Provisional pole has been set with Thursday’s qualifying sessions for the 2019 24 Hours of Spa by the #4 Black Falcon driven by Yelmer Buurman, Luca Stolz and Maro Engel. The trio of AMG hot shot drivers had a combined time of 2:19.570. The Black Falcon’s time was 0.81seconds faster than the second place card of #2 WRT Audi of Dries Vanthoor, Frank Stippler and Alex Riberas. Overall qualifying finished with 24 cars within 1 second of each other after their average times had been worked out. 7 Brands are represented in the top 20 super pole.
Qualifying isn’t the end of it all at the Spa 24 hours, on Friday we have the top 20 super pole shootout to claim pole and set the top 20 positions for the great Belgian race.
The first short session was mainly for cars that were running with 4 drivers in their cars, a subtle way of filling the circuit up and easing their way into the huge field. Even without the full field out on circuit space was a struggle as the #9 Boutsen Ginion Racing BMW lost control and was put into the barrier coming out of the Les Fagnes Corner, collapsing the front right suspension and writing the car out of the rest of qualifying.
6 minute clear up and the session would continue but with no cars having set a quick lap, the pressure was on for these outfits. Ricky collard would soak up the pressure the best as the clock was ticking down, the R-Motorsport driver onboard the #762 would put in a strong time of 2:20.359 putting the squad at the top of the times for the end of the session. The top Pro-AM time was set by the Tempesta racing squad the #93 Ferrari in the Hands of Jonathan Hui.
For the second qualifying session, the full 72 cars were out on the circuit and space would certainly be at a premium from now on. Even with the huge field on track the #117 KUS Team 75 Bernhard was put to the top of the times in the hands of Earl Bamber putting in a 2:20.47. Moments later the session was red-flagged with the #17 WRT Audi in the barriers at Les Combes with Alex Macdowell at the wheel. Heavy Damage to the front especially on the left side again another car out of qualifying lowering the number of cars down to 70 on the circuit during the sessions.
15 minutes later the session continued with the field spilling out onto the circuit, again the majority had not set a flying lap before the red flag halted the session, many were left with the pressure of finding space and hooking up a last minute lap once again. #63 GRT Lamborghini in the hands of Mirko Bortolotti topped the times, breaking into the 2:19’s with a fantastic 2:19.494. The #2 WRT didn’t hesitate to take control and responded with a 2:19.236 putting them to the top of the times for the session.
For the third session finally, temperatures showed signs of slowing and dropping down to give the drivers a slight break. Black Falcon with their #4 AMG GT3 in the hands of Yelmer Buurman topped the sheets that would be the quickest times of all sessions with a 2:19.231.
The final session of the night got underway slightly delayed and the cars practically in night conditions before the night practice had even got underway. come the end of the final session the quickest was the #999 GruppeM Racing Mercedes was the quickest with a 2:19.245. Second fastest in the final session was the #66 Attempto Racing Audi, Kelvin Van De Linde lapped with a 2:19.373. Some nice shake ups in the final session with the quickest drivers making the difference.
On average over the sessions, it came down to the #4 Black Falcon Mercedes being the fastest combined overall with a combined time of 2:19.570. The #2 WRT Audi was second quickest of the sessions with a 2:19.651. #999 GruppeM was rounding out the top three with a combined time of 2:19.697
The top 20 will fight it out for their grid slots in the Super Pole Shoot out on Friday, expecting to see the #4 Black Falcon and #2 WRT Audi to continue their battle in that session.
#77 Barwell Motorsport topped the Pre-qualifying session overall and continued this throughout qualifying to take the AM Cup Pole position for the race.
Super pole is due to commence at 19:05 Local time this evening (26 July) to set the grid for the 2019 Edition of the Total 24 Hours of Spa.