When the 66 cars of the Total 24 Hours of Spa were preparing themselves for the pre-qualifying session, the track was dry, basking under a glorious sun. But it still took several minutes before the time of the Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 HTP Motorsport #84 set during free practice, 2’22’’118, was beaten.
It was Marc Lieb, driving the Porsche 997 GT3 R #150 of Manthey Racing, who set the pace, before Maximilian Buhk (Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 HTP Motorsport) retook the lead. A green track and hot conditions were not necessarily the best conditions to set quick times. During the second part of the session, conditions did not really improve.
Lapping in 2’21’’824, Maxime Martin was the first driver the get under the 2’22 barrier, putting the BMW Z4 #3 of the Marc VDS Racing Team on top. Nobody could beat the young Belgian’s efforts during this session, not even his teammate Nicky Catsburg, who clocked the second fastest time.
So the Martin-Buurman-Leinders trio finished the pre-qualifying session in front of the other BMW Z4 of the Marc VDS Racing Team, driven by Nicky Catsburg, Henri Moser and Markus Palttala (2’22’’035). In third, the Ferrari 458 Italia #70 of Matteo Bobbi, Alessandro Pier Guidi, Alexander Skryabin and Alexey Basov set also the quickest time in the PRO-AM Cup, in 2’22’’286.
Leading the Gentlemen Trophy was the Ferrari 458 Italia Sport Garage of Romain Brandela, Leonardo Gorini, Stéphane Lemeret and Thierry Prignaud, setting the ninth time overall (2’23’’236).
Everything’s ready now for the qualifying sessions, with the first session running from 20:10 to 21:25, the night session taking place from 21:55 to 23:10.