Xavier Maassen and Jos Menten scored their first victory of the season for Mad Croc Racing leading from start to finish the Qualifying Race for the GT1 World Championship at Spa-Francorchamps.
“At the start, I was worried that I wouldn't see the start lights, because I'm in Xavier's seat, so I'm a little bit higher in, so I asked my engineer to tell me when it was green,” said Menten. “I saw the green, so that was lucky for me. [Dominik] Schwager['s All-inkl.com Lamboghini] made it a bit difficult, I had to fight for the first corner, but that was okay. After Eau Rouge, I looked in the display in my mirror, and I saw I had a little gap, and I was a happy in my car for a bit.”
However, the end of the first lap saw a mildly bizarre chain of events with the Safety Car boards being displayed around the track, Menten even lifting off through the Bus Stop chicane only for the boards to be withdrawn. The only lasting result for the first lap battles the retirement of the no.1 Maserati – winners in the previous round at Paul Ricard, Andrea Bertolini trailing the car in with damage to the front of the championship leading car.
Menten was able to pull away from a pair of chasing Lamborghinis, Frank Kechele now in second for Reiter Engineering ahead of Schwager.
The Dutchman was seldom challenged for the rest of his stint before his countryman Maassen took over the car at the first available opportunity in the 10-minute pit window.
Maassen's time in the car picked up where Menten had left off – extending the lead from just over a second to three-and-a-half seconds in only a few laps over Ricardo Zonta, who had stepped into the no.25 Lamboghini in relief of Kechele.
Schwager's Murcielago meanwhile had fallen down to seventh after stopping to hand over to Nicky Pastorelli.
They had been replaced in third by the Phoenix/Carsport Corvette of Mike Hezemans and Marc Hennerici, the duo completing the points scoring positions after the weekend's first hour long race.
Christoffer Nygaard and Stefan Mucke finished fourth for Young Driver AMR and the Hegersport pairing of Bert Longin and Nico Verdonck rounded out the top five.