Zolder 24H: Series qualifying report

Phil Keen grabs pole for the Menzo 24 Hours of Zolder from under the nose of the Belgians. In the final minutes of the near-on six hours of qualifying sessions for the 24 Hours of Zolder, the Brit Phil Keen came up with a major ...

Phil Keen grabs pole for the Menzo 24 Hours of Zolder from under the nose of the Belgians.

In the final minutes of the near-on six hours of qualifying sessions for the 24 Hours of Zolder, the Brit Phil Keen came up with a major surprise. At the wheel of the Topcats Racing Mosler the young British driver set a lap time of 1.32.780, half a second faster than Ruben Maes in the NGT Porsche 911 GT3-R and more than one second faster than Bert Longin at the wheel of the First Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 Cup S.

Qualifying for the 32nd edition of the 24 Hours of Zolder bodes well for the race. Up front the order was continuously changing and it was only in the last few minutes that the battle for pole position was finally settled. NGT, TopCats, KRK, KS Motorsport and First Motorsport were the star players in the fight for places up front on the grid and in the end the Belgians had to bow their heads for the fast British GT driver in the Mosler MT900.

Phil Keen: "I hadn't expected that, because the team told me that the fastest lap time set by the car last year was 1.35, so 1.32.7 is a fair amount under that. I'm obviously delighted with my pole, because it has been a long time since I last started up front. Sorry for the Belgians..."

Behind Keen Ruben Maes was considerably disappointed with his second place "I could definitely have gone faster, but time was tight. I was ready, but with only a few minutes left it isn't easy to have a go. So we lost the pole, but the car is perfect and we're ready for it", the fast West Flanders Ruben Maes commented.

The crews of the First Motorsport Porsche, the KRK Viper, the second NGT Porsche 911 and the KS Motorsport BMW M3 Silhouette fought out a great battle behind the top-2 for the remaining top places. It was finally Bert Longin who came up trumps for the Limburg based team of Jo Jamers, with a small margin on the Viper of amongst others the Wauters brothers, the BMW Silhouette of KS Motorsport and the NGT Porsche 911 Supercup. With a difference of less than two seconds between the first and sixth place and four different makes in the top-6, expectations for this 32nd edition of the 24 Hours of Zolder are already running high.

Between seventh and fifteenth place we have a horde of outsiders in Porsche 911 of varied plumages, with the CHAD Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RSR in seventh, ahead of Limburg Racing, AD Sport and Level Racing. Here also the differences are small and should these various Porsche drive a sensible race they could well finish in a top place or even a podium. At the end of the session Chad Racing experienced a fire, but the Brits are fully determined to have the car repaired in time for the race.

In the Touring division the pole went to Belien Motorsport, ahead of the Recy Racing Team and MI Racing Belgium, all three with a BMW. Fourth place went to the Gabriel Racing Renault Clio.

The 32nd edition of the 24 Hours of Zolder kicks off on Saturday at 16.00hrs. See you in Zolder!

-source: zolder

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Series Endurance
Drivers Bert Longin , Ruben Maes , Phil Keen