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Spa 24 Hours: Engel Tops Superpole In Black Falcon Mercedes

Final grid set for the 24 Hours

Maro Engel repeated his Pre-Qualifying form setting a last-gasp pole, snatching the mark from Laurens Vanthoor on the last flying lap of the Superpole session, each of the top 20 cars from yesterdays session allowed a pair of flying laps.

Kevin Estre was first out in the #20 GPX Racing Porsche, a 2:19.067 his first effort, bettered on his first run by third man on track Mathieu Jaminet, edging back the current WEC World Champion by just 4 thousandths of a second in the #99 Rowe Racing 911 GT3.R, edging away ever so slightly on his second flyer, the gap up to 0.040 with a 2:19.027.

Halfway through the 20 car order, it was a Porsche 1,2,3, Jaminet, from Estre, then Dennis Olsen in the #99 Rowe 911 GT3.R

Davide Rigon though would spoil the Porsche party, banging in a 2:18.806 with his second flier in the #72 SMP Racing Ferrari.

Laurens Vanthoor would run that mark very close on his first flying lap and would grab the pole next time around, kerb hopping in the Bus Stop en route to a 2:18.605.

 By that point, he’d be the only Porsche in the top four thanks to the efforts by Audi men Nico Muller and Mattia Drudi in the #1 WRT and #55 Attempto R8 LMS.

The Audis though would be shuffled back first by Nick Tandy in the #998 Rowe Porsche and then again by Daniel Serra in the #227 HubAuto Ferrari

Both the #35 and #563 would get time penalties added for missing their allotted time to leave the pits, Drudi at this point the first man not into the 2:18s sixth fastest.

That became seventh fastest for Drudi when Dries Vanthoor popped up fifth.

Right into the mix though was Maro Engel, his first effort good enough for second fastest, 2:18.660 just 0.055 back from Vanthoor and the second a real flyer, faster than his first effort in Sector 1, ultimately fastest in sector two, but dropping a tenth in the final sector, the margin at the flag just 17 thousandths of a second, Maro Engel in the #4 Mercedes AMG Team Black Falcon on pole for the 2019 Total Spa 24 Hours with 2:18.588, the top 15 lapping within a single second’s difference and the #563 and #35 would have done so too without their time penalties.

1. Maro Engel (#4 Black Falcon Mercedes) – 2:18.588
2. Laurens Vanthoor (#117 Team75 Bernhard Porsche) – 2:18.605
3. Davide Rigon (#72 SMP Racing Ferrari) – 2:18.806
4. Nick Tandy (#998 Rowe Racing Porsche) – 2:18.822
5. Daniel Serra (#227 HubAuto Corsa Ferrari) – 2:18.854
6. Dries Vanthoor (#2 WRT Audi) – 2:18.923
7. Nico Muller (#1 WRT Audi) – 2:18.994
8. Mattia Drudi (#55 Attempto Audi) – 2:19.007
9. Max Buhk (#999 GruppeM Mercedes) – 2:19.013
10. Mathieu Jaminet (#98 Rowe Racing Porsche) – 2:19.027
11. Kevin Estre (#20 GPX Porsche) – 2:19.067
12. Dennis Olsen (#99 Rowe Racing Porsche) – 2:19.259
13. Jake Dennis (#76 R-Motorsport Aston Martin) – 2:19.326
14. Maxime Martin (#62 R-Motorsport Aston Martin) – 2:19.341
15. Gary Paffett (#44 Strakka Mercedes) – 2:19.501
16. Klaus Bachler (#54 Dinamic Motorsport Porsche) – 2:19.881
17. Jamie Green (#129 Land Motorsport Audi) – 2:19.894
18. Andrew Watson (#59 Garage 59 Aston Martin) – 2:20.470
19. Dennis Lind (#563 Orange 1 FFF Racing Team Lamborghini) – 2:19.095*
20. Katsumasa Chiyo (#35 KCMG Nissan) – 2:19.525**

* 2.302-second penalty for missing target departure time
** 7.396-second penalty for missing target departure time