Spa: Series qualifying race report

Corvette dominant in Qualifying Race Corvette continued their dominance of the fifth round of the FIA GT1 World Championship at Spa-Francorchamps with a lights-to-flag victory in the Qualifying Race going to the No.11 car of Xavier Maassen and...

Corvette dominant in Qualifying Race

Corvette continued their dominance of the fifth round of the FIA GT1 World Championship at Spa-Francorchamps with a lights-to-flag victory in the Qualifying Race going to the No.11 car of Xavier Maassen and Jos Menten.

Second was the Reiter Lamborghini No.25 of Ricardo Zonta and Frank Kechele with the Phoenix Racing Corvette No.13 of Marc Hennerici and Mike Hezemans third.

Christoffer Nygaard and Stefan Mucke in the Young Driver Aston Martin No.8 were fourth from Bert Longin and Nico Verdonck in the Triple H Maserati No.34.

The All-Inkl Lamborghini No.38 of Nicky Pastorelli and Dominik Schwager were sixth, Matech Ford GT's Richard Westbrook and Thomas Mutsch in the No.5 car were seventh.

Home-town heroes Bas Leinders and Maxime Martin in the Marc VDS Ford GT No.40, finished eighth.

Spa Qualifying Race: What the drivers say ...

Jos Menten, Mad-Croc Corvette No.11

"At the start, I was worried that I wouldn't see the start lights, because I'm in Xavier's seat, so I'm a little bit higher in, so I asked my engineer to tell me when it was green. I saw the green, so that was lucky for me. (Dominik) Schwager made it a bit difficult, I had to fight for the first corner, but that was okay.

"After Eau Rouge, I looked in the display in my mirror, and I saw I had a little gap, and I was a happy in my car for a bit. At the end of the lap, my engineer called 'Safety Car', before the Bus Stop chicane, so I lifted off a bit, because I was thinking that the car would come on, but there were no flag posts or anything. I was a bit angry at myself for listening to him, but I put the throttle back on and went away. I knew I had to push for the whole 30 mins to stay in first, because I know what Frank Kechele is capable of. We had some problems with the tyres, a little bit of oversteer, but I think most people had that."

Xavier Maassen, Mad-Croc Corvette No.11

"It was a great race. We made a good pit stop. We had an awesome car in the beginning. I struggled a bit with low tyre pressure, and I saw Ricardo (Zonta) coming quite close; it was a bit up and down. I needed to increase the gap, and we had the ability to do it, which was good.

"The car seemed to be running fine. We had a good car all through the race, except for the last couple of laps, with the understeer and oversteer, because of the high tyre degradation here. But we managed to do well and we've now officially qualified on pole for a Championship Race, which is good. We'll still have a job to do tomorrow. We're going to look at the data to see if we can improve a bit for tomorrow, and from there we'll see what happens tomorrow."

Frank Kechele, Reiter Lamborghini No.25

"I got a really good start and I saw them (Menten and Schwager) fighting going to the outside and thought I could be the lucky third one to catch them on the inside, but Jos was clever enough to close the inside again, and I was happy with P2. The car went really well; I was a bit careful in the first laps, because last time the tyres dropped quite a lot, but the teams did a great job on the setup to get the car over the distance and it went really well.

"Towards the end, I even managed to close in on Jos again. We thought we might be able to take them in the pitstop, but we came out just behind them. Ricardo (Zonta) did a great job closing in on them again, but there was no need to push to hard; the big race is tomorrow. I think we're ready to attack."

Ricardo Zonta, Reiter Lamborghini No.25

"The first part of the race was very difficult and Frank did a good job. When I took the car, I tried to catch the car in front and I pushed at the start to get closer and closer, but I saw that there was no way to get there. I'm very happy with second. I am looking forward to tomorrow."

Marc Hennerici, Phoenix Racing Corvette No.13

"We are really happy because I'm still third place in the championship, so I need the points. The other Corvette was much quicker, so we have a lot to think about, what might be wrong with the car. It was a great race, but the start was really bad for me, because the left side braked so late that I lost two places; I could pass Bas Leinders, but when I was behind (Stefan) Mucke, I could close the gap, but I lost so much downforce in the corners, I didn't expect this massive effect in a GT car, but there was no chance of passing. This is my favourite track though."

Mike Hezeman, Phoenix Racing Corvette No.13

"It was a good race, but the other Corvette was quicker. I drove there, I know their setup, which we'll try tomorrow in warm-up. We'll see tomorrow. Apart from the problem with the car on the slow down lap, the race was fine. But I always seem to be in the wrong car!"

-source: gt1world

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About this article
Series Blancpain Sprint
Drivers Ricardo Zonta , Mike Hezemans , Dominik Schwager , Marc Hennerici , Bas Leinders , Nico Verdonck , Bert Longin , Nicky Pastorelli , Stefan Mücke , Xavier Maassen , Jos Menten , Maxime Martin , Richard Westbrook , Thomas Mutsch , Christoffer Nygaard , Frank Kechele
Teams Marc VDS Racing , Phoenix Racing