Lamy puts Saleen on Spa 24hrs pole
|By Steven English||Friday, August 1st 2008, 13:30 GMT|
The Larbre Competition Saleen will start this years 24 Hours of Spa from pole position after a stunning lap by Pedro Lamy at the end of the final qualifying session this afternoon.
The Peugeot Le Mans driver has joined Vincent Vosse, Greg Franchi, and Steve Zacchia in the S7 for this one-off event and produced an exceptional lap to pinch pole position from Marcel Fassler.
Lamy says he knew the speed was in the car, despite only setting the seventh best time in the qualifying session yesterday, but played down the car's chances of winning the race.
"It was a very last minute lap, but I knew it was possible," he said. "Yesterday many people had problems with all the yellow flags and accidents, and I was one of them. The car was good but I couldn't do a good lap. Today I could do the lap and that's the difference.
"It will be a long and difficult race. If we don't have problems we can finish well, but we have had some problems already. If we can finish well it will be good, but it will be difficult to win because the other teams are too strong."
Fassler's lap looked to be good enough to clinch pole for the No.6 Phoenix Corvette until Lamy's final effort, but he remains confident going into race alongside regular co-driver Jean-Denis Deletraz and teammates Mike Hezemans and Fabrizio Gollin.
"I was really happy with the car and was trying hard to beat (Karl) Wendlinger's best time from yesterday," said Fassler. "In the end I beat it and I was not expecting someone else to go even faster, but I'm happy for Pedro and I'm not sure I could have beaten that - 1:13.9 is very fast."
Wendlinger had held the provisional top spot over night for the Jetalliance Aston Martin that he is sharing with regular co-driver Ryan Sharp and teammates Alex Muller and Lukas Litchner-Hoyer. Only Lamy and Fassler were able to better his time today, so they will start third.
The Selleslagh Corvette set the fourth quickest time in qualifying but did not run in today's session and is doubtful for the race after Christophe Bouchut had a massive crash during the night session yesterday.
The No.2 Vitaphone Maserati of Xandi Negrao, Miguel Ramos, Alessandro Pier Guidi, and Stephane Lemeret set the fifth best time of qualifying to make it four different makes of car in the top five.
The second Phoenix Corvette, of Alex Margaritis, Uwe Alzen, Jos Menten, and Robert Schlunssen was sixth, ahead of Michael Bartels, Andrea Bertolini, Stephane Sarrazin, and Eric van der Poele in the No.1 Vitaphone Maserati, with the Peter Kox, Roman Rusinov, Jan Lammers, Tomas Enge Lamborghini Murcielago the fifth different manufacturer in the top eight.
The GT2 times did not improve on last night's best efforts, so Thomas Biagi retains his provisional pole position in the No.51 AF Corse Ferrari (sharing with Christian Montanari, Dominik Farnbacher, and Matias Russo), just two tenths of a second quicker than the similar BMS Scuderia Italia car of Matteo Malucelli, Paolo Ruberti, Joel Camathias, and Davide Rigon.
The top Porsche was just half a second further back, with Richard Lietz, Raymond Narac, and Patrick Long in the IMSA car.
The GT3 pole went to the Muhlner Motorsport Porsche of Heinz-Josef Bermes, Mark Thomas, Marc Basseng, and Jean-Francois Hemroulle, from the Team Eurotech Ascari of Mike Jordan, and brothers Godfrey and David Jones.
Pos Driver Car Class 1. Fassler/Hezemans/Gollin/Deletraz Corvette GT1 2. Wendlinger/Sharp/Muller/Litchner-Hoyer Aston Martin GT1 3. Bouchut/Maassen/Soulet/Pillon Corvette GT1 4. Negrao/Ramos/Pier Guidi/Lemeret Maserati GT1 5. Margaritis/Alzen/Menten/Schlunssen Corvette GT1 6. Bertolini/Bartels/Sarrazin/van der Poele Maserati GT1 7. Kox/Rusinov/Lammers/Enge Lamborghini GT1 8. Simonsen/Peter/Turner/Thompson Aston Martin GT1 9. Aucott/Ferte/Daoudi Maserati GT1 10. Kumpen/Longin/Mollekens/Bouvy Saleen GT1 11. Biagi/Montanari/Farnbacher/Russo Ferrari GT2 12. Malucelli/Ruberti/Camathias/Rigon Ferrari GT2 13. Lietz/Long/Narac Porsche GT2 14. Bell/Kirkaldy/Muller/Sutton Ferrari GT2 15. Forsten/Palttala/Henzler/Horion Porsche GT2 16. Collard/Westbrook/Lieb Porsche GT2 17. Babini/Davies/Monfardini Ferrari GT2 18. Mullen/Piccini/Niarchos/Shedden Ferrari GT2 19. Williams/Sugden/Pompidou/Ashburn Porsche GT2 20. Juniper/Twigg/Baird/Forbes Porsche GT2 21. Kaufmann/Talkanitsa/Ullmann/Heyer Porsche G2 22. Ballay/Scheier Ferrari CdR 23. Bermes/Thomas/Basseng/Hemroulle Porsche GT3 24. Jordan/Jones/Jones Ascari GT3 25. Duez/Sougnez/Wauters/Muytjens Porsche GT3 26. Huisman/Voerman/Khan/van Splunteren Porsche GT3 27. Heylen/Loix/Dermont/Lamot Porsche GT3 28. Helary/Radermecker/Desbrueres/Desbrueres Ferrari GT3 29. Jakubowski/Campbell/Barde/Zangarelli Ferrari GT3 30. Plati/Basso/Tenchini/Baguette Ferrari GT2 31. Duval/Kelders/Greisch/Kerkhove Porsche GT3 32. Kuzminykh/Knauss/Kraihamer/Rich Lamborghini GT3 33. Moser/del Monte/Vannelet/Palma Ferrari GT2 34. Leinders/Kuppens/Martin Gillet G2 35. Coens/Fumal/Schroyen/Faggionato Ferrari GT3 36. Chaillet/Geofroy/Galand/Rosoux Dodge GT3 37. Lesoudier/Brandela/Peyroles/Lester Ferrari GT3 38. Renard/Hissom/Wasover/Thirion Ferrari GT3 39. Brouard/Noziere/Stepec/Samon Porsche GT3 40. Baron/Fournet/Corbel/Ferreira Porsche GT3 41. Bruni/Vilander/Melo/Salo Ferrari GT2