Jos Menten and his teammates are getting ready for a nail biting 24 hours race. The Lamborghini Gallardo bearing start number 24 will take the start from an excellent seventh place on the grid. “Peter put in a great qualifying lap time. Let’s not forget that we are up against some strong competition, all of a high level”, Menten remarked. “We might have been able to improve somewhat in the Superpole, but no way are we disappointed with our place on the fourth row.”
The summer seems to have found its way to the Lowlands. The Drivers Parade on Wednesday was bathed in sun and the GT caravan really drew in the crowds. Admittedly the impressive field that headed off down to Spa was a true delight to watch. Under a pleasant summer sun the first training sessions were held on Thursday morning. During the 90 minutes session Menten got behind the wheel of the Sant’Agata muscle car near the end. “Notwithstanding the fact that I haven’t raced for an entire year I was able to adapt pretty quickly”, a satisfied Menten commented after his first laps. The first training session ran smoothly for Blancpain Reiter, during which everything was focussed on the set-up.
It was only during the Pre-Qualifying that Hans Reiter’s troops for the first time proved that the Lamborghini is still a highly fast beast. What with a seventh lap time, and third in the Pro-Am class, everyone was extremely pleased. “We are doing everything in our power to ensure that the car is as prepared as ever possible for the race. All four drivers had the opportunity to cover sufficient kilometres, and the speed is definitely there”, the smiling 31 year old Dutchman continued. The Gallardo clocked up a 1:22,710.
The ratio values only really reared their heads during the first qualifying session. The top-20 from the qualifying sessions will be allowed to compete in the Superpole held on Friday, giving everyone an opportunity to go for the pole position. “In a 24 hours race you don’t want to start from the middle of the pack. This is why Peter put in a fast lap time during the first qualifying session. During the second session we quietly played a waiting game. Thanks to our seventh time in the first session we knew we had clinched our ticket for the Superpole. Now its up to us to grab a top ten ranking”, Menten remarked as he looked ahead to Friday’s Superpole.
However …it was not to be. The exotic temperatures on Friday afternoon make way for typical Spa weather. The rain pours down out of the sky and Race Control reckons the conditions are too unsafe. The Superpole is cancelled and the top-20 are allocated their starting positions based on the lap times set during the two qualifying sessions. For Jos Menten, Peter Kox, Marc A. Hayek and Albert von Thurn und Taxis this implies a place on the fourth row: “The entire team is determined to produce an excellent result. We need to steer clear of problems after the start, drive our own race, and see where we finish. Last year we were forced to throw in the towel whilst holding the lead. So we still have an account to settle here, but we won’t let ourselves be influenced into holding a fast pace during the beginning phase. We’re ready to take it on!”, a combative Jos Menten commented.
Source: Jos Menten Racing