The GT2 team of Dutch luxury car manufacturer Spyker Cars, SNORAS Spyker Squadron, qualified in 9th and 11th position for tomorrow’s Le Mans Series Monza round. The 1000km race, the second round in a series of five, will start this Sunday at 12:50 and can be seen live on MotorsTV and Eurosport.
Conditions were excellent for qualifying this afternoon with a temperature in the mid-twenties, a light breeze and clear skies. Immediately after green light was given for the 20 minute GT qualifying session both Spyker’s left the pitlane to set their quickest time. The lap times of the 12 GT2 cars were much closer than in the free practice sessions but both drivers managed to find some time and got closer to the leading car.
It was Swiss Benjamin Leuenberger, in his first qualifying session ever with the Spyker C8 Laviolette, to set the 11th time in the #94 Speedy Racing Team car. “Qualifying did not go very well” said Benjamin afterwards. “I asked to change the front splitter to win a bit more top speed but unfortunately it did not work out as planned. According to the data we have just reviewed the engine was also a bit down on performance but nevertheless I am looking forward to tomorrow’s race. If we can finish without any problems we should be able to run in a top-5 position”.
The other car, the #85, was qualified by German Ralf Kelleners. Ralf: “Everything worked out well for us today. Unfortunately we will start from a ninth position but I am happy with the distance between us and the pole car. We are much closer to the competition than in Barcelona and we have less track issues with the car then in Spain. I enjoyed driving the C8 Laviolette there but here in Italy I like it even better: the car is well balanced, we have more grip and you can really squeeze the last bit out of it and drive it more aggressively. I think from a driver’s perspective the race will be a lot more fun as we are able to fight for positions instead of having to drive strategically, keep our act together and stay out of trouble as we did in the 1000 km of Catalunya”.
Peter van Erp, managing director Spyker Squadron: “So far we have been able to improve our times in all sessions. Nevertheless it is a bit disappointing to see that it is not enough to gain grid positions. I am very pleased with the performance of Andrea Chiesa and Benjamin Leuenberger but also Alexei is doing an excellent job in the other car. If in tomorrow’s race our strategy and pitstops work out well and we can manage to stay out of trouble we will be able to advance into a top-5 position and claim a few valuable championship points”.
Immediately after qualifying the mechanics started to prepare the cars for the race; both will get a fresh race engine for tomorrow’s 1000 km race. Andrea Chiesa and Ralf Kelleners will start the race tomorrow.