Audi pips Van Gisbergen McLaren to Spa pole
Audi driver Frank Stippler narrowly denied Shane van Gisbergen’s Von Ryan McLaren team pole position for the 24 Hours of Spa.
Van Gisbergen’s co-driver Kevin Estre set a formidable 2:18.15s on his first of two permitted flying laps, only to see Stippler trim 0.017s from the time later in the Super Pole session.
Second on the grid is however an encouraging outcome for Von Ryan, which struggled into Super Pole on Thursday night after a troubled practice that included Estre clouting the barriers.
“Yesterday I found it very difficult to drive the car, but during the night session we slowly managed to improve the car,” said Estre, whose team-mate Alvaro Parente put the second McLaren fourth on the grid.
“For this Superpole the engineers decided to try something new and it worked out very well. Of course it is a bit disappointing to miss the pole position by just 17 thousandths of a second, but it still is a good starting position for the race.”
Stippler meanwhile impressed all with his blistering pace, out-gunning highly rated team-mate Laurens Vanthoor by five grid positions.
“This was about the best lap I could do, I think,” said Stippler.
“Of course I am proud of this achievement, but it is only a small step. Tomorrow we will see how competitive the car is over a long run.”
Andrea Piccini put the #11 Kessel Ferrari third on the grid, while the leading Bentley, driven by Maxim Soulet, was fifth.
Provisional pole-sitter Maxime Martin could meanwhile manage no better than 10th in the #45 Marc VDS BMW.
CLICK HERE for the full Super Pole result.