So we’re waiting for the confirmation whether they will be allowed to start the race tomorrow or not, since they’ve only driven three installation laps so far. Which means the race leader has no idea about the speed of the car or the drivers. Under a normal situation, they will be denied a start.

G-Drive Racing #26
Photo: JJ Media

In LMP2, Signatech Alpine Matmut #36 was marginally quicker than G-Drive Racing #26. There was only 0,024 second between the two cars. They were followed by the two Jackie Chan DC Racing cars with #38 in front of #37, while TDS Racing #28, Racing Team Nederland #29, and Larbre Competition #50 completed the LMP2 field.

The qualifying finished with a comical incident from Roberto Gonzalez i DragonSpeed #31, and nevertheless Romano Ricci in Larbre Competition #50. The latter tried to outbrake Gonzalez on the way to the Bus Stop Chicane, but he ended up hitting the red DragonSpeed #31. This episode will most likely send the drivers to the stewards.

The 6-hour race will start tomorrow at 13.30 local time.

Related Posts