Two rather messy qualifying sessions today at Spa saw Peugeot, Porsche and Aston Martin take pole positions for tomorrow’s Le Mans Series 1000KM of Spa. Four red flags interrupted the two sessions in which the fastest times were set right at the end of each session.
In the GT qualifying session that started at 13:30 it was Peter Kox who opened the hunt for pole position, almost drifting through the final corner the Dutchman was the first driver to set a proper lap time.
Unfortunately for all other drivers there was then a yellow flag at turn 14, followed by a red flag after only 6 minutes. After all cars had returned to the pit lane the session was restarted at 13:40.
The timing then disappeared all around the track and with all cars out on the track it was not immediately known who was posting fast times and who wasn’t. By the time the timing was up and running again much had changed and Alex Müller in the Jetalliance Racing Aston Martin DBR9 was fastest out on the track in 2:18.156
In GT2 IMSA Performance Matmut’s Patrick Pilet had posted the fastest time in his Porsche 997 GT3 RSR. With only a minute remaining it was Marc Lieb in the Felbermayr-Proton Porsche however who snatched pole position from the French driver by posting a 2:21.870. Melo immediately followed by taking third.
As the chequered flag was shown already Alex Müller completed one final flying lap and improved his pole time again, setting a 2:17.344.
Due to the interruption in GT qualifying the LMP session started at 13:58. But again the session was red flagged before it had really gotten underway. At La Source both the #007 Aston Martin Racing Lola Aston and the #23 Strakka Racing Zytek came to a halt and both needed to be pushed to safety by the marshalls.
The session was restarted some five minutes later. First there was a yellow flag at turn 5 when the #28 Ibanez Racing Service Courage LC75 went off and then just after the Essex Porsche had improved its provisional pole time to 2:07.918 there were more problems.
Nicolas Lapierre first parked his Oreca 01 on the track at the Bus Stop chicane with what looked like a big lock of both front and rear and when Marcel Fässler then spun the Speedy Racing Team Sebah Lola Aston Martin at La Source the race director could do nothing else than to throw the red flag.
Strangely Lapierre managed to get the car restarted and pull away minutes later just before a flatbed transporter arrived at the scene and shortly afterwards the session was restarted again. Racing Box #30 moved into second place in LMP2 and several cars went for it. When the #24 OAK Racing Pescarolo spun it seemed to end the day but fortunately the car found its way back again and the session went on.
In the final minute the #33 Lola Judd posted the second time in LMP2 but the Speedy Racing Team Sebah team was unable to challenge the Team Essex Porsche.