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Ellis & Wilkinson Grab Spa Pole For Optimum

No42 Century BMW fastest in GT4

The GT3 Silver Cup crew of Bradley Ellis and Ollie Wilkinson gave Optimum Motorsport its first British GT pole position since last year’s Brands Hatch round in qualifying at Spa on Saturday. In GT4, meanwhile, it was Century Motorsport’s Mark Kimber and Jacob Mathiassen who emerged on top.

Following an early-afternoon downpour, qualifying took place on a soaking-wet track, and the opening Am session saw Silver Cup drivers Wilkinson and Ryan Ratcliffe (in the #7 Team Parker Bentley) go fastest as expected.

Come the Pro session, Ellis in the #96 Aston Martin set a 2:41.623, which, when combined with Wilkinson’s 2:42.997, was enough to put the car on pole for Sunday’s two-hour race.

Elsewhere in the Pro session, Lamborghini factory driver Dennis Lind set a searing pace of 2:39.652 in the #18 WPI Motorsport car. Combined with co-driver Michael Igoe’s effort from the first session, it was sufficient to grab a spot on the front row alongside the #96 Aston.

Following Ratcliffe’s 2:43.449 in the first session, co-driver Glynn Geddie set a 2:43.111 to put the #8 Bentley third on the grid with a combined time of 5:26.560, while the second row is completed by the Silverstone 500-winning crew of Ian Loggie and Calum MacLeod in the Ram Racing Mercedes.

Up next is the championship-leading #72 Barwell Lamborghini of Adam Balon and Phil Keen in fifth place on the grid, with Keen setting the second-quickest individual time in the Pro session: a 2:40.828.

Sixth on the grid is the Richard Neary/Adam Christodoulou-driven Abba Mercedes, ahead of championship protagonists Sam de Haan and Jonny Cocker in the #69 Barwell Lamborghini.

Rick Parfitt and Seb Morris qualified the JRM Bentley eighth, ahead of Dominic Paul and Ben Green in the #9 Century BMW in ninth and the championship-chasing TF Sport Aston Martin duo of Graham Davidson and Johnny Adam in 10th.

The top four places in the class were filled by Silver Cup cars, with Kimber and Mathiassen’s combined effort in the #42 Century BMW being the fastest. The track was beginning to dry out during the second of the two GT4 sessions, so significantly faster times were recorded by the second drivers in each car.

Joining the #42 on the front row is the #95 TF Sport Aston Martin of Patrick Kibble and Josh Price, while Seb Priaulx and Scott Maxwell got onto the front row in the #15 Multimatic Mustang to give themselves a good chance of defending their championship lead.

The #4 Tolman car driven by James Dorlin and Josh Smith was the highest-qualifying McLaren in fourth, while Pro-Am championship Kelvin Fletcher and Martin Plowman in the #11 Beechdean Aston once again got among the Silver Cup runners to qualify fifth.

Tom Canning and Ash Hand rounded out the top six with their effort at the wheel of the #97 TF Sport Aston Martin.

Sunday’s single two-hour race at Spa kicks off at , and for the first time the series’ overseas round will be broadcast live on YouTube and social-media channels in the same fashion as the domestic events.