On the famous team's return to international sportscar racing Ecurie Ecosse emerged from qualifying for the Total 24 Hours of Spa with a mid-pack spot for the 63rd running of the Belgian endurance race.
With speeds in the opening two qualifying sessions limited by wet conditions it fell to Oliver Bryant in the final, Thursday night session, to set the time that would count towards the grid for Saturday's start.
Bryant's lap of 2:34.661 was good enough for 30th overall on the 62 car grid and 15th in the Pro-Am Cup class.
“We’re pleased with what's been achieved today,” said team boss Hugh McCaig. “To be ahead of all three McLaren cars and in such difficult conditions is very satisfying. We’ve taken a measured approach through practice, and the drivers have adjusted well to the car. Tomorrow it’s a case of keeping it on the black stuff, being sensible and getting to the flag.”
“Finding a rhythm was difficult as the red flags made the session very stop-start,” explained Bryant. “At the end I had just one lap to improve but had to play it relatively safe on the slick tyres as the track was still damp. There's a lot more time in the car, but I'm still very pleased with the effort we put in today. I will be starting the race tomorrow, and with drier conditions I believe we can make real progress.”
So far the team Avon tyres have proved durable, as well as being able to cope with the damp, cool conditions of qualifying, boosting the team's hopes of recording a good result in the Barwell Motorsport prepared Aston Martin DBRS9 running in the Saltire livery made famous by the 1956 and 1957 Le Mans winners.
“First of all, it’s great to be here and to be racing in the Ecurie Ecosse colours – there's a real sense of pride throughout the team,” said Alasdair McCaig. “On track, everyone has settled in to the car and coped well with driving in the dark and in wet, misty conditions, so there’s a lot to be positive about. Whatever the weather brings we’ll aim to settle into a rhythm, work our way up the order and run a steady race.”
Joe Twyman and Andrew Smith complete the four man team to tackle the twice-round-the-clock challenge.