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Spa 24 Hours: Superpole Participants Set After Night Qualifying

#4 Black Falcon Mercedes leads the top qualifiers

The top 20 cars that will take part in Friday evening’s Spa 24 Hours Superpole qualifying shootout have been locked in following the Thursday night qualifying session at the Belgian Grand Prix circuit.

Tomorrow’s two-flying-laps-per-car session will be contested by the following entries, which were separated across their average times by under nine tenths of a second:

1. #4 Black Falcon Mercedes (Pro)*
2. #2 WRT Audi (Pro)*
3. #999 GruppeM Mercedes (Pro)*
4. #227 HubAuto Ferrari (Pro)*
5. #998 Rowe Porsche (Pro)
6. #563 Orange 1 FFF Lamborghini (Pro)
7. #55 Attempto Audi (Silver Cup)
8. #44 Strakka Mercedes (Pro)*
9. #117 Team75 Bernhard Porsche (Pro)*
10. #1 WRT Audi (Pro)*
11. #54 Dinamic Motorsport Porsche (Pro)
12. #72 SMP Racing Ferrari (Pro)*
13. #129 Montaplast by Land Audi (Pro)*
14. #76 R-Motorsport Aston Martin (Pro)
15. #35 KCMG Nissan (Pro)*
16. #99 Rowe Porsche (Pro)*
17. #59 Garage 59 Aston Martin (Pro)
18. #98 Rowe Porsche (Pro)*
19. #62 R-Motorsport Aston Martin (Pro)
20. #20 GPX Porsche (Pro)*

* denotes IGTC-nominated car

No Bentley made the top 20, with the #107 falling short by 0.005 seconds on average times. Last year’s winner BMW, as well as Lexus and Honda, are also absent from the shootout.

The top Pro-Am car across the four sessions was the #74 Ram Racing Mercedes, while the top Am entry was the #77 Barwell Lamborghini.

Night qualifying was made up of four 15-minute sessions, with only those cars with four-car crews (so no Pro Cup entries) participating in Q1. Temperatures remained high despite a light late-afternoon rain shower, with the mercury still hovering around 30 degrees Celsius at around 8 pm in the Ardennes.

There was a red-flag interruption to Q1 when Erik Maris in the Boutsen Ginion BMW found the barriers, causing front right corner damage, including to the suspension. He managed to rejoin and come back to the pits, but the Belgian outfit’s M6 took no further part in the session.

Ricky Collard in the #762 R-Motorsport Aston Martin (running in the Pro-Am Cup) set the fastest individual time of Q1: a 2:20.359 ahead of Lamborghini duo Michele Beretta (Silver Cup; #555 Orange 1 FFF Racing; 2:21.226) and Arno Santamato (Silver Cup; #19 Grasser Racing; 2:21.338).

Q2 also had a red-flag incident, with Alex MacDowall finding the barrier at the exit of Les Combes in the #17 Silver Cup WRT Audi, resulting in front left corner damage to the R8, which was unable to continue under its own steam and had to be recovered on to a flatbed.

The fastest individual laps in this session, once it resumed, came from Dries Vanthoor (a 2:19.238 in the #2 WRT Audi), Mirko Bortolotti (a 2:19.494 in the #63 Lamborghini) and Steijn Schothorst (a 2:19.984 in the #55 Attempto Audi).

In Q3, Yelmer Buurman went fastest on a 2:19.231 in the #4 Black Falcon Mercedes, ahead of fellow Mercedes pilot Lucas Auer, on a 2:19.341 in the #999 GruppeM entry. Third-quickest this time around was the #563 Lamborghini – one of the Orange 1 FFF Racing contingent, with Andrea Caldarelli at the wheel.

Q4 wrapped up the night’s track action, with the top three individual laps here coming from Max Goetz in the #999 GruppeM Mercedes (2:19.245), Kelvin van der Linde in the #66 Attempto Audi and Luca Stolz in the #4 Black Falcon Mercedes (2:19.421).

Superpole takes place tomorrow at 7:05 pm local time, preceded by a 30-minute warm-up session kicking off at 6:15 pm local.