For the first time since the Total 24 Hours of Spa have been part of the Blancpain GT Series, a Ferrari will start from pole position. James Calado clocked a superb 2’17.390, the fastest-ever lap of a GT3 car on the Spa track, at the wheel of the #55 Kaspersky Motorsport Ferrari. Mirko Bortolotti (#63 Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini) will be next to him on the front row, with Belgian drivers Frédéric Vervisch (#2 Audi Sport Team WRT R8) and Laurens Vanthoor (#117 KÜS Team75 Bernhard Porsche) sharing the second row.
Rainclouds threatened the Spa circuit at the start of the Superpole, but the track remained dry for the whole of the session. The times of the warm-up – held just half an hour earlier – indicated that the pole position time of the 69th edition of the Total 24 Hours of Spa could possibly be the fastest lap ever.
This was quickly confirmed by René Rast (#1 Audi Sport Team WRT R8) and Laurens Vanthoor in the KÜS Team75 Bernhard Porsche, who both broke the 2’18-barrier. The Belgian’s time was 0.052 quicker than Rast’s, but the German did not stay second for long.
Jonny Adam created a surprise by clocking exactly the same time as Laurens Vanthoor, driving the #97 Oman Racing Team with TF Sport Aston Martin. However, their 2’17.674 was not enough to start from the front row.
First Mirko Bortolotti went quicker, followed in quick succession by James Calado and Fred Vervisch. Calado’s time turned out to be fast enough to give Ferrari its first pole position since the Total 24 Hours of Spa became part of the Blancpain GT Series.
After the session, the stewards of the meeting penalised Jonny Adam for having started outside his allocated time window, deleting his fastest lap time. The Aston driver dropped to seventh, but held on to pole in the Pro-Am Cup.
James Calado (#55 Kaspersky Motorsport Ferrari): “I am really happy with this pole position, although I fully realise that it is not really important in a 24-hour-race. The car felt great, but since I made a small mistake in the final corner, I did not think it would be enough. I’ll take it, though!”
Press Release: Blancpain