The crowd at Spa can look forward to a thrilling 24-hour race. The qualifying and the Superpole shootout sessions already showed a highly competitive field. Six of the eleven marques managed the leap into the top ten on the grid, with only 36 hundredths of a second separating this group of front runners.
“It’s great to be first,” said Frank Stippler. “Achieving this result was difficult. In qualifying on Thursday, we were struggling with the balance of our car for a long time. At the last minute, we made the right decisions. This was the set-up we entered the top-20 qualifying session today with as well. On fresh tires, the new Audi R8 LMS was the best car I’ve ever had. The good balance on a single lap was the step in the right direction of being fast over the long run in the race too.”
The teams will be facing the next major task on Saturday. Rainy weather has been forecast, which requires particularly sure instincts for the set-up, tire choice and driving at the limit.
“We’re delighted about Frank’s best time,” said Romolo Liebchen, Head of Audi Sport customer racing. “It’s great that the new Audi R8 LMS did so well immediately in qualifying. But now we’re facing the much bigger task. At the beginning of the race, we’re expecting a lot of rain and have hardly any experience with these tires on a wet track. The teams have impeccably prepared the cars and installed all the parts for the race, so the major work has been completed. That’s a good base.”