> Mercedes-AMG and Porsche complete the top-three
> 15 IGTC entries feature inside the top-20
> Result: Super Pole
Orange1 K-PAX Racing and Andrea Caldarelli have made TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa history by claiming Lamborghini’s first-ever pole position at the world’s biggest GT race.
The US squad’s #6 Huracan GT3, which Jordan Pepper will start up front at 16:45 CEST tomorrow, was one of 15 Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli entries to feature in the top-20 Super Pole session.
Kevin Estre (GPX Martini Racing, Porsche) and Klaus Bachler (Dinamic Motorsport, Porsche) both held provisional pole early on before a typically committed lap from Raffaele Marciello looked to have secured the Italian’s third consecutive pole position. His compatriot had other ideas, though, and after setting a banker lap on his first run found a chunk of time in the final sector of his second lap to beat Akkodis ASP’s Mercedes-AMG by 0.154s.
Caldarelli’s time – 2m16.221s – was also a new GT3-era qualifying lap record and ensured K-PAX became the first North American team to seal pole position in the event’s 74-edition history.
Lamborghini and Mercedes-AMG’s best placed entries are both IGTC nominees, but the same can’t be said for Porsche which start third courtesy of Bachler. Unlike GPX’s entry, which ended up sixth, Dinamic’s 911 will not score Intercontinental points on Sunday.
Championship leaders Mercedes-AMG have two nominees starting in the top-four after Luca Stolz lapped 0.3s shy of pole. The German, along with Marciello’s co-driver Jules Gounon, also top the drivers’ standings thanks to their victory at Bathurst.
Mirko Bortolotti found himself second for a time before winding up fifth in the first of Emil Frey Racing’s two IGTC-nominated Lamborghinis. The second, qualified by Giacomo Altoe, starts 12th.
Audis filled row four, although the first of them – run by Audi Sport Team Tresor – isn’t listed amongst Ingolstadt’s IGTC entries. Instead, it’s the Attempto car qualified by Ricardo Feller that will initially lead the manufacturer’s IGTC assault from eighth.
Iron Lynx’s Ferraris were the last to set Super Pole laps by dint of qualifying fastest yesterday. However, both flattered to deceive en route to only 11th and 13th.