The best-placed Porsche 911 GT3 R tackles the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps from the sixth grid row. In the hotly contested Super Pole, contested by the top 20 qualifiers and only one driver per team, Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) lapped the tradition-steeped 7.004-kilometre racetrack at the wheel of the #117 nine-eleven in 2:19.894 minutes. With this result, the local hero and his teammates Timo Bernhard (Germany) and Earl Bamber (New Zealand) head into the 70th edition of the Ardennes marathon for the KÜS Team75 Bernhard squad from P11.
Frédéric Makowiecki helmed the cockpit of the Porsche 911 GT3 R (#911) for the Manthey-Racing team. For the Frenchman, the clock stopped at 2:19.649 minutes, which represented ninth place in the Super Pole. This position, however, was not upheld. Due to a speed infringement in the pit lane during free practice, Frédéric Makowiecki and his teammates Romain Dumas (France) and Dirk Werner (Germany) will be relegated ten spots down the grid. Thus, Manthey-Racing tackles the long-distance classic in Belgium from position 19.
A total of 221 drivers and 63 vehicles tackle this year’s 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps. Thirteen manufacturers are represented at the 70th edition of the Ardennes marathon, which is regarded as the largest and most important GT3 event in the world.
Saturday, 28 July
16:30 hrs: Race start
Sunday, 29 July
16:30 hrs: Race finish
Comments on the Super Pole
Dr Frank-Steffen Walliser (Vice President Motorsport and GT Cars): “The Super Pole was okay, but not fantastic. The pressure of competition here at Spa is extremely high. We are not coping as well with the heat as our competitors, but we’re within striking distance. It’s supposed to be slightly cooler on Saturday and that would help us. The important thing at Spa is not to make mistakes. The key to this race will be consistency.”
Sebastian Golz (Project Manager 911 GT3 R): “We concluded the Super Pole on positions nine and twelve, so nothing is lost yet. The rate of retirements at Spa is high, hence we need to now focus on the race, put in a consistent drive and keep out of any trouble. Then anything’s possible here.”
Laurens Vanthoor (Porsche 911 GT3 R #117): “I’m not happy with the result. I had a clean and flawless lap, but in terms of pace I couldn’t do more. It’s not easy for us in this heat. I hope if the temperature cools down on Saturday during the race it’ll be better.”
Frédéric Makowiecki (Porsche 911 GT3 R #911): “My lap was good but unfortunately I made a small mistake in Eau Rouge because the tyre pressure wasn’t quite right. But all in all I’m satisfied. We have a good car and now we need to concentrate on the race.”