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Lamy puts Saleen on Spa 24hrs pole

Pedro LamyThe 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.

Grid

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
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