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Jul 27, 2013 - 06:11 AM
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Beechdean AMR Take Pole Position For 65th Total 24 Hours Of Spa
Posted by: newsla on Jul 27, 2013 - 06:09 AM
Sports Cars
Beechdean AMR Take Pole Position For 65th Total 24 Hours Of Spa


Beechdean AMR's Stefan Mücke snatched pole position at Spa-Francorchamps this afternoon for tomorrow's Total 24 Hours of Spa, the fourth round of the Blancpain Endurance Series, in a thrilling 20-minute Superpole session at the classic Belgian circuit.

 

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Mücke set his best time, 2:20.675, on his second of two Superpole laps, pipping SMP Racing's Alessandro Pier Guidi who was 0.227s slower around the Belgian Grand Prix circuit. The result was a reverse of yesterday's qualifying sessions where the Ferrari driver finished ahead of the Aston Martin.

Earlier it was Nick Tandy in the #911 Prospeed Competition Porsche that went fastest, but his time of 2:21.219 was beaten first by Dutch driver, Nicky Catsburg in the Marc VDS Racing BMW Z4, then by the HTP Motorsport Mercedes AMG SLS GT3 of Maximilian Götz who was a further 0.183s quicker. It finished with Götz a close third, and Catsburg fourth.

Porsche factory driver, Tandy was fifth but his team will need to change the engine on the #911 Porsche, and will have to take a 60-second stop/go penalty at the start of the race.

AF Corse were one of three teams to have two cars in the special qualifying shootout. The Italian team qualified sixth with Toni Vilander in the #59 Ferrari 458 Italia GT3, Andrea Bertolini was twelfth in the #50 sister car.

The fastest driver in the Team Belgium group of Belgian star racers was Bertrand Baguette, whose 2:21.293 in the GPR AMR Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 was good enough for seventh overall, fourth in the Pro Cup.

Crowd favourite Maxime Martin was eighth in the car that sits second in the Blancpain Endurance Series drivers classification with a 2:21.297, ahead of the Manthey Porsche of Marc Lieb and Alvaro Parente in the #7 Hexis Racing McLaren, the sole MP4-12c to make it into the prestigious qualifying finale.

After the Superpole session the Stewards determined that both SMP Racing cars, #70 and #73 breached the regulations by failing to exit the pit at the scheduled time and have awarded both cars a drive through penalty to be completed between the end of the first lap and the end of the fourth lap.

With qualifying complete, attention now turns to the endurance race epic that begins tomorrow at 16:30 CET and will be broadcast live across the world and streamed live on the championship website.

You can follow the action and discuss the news as it happens online via Facebook and Twitter also using the #Spa24h tag.

Quotes:

Stefan Mücke, #99 Beechdean AMR Aston Racing Vantage GT3 – Pro Am Cup
”Starting from the first row is always a good time and a good feeling but I think that it will be difficult to play for the win. I am expecting quite a tough race with the changing weather conditions. We don’t know what is going to happen but a top 10 at the end would be great. I am expecting an interesting first couple of hours but the whole race will be very tight.”

Alessandro Pier Guidi, #70 SMP Racing Ferrari 458 Italia – Pro Am Cup
“I am very happy to start from the front row, especially because yesterday we had a crash during the night with the car and the team did an incredible job overnight and only finished 5 minutes before the start of the Superpole. So, I wanted to do my best for them and I am glad to be here today.”

Maximilian Götz, #84 HTP Motorsport Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 – Pro Cup
“It was really good, we did the same lap times than yesterday, and I am very proud to be here. This is my first time at Spa as well as this is the first race here for my team HTP Motorsport, so I think we did a good job! Second row is good but it is a long and tough race, and we expect different weather so we will see what happens!”

Nicky Catsburg, #4 Marc VDS Racing Team BMW Z4 – Pro Cup
“It is nice to be on the second row for the Belgian team. To be honest it was a bit stressful but we managed to do a good time. I am happy to be here and it is an honour to be in such a great drivers’ line-up and team. The team is very well prepared, all the ingredients are gathered. Everything is top prepared so I think we have good chances to be at the top.”

Nick Tandy, #911 Prospeed Competition Porsche 997 GT3 R – Pro Cup
“It is very nice to be here, because we started the weekend with problems on the engine and we had to change it…Tomorrow we will have to do a one-minute Stop&Go penalty immediately at the start of the race so starting at the front is good but we will shortly be at the back. The good thing is that the car has good speed and we are good on many laps. We are proud to be here, because we are running with Prospeed in the Team Belgium but also because it is the 50th anniversary of the 911 and we are running the 911 number.”

