BMW strikes first blow as night fever grips Spa

BMW made the first decisive strike in Qualifying for the Total 24 Hours of Spa with Frank Kechele in the No.66 Vita4One BMW Z4 taking top spot overall in the day and night sessions at Spa-Francorchamps.

#66 Vita4One Racing Team BMW Z4 GT3: Greg Franchi, Frank Kechele, Mathias Lauda
#66 Vita4One Racing Team BMW Z4 GT3: Greg Franchi, Frank Kechele, Mathias Lauda

Photo by: Ed Fahey

The German driver set a time of 2:19.473 in his PRO class entry in Q1 which was not bettered by the time both 1hr 15 minute sessions had drawn to a close in the darkness of the Ardennes.

In the PRO-AM class, Portuguese McLaren regular Alvaro Parente took the fastest time in the No.88 Von Ryan Racing MP4-12C with a best lap of 2:19.729.

Top marks for competitive consistency went to Giacomo Piccini in the No.73 Kessel Racing Ferrari 430 Scuderia. The Italian posted a time of 2:22.868, not only putting the car top in the Gentlemen Trophy category but 15th in Q2 and mixing it with the PRO and PRO-AM contenders.

Determined driving from the No.32 Pro GT by Almeras Porsche saw Frenchman Alain Ferté post a 2:27.131, putting the team firmly at the top of the CUP class.

There was plenty of action throughout on the daunting slopes of Spa. In Q1, the No.47 ASM Team McLaren driven by Karim Ojjeh was involved in an incident at the bottom of Raidillon. The car sprayed debris and oil over the track after hitting the wall and caused the session to be red flagged.

Moments after the all-clear was given the No.42 Sport Garage Ferrari 458 Italia stopped at turn 17 in a dangerous position, bringing out the waved red once more.

In Q2, the No.87 RMS Porsche slowed to a halt at T13 after a tyre blowout. Soon after the No.90 Preci-Spark Mercedes experienced the same problem with its front left tyre, spraying the pit lane with sparks. The car suffered heavy damage to the bodywork as a result.

Source: Blancpain Endurance Series

Today served as a prelude to Super Pole on Friday afternoon at 15:35 with the top 20 cars gunning for glory ahead of Saturday’s race.

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About this article
Series Endurance
Drivers Alvaro Parente , Mathias Lauda , Alain Ferté , Karim Ojjeh , Giacomo Piccini , Greg Franchi , Frank Kechele
Teams Sport Garage
Article type Qualifying report
Tags bes, blancpain endurance series, bmw, kechele, spa, spa-francorchamps