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Spa: Qualifying quotes

Pole Position in GT: Fabrizio Gollin - nr 2 BMS Scuderia Ferrari 550 Maranello : "It's beautiful to drive without the ballast weight. The car is much easier to handle like this. Of course, being on pole position isn't really important for a ...

Pole Position in GT: Fabrizio Gollin - nr 2 BMS Scuderia Ferrari 550 Maranello : "It's beautiful to drive without the ballast weight. The car is much easier to handle like this. Of course, being on pole position isn't really important for a 24-hour-race. It just matters for me as a driver and for the reputation of the team. What's important for the Championship is that we finish the race on Sunday. We know that the last part of the Championship will be pretty hard because the last two races are new for all the drivers. So we want to take a lot of points here and hope we'll have a good race."

2nd in GT: Uwe Alzen - nr 5 Vitaphone Racing Team Saleen S7 : "Our car is in a good shape and very competitive. The only problem is the distance. As I see it, it is going to be a 'mission impossible' for the car to do the 24-hour distance. But we will do what we can. It's important to have a good strategy, so we can complete the race and push Ferrari. The qualifying last night was quite a thriller. Getting a free lap proved to be nearly impossible! So tomorrow, we will go for points after six hours and twelve hours. What we need is a little luck, and then we'll see."

3rd in GT: Matteo Bobbi - nr 1 BMS Scuderia Italia Ferrari 550 Maranello : "Last year, the 24 hrs of Spa weren't really 24 hours for us but more like four hours. I obviously hope that it will go differently tomorrow. We will prepare the car really well; and I'm quite confident for our reliability tomorrow. The car is fast and easy to drive. Like Uwe said, it was not possible to get a clear lap during qualifying. I managed to find a half-clear lap at least. But it's not really important. In a couple of years, no one is going to remember who was on pole position - what counts is that we drive a good race."

4th in GT: Fabio Babini - nr 11 GPC Giesse Ferrari 575 M Maranello : "It went okay. The performance of the car is good. It's going to be important to have a good set-up for the night. The team changed the engine and the gearbox last night and we did a couple of laps this morning just to check this, without caring much about the lap times. I did a lot of work at the test day, so I only did a handful of laps now to let my team mates get some time in the car."

8th in GT : Jamie Derbyshire - nr 27 Creation Autosportif Lister Storm : "It's going well, I think. It was interesting driving at night for the first time - this is my first 24-hour race, and people had warned me that this is one of the darkest circuits, because of all the trees. It took a bit of getting used to, but it was all right in the end. You have to remember how the track looks, rather than relying on what you can actually see. It's quite exciting - and I'll get plenty of practice tomorrow night !"

Pole Position in N-GT: Christian Pescatori - nr 62 GPC Giesse Ferrari 360 Modena : "I'm very happy because we've worked a lot for this race. We only tried one set of tyres in qualifying and could only get one clear lap in, but it was a good lap and it got us pole position. It's important for the Championship that we finish the race in a good position, but it's going to be a long, hard race. We'll see."

2nd in N-GT: Stéphane Ortelli - nr 50 Freisinger Yukos Motorsport Porsche 996 GT3-RS : "The potential of the car has been improving a lot in dry conditions if you compare it with qualifying last year. There are three Freisinger Porsches in the top five, and I'm very happy with that. Ferrari is still ahead of us, but we managed to reduce the gap. We expected to be further behind them. The balance of the car is okay,

and that's the most important thing so we can challenge Ferrari and succeed in our category. Last year in the wet, we won the overall race. But that was a special occasion. I do believe that the winner of the N-GT category will be very close to the podium this year as well, though."

3rd in N-GT: Sascha Maassen - nr 99 Freisinger Motorsport Porsche 996 GT3-RS : "I was just starting the lap on new tyres and pushed hard. Maybe a little bit too hard! The rear of the car went away, I lost control and went off. That was the end of qualifying for us. But we're still third on the grid, so that was not the big problem. The problem was rather that we had to repair the car. It had been really good before that and I was a bit concerned that we wouldn't managed to get it back to the same standard. But both Marc [Lieb] und Lucas [Luhr] were in the car today and they said it was even better now."

5th in N-GT : Jonathan Cocker - nr 88 Gruppe M Europe : "We've been having a few problems with the steering, but the main problem is ventilation as it has been so warm - in the British GT Championship, we really haven't had to worry about that. So we're working on that. We think we have a reliable car for the race; we need some consistent times, good changes, try to drag the stints out and maybe save a stint. The three-hour race in Donington felt like it went on forever after the British GT races, and now this is another step - the longest you can get. I couldn't believe the night stints. I went out at dusk, and it wasn't too bad. But it's amazing how different the track is when it is really dark."

Pole Position in G2: Marc Goossens - nr 108 Renstal Excelsior Chevrolet Corvette C5-R : "There's not all that much to say. We went out and did a couple of laps. Surprisingly enough, we managed to do a 17.5. We had expected to be within the top ten and that worked out well. We're not going to chase anyone at the beginning of the race. The main thing is to get to the end of the race. I do hope that our Corevette will prove to be as reliable as the American one was at Le Mans."

2nd in G2: Dirk Müller - nr 142 BMW Motorsport M3 GTR : "At the moment, everything is going well. Our goal was to be within the top 15, which we were. Now the main target is to win our category. The biggest issue here will be the weather. The hot conditions are very hard for both the drivers and the cars. Compared to the 24 hours, the ETCC races will almost seem like a warm-up...."

3rd in G2: Pedro Lamy - nr 143 BMW Motorsport M3 GTR : "It's going really well for us here. I didn't expect to be in the top ten anyway, and now we've finished just above, which is a great qualifying result. I'm looking forward forward to the race, though it's going to be difficult if the weather stay like it is now. But then, it will be hard for everyone!"

Pole Position in G3: René Wijnen - nr 115 US Carworld Viper Coupe : "First of all, I want to thank the organisation. It's the first time for me driving in this competition. Everything goes quite well so far. It's a bit difficult because the car is still new and we're checking how fast we can go. But I'm happy with the times. The goal is to finish the distance and maybe be first of the class."

2nd in G3: Bernhard Mühlner - team manager Mühlner Motorsport : "I also have to thank the organisation. We only did a handful of laps in practice and didn't attack today at all because we want to save our resources for the 24 hours. It's going got be difficult to compete against a car that's 150 hp stronger than ours, such as the Viper, but we will see what the race will bring."

3rd in G3: Jean Francois Hemroulle - nr 123 Mühlner Motorsport Porsche 996 : "I'm very happy to be here in Francorchamps, as this is the most important race in Belgium. It's also fantastic to drive with Vanina Ickx and Peter Wyss of Switzerland. We make a very good team together, which is really important for this long race. I just hope we can beat that nice Viper over there..."

-fia-

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