Aston Martin Racing has qualified on pole in both of the FIA World Endurance Championship’s GTE classes at the second round of the series, the Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, for the second consecutive race.
Under new regulations, each car must complete at least four laps with two drivers, with the qualifying lap calculated from the average of the best four laps.
In the 30-minute session, which took place on a dry track, Bruno Senna (BR) and French GT ace Fred Makowiecki put in four consistently fast laps to take pole position in the GTE Pro class with an average time of 2:19.811. Rob Bell (GB) will start the #98 2013 Vantage GTE in tomorrow’s six-hour race.
Bruno Senna comments: “We’re really happy with qualifying. We put in a very strong performance, which was helped by lots of running in practice to understand the car. It’s great to be in front in Spa. I love this circuit and I normally do well here so I’m really enjoying it.”
Fred Makowiecki: “Yes, it was a great qualifying session. It’s really close between all the teams here with 0.042s separating first and second, so we will have a really nice race where we’ll have to push to the max. We have good set up and the car feels really comfortable for the race; it should be good for us.”
In the GTE Am class, Allan Simonsen (DN) and Christoffer Nygaard (DN) topped the time sheets once again in their 2012-specification Vantage GTE, by an even smaller 0.030s margin with an average lap time of 2:21.265. Team-mate Kristian Poulsen will complete the all-Danish trio for the race.
Christoffer Nygaard: “The car feels great here; it definitely suits both Spa and Silverstone, where we able to win last month. But, it’s a long race. We have three good drivers but we all need to do a good job on the day.”
Allan Simonsen: “It was a fantastic session and everything went to plan. We were lucky to get some clear laps and put the car on the front row for the race. The aim is to get a good start, like at Silverstone.”
Completing the five-car line up, the #97 GTE Pro car, which won the Six Hours of Silverstone last month, will start from fourth on grid with the #99 close behind in fifth and the #96 GTE Am car in third in class.
John Gaw, Team Principal at Aston Martin Racing concludes: “So far so good at Spa this weekend. Running five cars is a big task but everyone has stepped up to the task and we’re working well as a team.
“The lap times are much tighter here than at Silverstone as our competitors seem to have closed the gap significantly, but we will push incredibly hard in the race for more great results from all the cars. We aim to take as many points as we can before we head to Le Mans for the 24-hour race in June.”
The Six Hours of Spa starts at 14:30 CET on Saturday 4 May. Follow the team’s progress at www.astonmartin.com/racing on Facebook www.facebook.com/astonmartinracing and on Twitter using @amr_official.