Toni Vilander, #59 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia – Pro Am Cup
“I would like to thank SRO for the format of the race, which is exciting. It is nice to be part of the Superpole, especially because it was not supposed to be me at the wheel at first. The track was quite hard today, hot and humid, so we were struggling a bit with the tyres but it worked out well, eventually. Everything is looking good, we have a strong, consistent line-up so we just want to be out of trouble and finish the race.”

Peter Kox, #24 Blancpain Racing Lamborghini LFP560-4 – Pro-Am Cup
“Unfortunately the Superpole did not go as well as we expected. A competitor went off just before me so the track was dirty and I almost went into the wall myself. We are only seventeenth for the start tomorrow but this is a long race, very competitive, so anything can happen. Yet, we were really happy to be in the top 20 yesterday evening and we are confident for the race. We still have some issues with the set-ups but I think that we improved the car.”

Race Facts:

Blancpain Endurance Series - Total 24 Hours of Spa
Spa-Francorchamps Circuit, 4.35-mile, 20-turn race circuit, Francorchamps, Belgium
July 25th – July 28th, 2013

Blancpain Endurance Series: Round #4 of 5
Race Duration: 1 x 24 hours

Total 24 Hours of Spa - Online Broadcast:
Streams available in French and Dutch on www.total24hours.com and in English on www.blancpain-endurance-series.com.

Streaming Schedule (All times CET):
Saturday 27th July 2013: 16:00 – 20:00 & 21:00 – 23:00 CET
Sunday 28th July 2013: 08:00 – 12:00 & 13:30 – 17:00 CET

Event Schedule (All times CET):
Saturday 27 July 2013:
Warm-up: 09:05 – 09:25
Race start: 16:30

Sunday, 28th July 2013:
Race finish: 16:30

Blancpain - Over 275 years of tradition in motion

Founded in 1735 by Jehan-Jacques Blancpain, the watch brand bearing his name is the oldest in the world. Blancpain is currently engaged to the renewal of mechanical watchmaking and to passing on exceptional expertise from one generation to the next through constant investment in human resources, production facilities and research. This approach is its strength and the expression of our long-term vision, even though it goes against the tide of a certain tendency to seek immediate profit.

From the creation of components through to watch design, Blancpain is distinguished by its ability to develop exceptional movements. Over the past eight years, the Manufacture has indeed developed no less than 29 new calibres. Through its various models, Blancpain preserves its heritage of precision and elegance, while also displaying an innovative and occasionally provocative spirit. Its range encompasses the sportive L-evolution line, the legendary Fifty Fathoms diver’s watch, as well as the classic Villeret collection, the high complication from Le Brassus collection and the Women models.

Total

A top-tier international oil company, Total is also a global gas and petrochemical operator. Active in over 130 countries, our 96.000 employees implement their expertise in several industrial areas such as exploration and production of oil and natural gas, refining and chemicals, trading and shipping of oil products and new energy resources. This way, our employees contribute to the worldwide energy demand of today and tomorrow. The 4.800 Belgian employees of our Group are mainly active in refining and chemicals and marketing and services.

As market leader, Total Belgium is known for its innovative products and services. By supplying energy solutions, we help our customers reduce their energy consumption. Our Excellium fuels and Fuel Economy lubricants, for example, are two product ranges valued for their good results. Moreover, the diversity of products is much appreciated: ranging from heating oil and wood pellets to lubricants, automotive and aviation fuels to bitumen, Total covers all market demands. In addition of the 500+ service stations (including 12 with recharging stations for electrical vehicles), the Total network consists of multiple regional centers and depots and 126 distributors spread across the country. At Total, we focus on the customer!

Pirelli – Official Tyre Supplier to the Blancpain Endurance Series

Pirelli is a tyre manufacturer and world leader in the automotive industry. It has an exclusive relationship with over 50 racing series worldwide, including Formula One.

Pirelli has a long and illustrious history in endurance racing, and has also claimed a huge variety of class wins in GT racing all over the world.

The design of the new Pirelli GT tyres meets the needs of the Blancpain Endurance Series while maintaining the performance characteristics that endurance drivers have appreciated in the past.

The slick tyres used for GT racing are branded P Zero: just like the slicks that have become a central feature of Formula One. The name P Zero is used in the highest categories of motorsport such as GT racing.


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