Porsche customer teams have secured solid starting positions for the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps. In the Super Pole, a shootout over two flying laps of the 20 fastest cars from the qualifying, the Porsche Young Professional Thomas Preining was fastest at the wheel of a 911 GT3 R.
The 22-year-old Austrian lapped the 7.004-kilometre Ardennes circuit in 2:32.990 minutes and takes up tomorrow’s race from the sixth grid spot in the No. 40 vehicle of GPX Racing. Preining shares the cockpit of the GT3 racer with the French works driver Romain Dumas and Louis Delétraz from Belgium.
As darkness fell on a slightly damp track, the No. 47 entry fielded by KCMG was the second fastest Porsche 911 GT3 R. Posting the tenth fastest time, Kévin Estre from France was a good tenth of a second quicker than his compatriot and factory driver teammate Patrick Pilet in the No. 12 GPX car. Julien Andlauer (France) and local hero Laurens Vanthoor achieved positions 13 and 20 with Rowe Racing’s two vehicles. The Frenchman Frédéric Makowiecki planted the No. 22 car fielded by Frikadelli Racing on P14, with Matteo Cairoli from Italy right behind him with the GT3 racer from Weissach campaigned by the Italian squad Dinamic Motorsports.
Comments on the Super Pole
Sebastian Golz (Project Manager Porsche 911 GT3 R): “After the good results on a wet track in qualifying and the night practice, we’d hoped do to a little better with our seven Porsche 911 GT3 R in the Super Pole. Now we’ll put our heads together with our customer squads to look into this and prepare meticulously for the upcoming endurance race. I’m certain that we’ll experience an exciting race. We’ll do everything to get our cars as far to the front of the field as possible. Preferably to first place again.”
Thomas Preining (Porsche 911 GT3 R #40): “I’m very happy and satisfied with our result. The track conditions continued to improve over the course of the Super Pole, so that those who went out on the track later in the session had an advantage. I set my lap times relatively early on. I am very pleased that I managed sixth place under these conditions. Now I’m really looking forward to the upcoming 24-hour race. It’ll be a very interesting competition with many vehicles on an equal footing.”
Kévin Estre (Porsche 911 GT3 R #47): “The track was a bit wet and there was a light shower every now and then. The conditions were very difficult. I guess that the drivers who tackled the session in the later stages found the track conditions a bit easier. On my two fast laps I gave everything. Still, I couldn’t make it as far to the front as I’d hoped. But tenth place should be okay. Last year we took up the race from eleventh on the grid and ended up at the top of the podium.”
Patrick Pilet (Porsche 911 GT3 R #12): “Despite the damp track I had quite good grip during my warm-up lap. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the same when I tried to put in a quick lap. It turned out to be difficult to keep the car on the fastest line in order to cut down my time. Well, eleventh on the grid is an okay position to take up this race. We just have one goal: Win at Spa and set another highlight later this late in the year.”
Super Pole result
1. Marciello/Boguslavkiy/Fraga (I/RUS/BR), Mercedes-AMG GT3 #88, 2:32.166 minutes
2. Bortolotti/K. van der Linde/Rast (I/ZA/D), Audi R8 LMS GT3 #31, +0.220 seconds
3. Engel/Stolz/Abril (D/D/F), Mercedes-AMG GT3 #4, +0.356 seconds
6. Dumas/Deletraz/Preining (F/CH/A), Porsche 911 GT3 R #40, +0,824 seconds
10. Christensen/Lietz/Estre (DK/A/F), Porsche 911 GT3 R #47, +1,238 seconds
11. Campbell/Pilet/Jaminet (AUS/F/F), Porsche 911 GT3 R #12, +1,375 seconds
13. Werner/Andlauer/Bachler (D/F/A), Porsche 911 GT3 R #99, +1,602 seconds
14. Bergmeister/Olsen/Makowiecki (D/N/F), Porsche 911 GT3 R #22, +1,614 seconds
15. Cairoli/Engelhart/Müller (I/D/D), Porsche 911 GT3 R #54, +1,953 seconds
20. Tandy/Bamber/Vanthoor (GB/NZ/B), Porsche 911 GT3 R #98, +3,380 seconds