Photo: Blancpain GT Series
Patrick Kujala, driving the #77 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Am Cup entry he shares with Leo Matchiski, Adrian Amstutz and Richard Abra, set the quickest time in the 60-minute Pre-Qualifying session for the 2019 Total 25 Hours of Spa, the second on-track session for the Blancpain GT Series grid, excluding the Bronze Test.
Kujala set a 2:20.123 on the fourteenth lap of the session for the #77 car.
Second quickest of the session was the #999 Mercedes-AMG Team GruppeM Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 in which Maxi Buhk lapped the 7.004 kms circuit in 2:20.322 on his fourth lap.
Completing the top three was the #4 Mercedes-AMG Team BLACK FALCON Mercedes, Maro Engel lapping in 2:20.346 on the eighth lap of the session for the driver line-up that currently lies second in the overall Drivers Standings.
The early pace was set by the #999 Mercedes-AMG Team GruppeM Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 in which Maxi Buhk set a 2:20.322 on his fourth lap.
There was some excitement for the #00 Goodsmile Racing & Type-Moon Racing Mercedes when Taniguchi Nobuteru spun at Turn 5 but disappointment for the #88 Mercedes-AMG Team AKKA ASP Mercedes-AMG GT3 which picked up a puncture with Fabian Schiller at the wheel.
A Full Course Yellow was called with 20 minutes of the session remaining after debris was left on the track at Turn 8. However it was quickly cleared and green-flag running resumed with little interruption.
As Pre-Qualifying drew to a close, the leaders in the overall Drivers Championship, the #563 Orange 1 FFF Racing Team Lamborghini Huracan piloted by Andrea Caldarelli, Dennis Lind and Marco Mapelli, finished seventh on the time sheets with a 2:20.601.
Further interest was added to the session when, after earlier reports of light rain at Les Combes turned into heavier precipitation, the track was declared wet and drivers instructed to run with lights on.
Within minutes of the session finishing, heavier rain started to fall. EnduranceandGT understands that tyre supplier Pirelli is making arrangements o have a substantial number of wet tyres shipped to the circuit ahead of the race in anticipation of some highly changeable weather over the course of the race.
Attention now turns to Qualifying, which is divided into four 15-minutes sessions beginning at 20:00. Not all of the starting line-up will be decided this evening, however, as the 30-minute ‘Super Pole’ session will determine the head of the grid, the ‘Super Pole’ qualifying session beginning at 19:05 on Friday July 26.