Spa 24: Final qualifying report

Hezemans snatches pole for Carsport in final qualifying session With only five minutes remaining in the final qualifying session for this weekend's Total 24 Hours of Spa, Mike Hezemans finally found a clear track in front of him in the nr 5 ...

Hezemans snatches pole for Carsport in final qualifying session

With only five minutes remaining in the final qualifying session for this weekend's Total 24 Hours of Spa, Mike Hezemans finally found a clear track in front of him in the nr 5 Carsport Holland Corvette C6.R. Making the most of the opportunity, he lapped the famous Spa-Francorchamps circuit in 2:14.554 - enough to improve his grid position by one place and snatch pole from the Nr 33 Jetalliance Aston Martin DBR9.

The team were the only car in the top ten to improve their time during final qualifying, most teams using the session to make final preparations for the race. In fact, three teams in the top ten did not turn a wheel during the 45-minute session, held on a dry track under partly cloudy skies.

"I did two laps yesterday on new tyres, and then I stopped because of the traffic," explained Hezemans. "This morning, the car was quite quick, and I was sure that we had the car to set the pole position, so I ask for new tyres. That was a good lap, and in fact my only clear lap in all the qualifying sessions! Fabrizio Gollin and Marcel Fassler are really quick, Jean-Denis Deletraz is always good here, so we have a strong package to get a good result."

The nr 23 Aston Martin Racing BMS DBR9 was out in final qualifying, after missing both night qualifying sessions after an accident. There were no changes in the top ten of GT2, where the nr 51 AF Corse Motorola Ferrari F430 remains on the class pole.

Bruni sets his first GT2 pole at Spa

Although this is his first 24-hour race, Gianmaria Bruni has plenty of experience at Spa-Francorchamps, where he set three pole positions in GP2 and had his best-ever Formula One qualifying with Minardi. He set the pole position in the GT2 category on Thursday night, with a lap of 2:21.929 in the nr 51 AF Corse Motorola Ferrari 430 GT2, ahead of the BMS Scuderia Italia Porsche 997 GT3, qualified by Emmanuel Collard. With no improvements in the leading GT2 cars on Friday, the time stood, giving Bruni his first FIA GT pole. "For the free practice I was just taking it easy and learning from the others," he said. "I tried my best during the qualifying, I put everything together and I set the pole position. Driving at night is difficult, I need to get used to it a little bit more, but it is fine. We have lights, even if it is not enough, but we will see. If I'm not fast enough during the night, I'll let the others do the job! Rui Aguas won last year, and Stephane Ortelli has a lot of experience here. I've learnt a lot from him. It is good to be on the front, but nothing has been done yet, the race is really going to be something!"

With the leading Ferrari closely chased by the nr 97 Porsche, and the nr 52 Racing Team Edil Cris Ferrari 430 GT2 third, there looks like being a close battle in GT2 between the Ferrari and Porsche cars.

-credit: fiagt.com

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About this article
Series Endurance , Blancpain Sprint
Drivers Gianmaria Bruni , Fabrizio Gollin , Emmanuel Collard , Stéphane Ortelli , Marcel Fassler , Jean-Denis Deletraz , Mike Hezemans , Rui Aguas
Teams Aston Martin Racing , AF Corse