Calado puts Kaspersky Motorsport on 2017 24 Hours of Spa pole position


Credit: SRO Motorsports

Following a hectic warm up session, the top twenty qualifiers from yesterday set out to do battle over who would start from pole position for tomorrow’s 2017 Total 24 hours of Spa.

Running through the order from twentieth up to first place from the top 20, saw DTM regular Jamie Green get proceedings under way in the #17 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi R8 LMS.

With an out lap and two flying laps Green set his fastest time of 2:18.414 on his second lap, a benchmark time that wouldn’t take long to beat. The Brit would eventually drop down to eighteenth position.

Following a stunning performance yesterday to be the only ProAM competitor in the super pole, Jonny Adam set another superhuman lap to secure the Oman Racing Team with TF Sport an overall fifth place start in the Aston Martin V12 GT3, and of course pole position of the ProAm class.

Speaking after the session Adam said, “I wanted to get up the grid as high as possible, to prove that our Aston is still a very competitive car.

“The fact that we have more than a dozen cars between ourselves and the next car in Pro-Am will make our life a bit easier in the early hours, but it will still be a tough race.”

Credit: Peter May/PM Images

The nearest challenger for the #97 car will be the #912 Herberth Motorsport Porsche 991 GT3 in twenty third position.

Mikko Bortolotti pushed hard in the GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracan GT3 to secure second fastest position ahead of Frédéric Vervisch in the #2 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT #17 Audi R8 LMS.

The star of the session was the #55 Kaspersky Motorsport Ferrari 488 GT3 with British driver James Calado at the wheel. After securing third place in qualifying he pushed on in super pole, as the clocks counted down Calado seemed to have everything under control, that was until the last corner of his second lap.

A missed braking point by just 1 metre through Calado off-line as he slid through the final chicane, at that point it looked like all of the hard work he had put in was at a loss, that was until he crossed the line and the timing screen updated with Calado’s name at the top of the times by just 0.057 seconds.

Speaking after the session finished the Brit said, “I went on new tyres in the warm up and I did 2:18.6 and I had settled, there was not much grip. 

“I hit a bit of traffic and I expected that I could do a low 2:18, but to do a 2:17.3 I couldn’t believe it, I made a mistake in the final corner, I got a bit sideways.”

He went on to praise his co-drivers Giancarlo Fisichella and Marco Cioti who ran the new chassis in the pre-event test session while Calado was unable to attend.

“The car is working supremely well here this weekend, we changed the chassis and everything is spot on. It is really down to the other two drivers, they set it up really well in the test.”

While it was a brilliant result for the team, Calado remains grounded, “Great qualifying but obviously it is a 24 hour race and qualifying really does mean nothing, so we just need to keep the car in one piece, stay out of trouble, no mistakes or penalties, obviously easier said than done.”

“It’s great to see how close it is with all of these fantastic drivers in this race, and it feels fantastic to be at the top.” he added.