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Ford Locks Out Front Row in GTE-Pro

Ford clinches narrow 1-2 in opening GTE-Pro qualifying of ‘Super Season’…

Photo: MPS Agency

Ford Chip Ganassi Racing clinched a front-row lockout in GTE-Pro qualifying for Saturday’s Total Six Hours of Spa.

Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell combined for a best two-lap average of 2:12.947 in the No. 67 Ford GT to narrowly beat Olivier Pla and Stefan Muecke in the sister entry by 0.083 seconds.

Although Pla’s effort during the first set of runs was quicker than Priaulx by 0.184 seconds, Tincknell’s margin over Muecke was 0.487 seconds, which gave the No. 67 crew the edge based on mean times.

Porsche will occupy the second row of the class grid, with Richard Lietz and Gianmaria Bruni ahead of stablemates Michael Christensen and Kevin Estre.

Bruni was the fastest driver during the second set of runs with a 2:13.065, but Lietz didn’t manage to follow the Fords into the 2 minute 12s during the opening phase.

The new BMW M8 GTE will start fifth on its WEC debut, after Antonio Felix da Costa and Tom Blomqvist set an average of 2:14.017.

They will share row three with the No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE of defending world champions Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado.

The best of the Aston Martin Vantage GTEs qualified eighth in the hands of Alex Lynn and Maxime Martin.

Dempsey-Proton on Top in GTE-Am

In GTE-Am, Dempsey-Proton Racing pipped Aston Martin Racing to the first class pole of the year with Christian Ried and Matt Campbell going quickest.

Campbell’s early flyer of 2:14.790 was backed up by a lap in the high 2:17s by Bronze-rated Ried, combining for a 2:16.357 average.

That dipped two-thousandths of a second under the time set by Paul Dalla Lana and Pedro Lamy in the No. 98 previous-generation Aston Martin Vantage GTE.

Porsche filled the next four spots on the GTE-Am grid, with Team Project 1, Gulf Racing and the sister Dempsey-Proton entry claiming third, fourth and fifth, with the Ferrari 488 GTEs continuing to struggle. 

The Total Six Hours of Spa gets underway Saturday at 1:30 p.m. local time.

RESULTS: Qualifying

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.


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