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Stippler Takes WRT Audi to 24H Spa Pole

Frank Stippler takes WRT Audi R8 LMS to pole at 24H Spa…

Photo: Vincent Wouters

Photo: Vincent Wouters

Belgian Audi Club Team WRT will start tomorrow’s Total 24 Hours of Spa from the overall pole, thanks to a quick lap by Frank Stippler in Friday’s Super Pole at Spa-Francorchamps.

The Audi GT factory driver reeled off a best lap of 2:18.130 in his No. 2 Audi R8 LMS, edging out challenges from McLaren and Ferrari in the hard-fought session.

Stippler, who will share driving duties this weekend with Nico Mueller and Stephane Ortelli, outpaced the No. 58 VonRyan Racing McLaren 650S GT3 by 0.017 seconds.

It gave pole to Audi, as the German manufacturer seeks back-to-back 24-hour GT victories following its Nürburgring 24 triumph in May in the endurance debut of the new R8 LMS.

The No. 11 Kessel Racing Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 of Andrea Piccini was third quickest overall and top of the Pro Am Cup runners, thanks to the Italian’s 2:18.176 lap time.

Piccini outpaced the No. 59 VonRyan McLaren of Alvaro Parente by 0.124 seconds, with the No. 8 Bentley Team M-Sport Bentley Continental GT3 of Maxime Soulet completing the top-five overall.

The top-20 quickest drivers from Thursday evening’s combined qualifying sessions were given two flying laps around the 4.3-mile Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps to set the final grid for the race.

Surprisingly, neither Maxime Martin or Laurens Vanthoor, who were 1-2 in qualifying last night, featured in the top-five, with the defending Blancpain GT Series champion only able to muster sixth quickest in his No. 1 WRT Audi, thanks to a 2:18.412 lap.

BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS’ Martin, meanwhile, posted the 12th quickest time in his No. 45 BMW Z4 GT3.

Another notable included the No. 9 ROAL Motorport BMW of Bruno Spengler qualifying 13th. The Canadian will share driving duties this weekend with Timo Glock and Alex Zanardi, who makes his 24-hour race debut.

Twelve of the 20 cars from Super Pole were initially under investigation for exceeding track limits, an issue that has plagued competitors all weekend.

The Total 24 Hours of Spa gets underway Saturday at 4:30 p.m. local time (10:30 a.m. ET).

RESULTS: Super Pole

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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