Qualifying: Dome takes maiden pole at Spa

The new Japanese Dome chassis scored its first ever pole position as John Nielsen topped the times in qualifying for Sunday's third round of the FIA Sportscar Championship at Spa-Francorchamps

Qualifying: Dome takes maiden pole at Spa

The Dane's slippery, Judd-powered Dome S101 continued the marque's rich vein of form following on from their impressive performance at last weekend's Le Mans test day, where Jan Lammers' similar Racing for Holland car set the fourth fastest time overall.

Nielsen's time of 2m10.706s was just enough to keep it ahead of the back-on-form Riley & Scott-Judd of Mauro Baldi and Alex Caffi, despite the Japanese design still running with its low-downforce Le Mans aerodynamic set up.

Lammers' car was only able to capture sixth overall as the Dome's settings suited Nielsen's Goodyear tyres, but struggled to balance with Lammers' Avon rubber.

The fastest time of all had been set by the Monza 1000Km-winning Ferrari chassis of Italian Giovanni Lavaggi, but the GLV Racing-run car fell foul of post-qualifying scrutineering, where it was found underweight and banished to the back of the grid for Sunday's two and a half-hour race.

Filling the second row where the pair of BMS Scuderia Italia Ferrari 333SPs, with Marco Zadra leading the way in the number one car, which he shares for the first time this weekend with French ace Jean-Marc Gounon. The works Ascari, also impressive in the Le Mans tests, was limited to sixth on the grid after Werner Lupberger had to pull up half-way through the session with a mechanical problem.

In the SR2 class, former British F3 star Martin O'Connell overcame the effects of a fever to snatch the Rowan Racing Pilbeam team's first ever sportscar pole position. The Walsall man eclipsed the time of Italian Massimo Monti (BM Autosport Tampolli) by 0.325s, while the Swedish Racing Team's Lola could only manage third place in Thed Bjork's hands.

"Taking pole gives everyone a nice boost, but it really means nothing before a two and a half hour-race," said O'Connell. "It is very close between the top three SRII cars, and I expect a really tight battle tomorrow."


Nielsen/Katoh RN Motorsport Dome-Judd S101 2m10.706s
Baldi/Caffi R&M Riley & Scott MkIII 2m10.788s
Gounon/Zadra M BMS Scuderia Italia Ferrari 333SP 2m11.438s
Calderari/Bryner/Zadra A BMS Scuderia Italia Ferrari 333SP 2m11.784s
Lupberger/Collins Team Ascari Ascari-Judd A410 2m12.170s
Lammers/Hillebrand Racing for Holland Dome-Judd S101 2m14.466s
Smithson/Owen Redman Bright Reynard-Judd 01Q 2m14.719s
De Radigues/Hancock Kremer Lola-Ford B98/K2001 no time set*
Lavaggi/Vann GLV Ferrari-Judd 333SP 2m08.450s*
* will start from the back of the grid

O'Connell/Carway Rowan Pilbeam-Nissan MP84 2m18.399s
Monti/Nobili BM Autosport Tampolli-Alfa RTA99 2m18.724s
Bjork/Oberto/Goddard Swedish Racing Team Lola-Nissan B2K/40 2m19.488s
Francioni/Raimondi Lucchini Engineering Lucchini-Alfa 2001 2m20.975s
Randaccio/Maddalena SCI Lucchini-Alfa 99 2m24.449s
Wiseman/Mallock Swara Pilbeam-Nissan MP84 2m24.672s

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