Stewart Lines stormed to his first pole position of the 2013 APR Volkswagen Racing Cup in qualifying at the famous Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium, almost two seconds quicker than nearest rival Tom Barley who also shone in making it to the front row of the grid.
KPM Scirocco driver Lines came through a qualifying session made trickier than initially planned thanks to an oil slick left on the circuit from a previous session, sealing pole position very late in proceedings to claim his maiden series pole position at the Belgian circuit.
His late effort of 2m49.069s on his final lap of the session was half a second inside the championship’s race lap record around the track, Lines saying: “Oil doesn’t faze me. It was a bit dodgy early on but by my fourth or fifth lap it was fine and I found I could take it flat through the section of track which was affected. I’m pleased with my first pole, but around here it doesn’t mean a lot. It’s a nice morale boost ahead of race day, though.”
The Sutton Coldfield racer will be joined on the front row of the grid for the weekend’s first of two races by Team HARD‘s Barley, who showed his experience in historic racing around the famous Spa venue proved dividends as he claimed his best qualifying result of the season in his Golf GTI.
Despite stoppingon his first lap with an electrical issue, third went to the HGR Golf Mk VI of Henry Gilbert, the 17 year-old again showing his pace to beat Lines’ team-mate Martin Depper to lead off row two, David Sutton rounding out the top five in his HARD Golf.
Championship leader Aaron Mason had his session time dented by a puncture before recovering to sixth in his AWM/Warranty Direct Scirocco, qualifying not being particularly kind to the championship contenders, Ross Wylie – running second in the championship – not present this weekend as he is racing in the International Scirocco-R Cup at the Norisring in Germany.
Phil House finished eighth behind Peter Wyhinny who returns behind the wheel of his SEAT, a gear linkage drama for House’s Scirocco costing the Snetterton winner the chance to climb further up the timesheets. The top 10 was concluded by a flying Kieran Griffin, who clinched his best qualifying result of the season with ninth for JWB Motorsport, with 2013 race winner Joe Fulbrook completing the top 10 in his AWM Golf GTI.
Simon Andrews claimed 15th on his return to racing having survived a spin, while elsewhere Nick Beaumont – standing in for Chris Levett in the JWB Scirocco – lost a front bumper on his way to 18th, team-mate Paul Dehadray spinning out on the treacherous oil trail also.