The best-placed Porsche 911 GT3 R takes up the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps from the first grid row. In the gripping and hotly-contested Super Pole, in which only the top twenty qualifiers were eligible, just one driver per car was permitted to take part. In the hunt for the best time, Laurens Vanthoor turned an impeccable lap for the KÜS Team75 Bernhard squad.
At the wheel of the No. 117 Porsche 911 GT3 R, the Belgian lapped the tradition-steeped 7.004-kilometre racetrack in a time of 2:18.605 minutes on his second flying lap. For a long period, he topped the Super Pole time sheets, before the final contender trumped his time by a mere 17-thousandth of a second. Thus, the local hero will take up the 71st running of the Ardennes marathon on Saturday with his teammates Timo Bernhard (Germany) and Earl Bamber (New Zealand) from the second grid spot.
Posting a time of 2:18.822 minutes, Nick Tandy planted his 500+hp Porsche fielded by Rowe Racing on P4. The British racing driver shares the No. 998 Porsche 911 GT3 R with the two Frenchmen Patrick Pilet and Frédéric Makowiecki.
Team colleague Mathieu Jaminet (France) concluded the Super Pole in tenth with the No. 98 nine-eleven. Lining up behind him on eleventh is Kévin Estre (France) from GPX Racing (No. 20) with the Norwegian Dennis Olsen on twelfth in Rowe Racing’s third Porsche GT3 R (No. 99). In the No. 54 Porsche 911 GTR 3 campaigned by Dinamic Motorsport, Klaus Bachler (Austria) starts from 16th and rounds off the strong Porsche performance in the Super Pole of the Ardennes classic.
Super Pole result
1. Engel/Buurman/Stolz (D/NL/D), Mercedes-AMG GT3, 2:18.588 minutes
2. Bernhard/Vanthoor/Bamber (D/B/NZ), Porsche 911 GT3 R, + 0.017 seconds
3. Molina/Aleshin/Rigon (E/R/I), Ferrari 488 GT3, + 0.218 seconds
4. Pilet/Makowiecki/Tandy (F/F/GB), Porsche 911 GT3 R, + 0.234 seconds
10. Müller/Dumas/Jaminet (D/F/F), Porsche 911 GT3 R, + 0.439 seconds
11. Estre/Christensen/Lietz (F/DK/A), Porsche 911 GT3 R, + 0.479 seconds
12. Olsen/Campbell/Werner (N/AUS/D), Porsche 911 GT3 R, + 0.671 seconds
16. Bachler/Rizzoli/Ashkanani (A/I/KWT), Porsche 911 GT3 R, + 1.293 seconds
A total of 248 drivers tackle the 24-hour classic at Spa-Francorchamps in 72 vehicles. Eleven manufacturers are represented at the 71st edition of the Ardennes marathon, which is considered the largest and most important GT3 event in the world.
Saturday, 27 July
15:35 – 16:15 hrs: Start ceremony
16:30 hrs: Start Total 24 Hours of Spa