Calamia and Kuppens stand out at Spa
Mauro Calamia, from Switzerland and Belgium’s Renaud Kuppens will take the pole position slots for tomorrow morning’s races at Spa, scene of Round 1 in the 2014 Maserati Trofeo World Series.
Swiss Team’s Calamia was quickest in the first qualifying session thanks to a time of 2:31.4543; better than Kuppens (2:32.079) in the Konvex Motorsport car. Just behind, in 2:32.359, was Italian Riccardo Ragazzi, who edged out the man he shared the GranTurismo MC Trofeo with last year, Alan Simoni.
Kuppens, champion in the past two seasons in Maserati’s single-make series, managed to take pole in session two. Mauro Calamia showed his consistency in claiming second and his early form promises much for the season ahead. This same could also be said of Riccardo Ragazzi, who again took third as the three drivers finished within two tenths of each other. The other Belgian driver, Adrien De Leener, was in sparkling shape and set his fastest Maserati Trofeo lap ever in securing fourth on the grid.
Qualifying took place under moody skies but the track had dried out after the rain had fallen on Thursday and in the morning. Qualifying 2 was held up by a red flag that allowed two cars involved in a collision to be removed. Michael Cullen and Daniel Waszczinski’s cars were in a dangerous spot on the track but they escaped from the incident unhurt.
The race format, just for the Spa meet, will see the drivers run two 50-minute events. The races will both be held tomorrow, Saturday 3 May. Race 1 is scheduled for 9.50-10.40 and Race 2 12.20-13.10.
Mauro Calamia: “I am really pleased with how things went on my fourth appearance in the Ardennes. I settled right into my rhythm in session one and this allowed me to take the first pole position of the season. It was a bit harder getting the tyres warmed up in the second session and the red flag didn’t help matters. Luckily, I set my quick time on the very last lap and this gave me second spot for Race 2. I hope that the rain holds off tomorrow. It will be a long race and I would really like to top the podium”.
Renaud Kuppens: “I really like this circuit and consider it ‘mine’ as I live close by. My last race at Spa was four years ago but this won’t matter and I’ll be giving it my all. I went pretty well in the first session but it was my first time in a car with the new set up. There have not been any major modifications made but the GranTurismo MC Trofeo’s balance has changed and I have to adapt; I’m ready for the challenge. My strategy is simple: stay out front, pick up as many points as possible and, perhaps, win at ‘home’.
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