Spa-Francorchamps - belgium

Poele - Bartels - Biagi - Lamy

Second row for Bertolini/Piccini/De Simone/Pier Guidi

The third qualifying session, held this morning, finalised the starting grid for the 24 Hours of Spa.

The race will get underway tomorrow at 16.00. At the end of the three sessions, the Playteam Sarafree Maserati MC12, driven by Bertolini/Piccini/De Simone/Pier Guidi, set the fourth quickest time of 2’15”258. The quick time was achieved despite Andrea Bertolini being held up by traffic when out on his fast lap.

This factor, inevitable given the number of cars on the track, also conditioned the performance of the other Maseratis. The Van de Poele/Bartels/Biagi/Lamy crew will start from fifth on the grid (2’15”524). One highlight was Portuguese driver Pedro Lamy clocking the fastest lap in the second session with the stopwatch registering a time slightly slower than that in session one.

The other Vitaphone Racing Team MC12, driven by Montanari/Ramos/Lemeret/Bobbi, closed out in seventh spot (2’15”531). The performance saw them earn a spot one row up on the other Playteam Sarafree MC12 with Giannoccaro/Busnelli/Mueller/Lambert on board (2’15”775) and the MC12 fielded by JMB Racing Team in which Peter/Franchitti/Macari/Aucott set the tenth fastest time of 2’16”471. All the qualifying sessions were held when the track was dry apart from a short shower during session one. The twenty-minute warm up will take place tomorrow morning at 9.45. The 24 Hours of Spa will be transmitted on satellite television by Sky Sport 2. In the race, points will be awarded to drivers at the end of the sixth, twelfth and twenty-fourth hours. This is why the Belgian race has always been important to those drivers, teams and manufacturers going for the title.

Thomas Biagi (31 points) currently leads the Drivers’ standings from Andrea Bertolini/Andrea Piccini (23) and Christian Montari/Miguel Ramos (20); the Vitaphone Racing Team (51) heads Playteam Sarafree (29) in the Teams’ championship while Maserati (79) occupies top spot in the Manufacturers’ championship from Corvette (47).