Stippler secures Spa 24 Hours pole for Audi

Frank Stippler topped the final qualifying session to secure pole position for the 24 Hours of Spa for the #2 WRT Audi he shares with Nico Muller and Stephane Ortelli.

With each driver being allowed two flying laps, the circuit was busy and traffic management reared its head early on as Vincent Abril's HTP Motorsport Bentley Continental GT3 was impeded by Andre Lotterer’s Phoenix Racing Audi R8 LMS. Both were summoned by the stewards.

Another talking point of the weekend has been track limits and nine of the 20 drivers through to the final superpole session were being investigated after the session, which may well shuffle the order.

Stippler, though, was unaffected as his neat and tidy lap put his R8 LMS quickest by just 0.017s from Kevin Estre’s Von Ryan Racing McLaren 650S (under investigation) and Andrea Piccini’s Kessel Racing-run Ferrari 458 Italia, also under investigation for track limit abuse.

Alvaro Parente’s McLaren was fourth, also under invesigation, while Maxime Soulet’s works Bentley was fifth with teammate Steven Kane only 10th after a gravelly moment at Les Combes.

Local hero Laurens Vanthoor’s WRT Audi was sixth while fellow Belgian Maxime Martin was 12th in his Marc VDS Racing BMW Z4, one place behind the Phoenix Audi of three-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner Andre Lotterer.

But with the stewards hard at work, the starting order may shuffle before the start of the race on Saturday.

Qualifying Top 10 - driver in bold set time:

Pos. No. Drivers Car Time Gap
Frank Stippler
Stephane Ortelli
Nico Muller
Audi 2'18.130  
58  Shane van Gisbergen
Rob Bell
Kevin Estre
McLaren 2'18.147 0.017
11 

Michael Broniszewski

Alessandro Bonacini

Michael Lyons

Andrea Piccini

Ferrari 2'18.176 0.046
59  Bruno Senna
Adrian Quaife-Hobbs
Alvaro Parente
McLaren 2'18.254 0.124
Maximilian Buhk
Maxime Soulet
Andy Soucek
Bentley 2'18.350 0.220

Rene Rast

Laurens Vanthoor

Markus Winkelhock

Audi 2'18.412 0.282
18  Oliver Morley
Sean Johnston
Maro Engel
Bernd Schneider
Mercedes 2'18.427 0.297
 8   46 

Markus Paltalla

Lucas Luhr

Nick Catsburg

BMW 2'18.451 0.321
84  Harold Primat
Vincent Abril
Mike Parisy
Bentley 2'18.482 0.352
10  Guy Smith
Andrew Meyrick
Steven Kane
Bentley 2'18.492 0.362

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About this article
Series Blancpain Endurance
Event 24 Hours of Spa
Track Spa-Francorchamps
Drivers Stéphane Ortelli , Frank Stippler , Nico Müller
Teams Audi Sport Team WRT
Article type Qualifying report