Shane van Gisbergen showed why he is one of the most potent GT drivers in the world as he took the Garage 59 McLaren 650S to provisional pole position at the Total 24 Hours of Spa prior to tomorrow’s top 20 superpole session.
Such was the dominance of van Gisbergen’s pole time, no other cars in the remaining one hour and 50 minutes of the night qualifying session could come close to the Kiwi’s time and indeed second place would finish in the hands of the day qualifying pole sitter Maxi Goetz in the #86 AMG-Team HTP Motorsport Mercedes AMG.
Of course, the V8 Supercar driver was helped by a decent sized stoppage after Michael Lyons hit the barriers at Stavelot and required a red flag to recover the Team AKKA ASP Mercedes, repair the barriers and clear up the rather substantial debris from the car – which actually ended up going out again towards the end of the session. Lyons himself told DailySportsCar that he was brake checked by another car and swerved to avoid driving right into the back of the car.
When the session restarted the top five remained mostly unchanged from the day-time session as Dani Juncadella maintained Pro-Am Cup pole position in the #56 Black Falcon Mercedes AMG with Laurens Vanthoor staying in fourth place in the Team WRT Audi R8 LMS.
The order started changing from sixth downwards as Christopher Haase led a number of cars in improving on their times as two HTP Motorsport Mercedes, of Maxi Buhk and Clemens Schmid respectively, moved up to seventh and eighth.
Scraping into the top 20 thanks to their qualifying time in the daylight was the #666 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan of Phil Keen, who’ll now be in with a chance of pole position in the top twenty shoot out in tomorrow’s hour-long superpole session.
However, Shane van Gisbergen will be sure to use the momentum he built up in this session to give McLaren a historic pole position for the Total 24 Hours of Spa itself on Saturday.