The #911 Pure Rxcing Porsche topped a remarkable Qualifying session at Spa-Francorchamps this evening. Changing weather conditions produced an entirely unpredicted result, with an exceptional 13 cars from outside the Pro class reaching tomorrow’s Super Pole.
A largely dry opening segment was followed by rain in the second, which intensified over the final two parts to become torrential by the time the final chequered flag fell. With multiple cars from four classes progressing to Super Pole, the only class pole-sitter to be decided tonight was in Pro-Am.
The #911 Porsche was the first of seven Bronze Cup crews among the overall top-20. It will be joined by the #20 Huber Motorsport Porsche, the #83 Iron Dames Lamborghini, the #44 CLRT Porsche, the #91 Herberth Motorsport Porsche, the #79 HRT Mercedes-AMG, and the #23 Grove Racing Porsche in the battle for class pole.
The #5 Optimum Motorsport McLaren was second overall and will go head-to-head with the #9 Boutsen VDS Audi for Gold Cup pole, while the Silver Cup battle will be between the #60 VSR Lamborghini, the #12 Comtoyou Racing Audi and the #58 Grasser Racing Lamborghini.
There will be seven Pro crews in Super Pole, with some of the favourites for overall victory set to start outside the top-20 on Saturday afternoon. The #92 Manthey EMA Porsche was the best of those to progress in P7 overall, followed by the #999 Mercedes-AMG Team GruppeM and the #40 Audi Sport Tresor Orange1.
AF Corse – Francorchamps Motors progressed with its #51 Ferrari, as did the #11 Audi Sport Team Comtoyou, the #17 Scherer Sport PHX Audi and the #6 K-PAX Racing Lamborghini. The most notable absentees included the entirety of the BMW fleet and defending overall winner Akkodis ASP with its #88 Mercedes-AMG.
The only team able to celebrate pole position on Thursday night was Barwell Motorsport, which was a superb 10th overall and well clear of its closest Pro-Am contender. The #78 Lamborghini of Rob Collard, Bashar Mardini, Patrick Kujala and Dennis Lind will therefore take the start from P1 in class, though its final staring spot is yet to be determined.
Despite the heavy rain that fell in Q3 and Q4, there were relatively few incidents on-track. A red flag was required in the dry opening session, but the next stoppage did not come until the dying moments of Q4, bringing proceedings to a close less than two minutes early.
Night Practice was slated to run shortly after Qualifying, but with the rain only worsening a decision was taken to cancel the session. Super Pole will take place tomorrow at 15:35 and will see each crew nominate one driver to complete two flying laps of the circuit. Running last of all will be Pure Rxcing, which will aim to become the first car from outside the Pro class to secure overall pole since 2013.