Spa 24: Thursday notes

Wendlinger and Bruni on provisional pole for Spa Austrian driver Karl Wendlinger claimed provisional pole position for the Total 24 Hours of Spa in his nr 33 Jetalliance Aston Martin DBR9 with a lap of 2:14.935. He set the time 40 minutes into...

Wendlinger and Bruni on provisional pole for Spa

Austrian driver Karl Wendlinger claimed provisional pole position for the Total 24 Hours of Spa in his nr 33 Jetalliance Aston Martin DBR9 with a lap of 2:14.935. He set the time 40 minutes into the first one-hour qualifying session, in cool and dry conditions. The session was incredibly close, with the first nine cars separated by just eight tenths of a second, including four Maserati MC 12, three Corvettes, a Lamborghini Murcielago and the Aston Martin DBR9. Wendlinger explained: "I was really on the limit in my lap, I couldn't have gone any faster. I think that it will be too dark to improve in the second session, and tomorrow is likely to be too hot, so I am quite confident with my time. Anyway, as I am now sure to be close to the front in qualifying, so we are going to work for the rest in the rest of the sessions. I've already used two new sets of tyres, and I think that most of the other competitors did too. I am quite happy !"

Second-fastest was the nr 5 Carsport Holland Corvette, wiht Hezemans having been on provisional pole for much of the session, with the nr 3 Luc Alphand Aventures Corvette third. The leading Maserati was in fourth, the Scuderia Playteam Sarafree car.

In GT2, the nr 51 AF Corse Motorola Ferrari 420 GT2 set the best time, Bruni at the wheel. "This is my first 24-hour race and my first provisional pole position," he said. "For this race, I am really relying on the experience that Stephane Ortelli has. My fast lap went really well : it was my speed and Stephane's experience ! I was a bit stressed before going out for my night laps, but Stephane did some laps to set up the car and the lights and finally I found a good pace, it was better than I expected. I am pleased and I enjoyed it." He was followed by the nr 97 BMS Scuderia Italia Porsche, with the nr 52 Edil Cris Racing Team Ferrari third.

G2 was led by the nr 103 Gravity Racing International Mosler, the nr 101 Vertigo having lost its fastest time due to a pit-lane infraction. The fastest car in G3 was the nr 174 Sport Garage Ferrari 430 GT3. The best of the Coupe du Roi cars was the nr 215 S-Berg Lamborghini of fast young Czech drivers Jan Charouz and Eric Janis.

A total of 49 cars took part in the session, the nr 23 BMS Aston not yet being ready after its crash in free practice.

There were no improvements in the second session, during which all drivers were supposed to set a night qualifying time. The third and final session takes place on Friday, after which the pole setter will be known.

-credit: fiagt

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Series ENDURANCE , BSS