It was Patrick Kujala #77 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini that led the Pre-Qualifying session for the Total Spa 24 Hours. The AM Cup car showed up the Pro cars with the #999 Mercedes of Team Gruppe M and Lucas Auer topping the Pro category.
However, the key aspect of the series was that 22 cars were covered by less than a second with six different manufacturers represented in the top 10, going some way to prove how weather and pitstops will factor into the race result
The warm conditions remained for the start of the pre-qualifying session with ambient temperatures of more than 36 degrees and very windy conditions.
There were reports of some rain throughout the session, with the track being declared wet with eight minutes left in the session. Rain was seen at Stavelot but none of the cars changed tyres or came to grief.
The ultimate pace from the earlier session today wasn’t beaten, Laurens Vanthoor’s time of 2:20.098 from the first session still stands as the fastest of the day so far.
However, the times in the other classes fell. The AM Cup Barwell Lamborghini of Kujala led the session was 1.4 seconds faster than the best time in class from the first session. The time of 2:20.123 was 1.5 seconds faster than the Rinaldi Racing Ferrari (2:21.617) and Tech 1 Racing Lexus who was a further 0.8 seconds behind (2:22.421).
In the Pro class, Auer in the #999 GruppeM time of 2:20.322 topped the class but, was just 0.0.24 ahead of the #4 Black Falcon Mercedes (2:20.378) and a further 0.032 ahead of the #107 Bentley M-Sport machine (2:20.378).
The #52 AF Racing took the fastest time in the Pro-Am Cup on their last lap with Andrea Bertolini setting a time of 2:21.166. The time was slower than the fastest time of the first session.
The Ferrari was faster than the #74 Ram Racing Mercedes (2:21.526) and the #91 Herberth Motorsport Porsche third in class (2:21.647).
Barwell Motorsport also topped the Silver Cup with the #78 Lamborghini setting a time of 2:20.761 ahead of the #55 Attempto Racing Audi (2:20.967) and the #6 Black Falcon Mercedes (2:21.148)
The drivers were relatively well behaved through the session with no major on track incidents. However, there was a brief full course yellow for debris at turn eight. There was a number of innocuous spins however no cars suffered damage.
The #88 Team Akka GP Mercedes-AMG did suffer a puncture and the #108 Bentley was in the garage early in the session with the team attending to the front brakes
It is evident that track limits will be a thing to talk about this weekend with constant messages about track limits and the #444 HB Racing Ferrari receiving a black and white flag for continual infringements.
The #25 did not set a lap time during the session.
The qualifying sessions get underway at 20:00 with four 15 minute sessions, one for each driver per car, setting an overall average time for the cars to qualify, or not, for tomorrows Top 20 Shootout.