Huber Motorsport and Matteo Cairoli have taken Porsche’s first GT-era pole position at the CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa.
The #20 911 GT3 R, which is also an Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli entry, set a 2m16.880s to beat AF Corse’s #51 Ferrari by 0.116s.
The Bronze class entry featuring Tim Heinemann, Jannes Fittje and IGTC Independent Cup contender Antares Au is also the first from outside of the Pro ranks to take overall pole position since Beechdean AMR’s Aston Martin in 2013.
The other three Intercontinental entries all finished lower than expected.
Manthey EMA’s Porsche was arguably one of the Super Pole favourites but struggled after losing its first lap to track limits. Julien Andlauer ultimately qualified 14th, two places ahead of Maro Engel and GruppeM Racing whose Mercedes-AMG qualified fastest at Bathurst and Kyalami.
Grove Racing’s 911 driven by Earl Bamber finished one position further back.
PORSCHE’S FIRST POLE SINCE 1968
The early pace was set by the #6 K-PAX Racing Lamborghini of Franck Perera, whose 2m17.243s remained the benchmark until Alessio Rovera posted a scorching 2m16.996s in the #51 AF Corse – Francorchamps Motors Ferrari. With just three cars to run it appeared that the Pro dominance of Super Pole might hold, only for Cairoli to post a 2m16.880s on his first flying lap.
It was, the Italian said afterwards, only 80 percent of what was possible, but it was enough to move him to the top of the classification. There were still two cars to run, but neither Dean MacDonald (#5 Optimum Motorsport McLaren) nor Klaus Bachler (#911 Pure Rxcing Porsche) could topple Cairoli.
The #51 Ferrari will start on the front row, followed by the #911 Porsche and the #6 Lamborghini. The #5 McLaren took fifth overall and also scored Gold Cup pole, while Silver Cup honours went to the #58 Grasser Racing Lamborghini of Fabrizio Crestani in P7. The only class settled yesterday evening was Pro-Am, with Barwell Motorsport represented in Super Pole by Dennis Lind. The Dane steered the #78 Lamborghini to 19th on the overall grid.
The session also featured a star performance from 19-year-old Doriane Pin, who qualified the #83 Iron Dames Lamborghini 12th overall on her very first appearance in Super Pole. It was an impressive display from the French teenager, who also posted the quickest first sector of the session.
The 75th CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa will get underway tomorrow at 16:30 with the #20 Huber Motorsport Porsche taking its place at the head of the field. The full race will be streamed live in English, German, French and Italian on the GT World YouTube channel.