Aston Martin team R-Motorsport’s #62 Aston Martin V12 Vantage of Maxime Martin, Marvin Kirchhöfer and Dominik Baumann will start the 70th running of the Spa 24 Hours from second on the grid, after this evening’s frantic Super Pole session on the gruelling 7.004km Spa-Francorchamps circuit.
Naturally, local hero Martin, a previous winner of the Spa 24 Hours back in 2016, took the wheel for Super Pole, which featured the top 20 cars from Qualifying yesterday. With each car’s selected driver allowed only two timed laps in the quick-fire session, Martin had to push hard immediately to secure a strong grid spot.
His time, set on his first tour of the circuit, was a 2:19.183, which for most of the second half of the session put the car on provisional pole, until a late lap from the eventual pole-winner dropped him to second. It was nevertheless an extremely strong performance for the R-Motorsport team, which is competing at the Spa 24 Hours for the first time this year.
Unfortunately, the sister #76 Aston Martin V12 Vantage of Jake Dennis, Nicki Thiim and Matthieu Vaxiviere, suffered some misfortune and will start tomorrow’s race at the back of the huge 62-car field. During yesterday’s four-part Qualifying session, the car sustained damage to its oil radiator, after contact with a slower car.
Jake Dennis was behind the wheel of the #76 at the time of the incident and on a quick lap. But when he arrived at the Bus Stop, he was left with nowhere to go, when a slower car in front slammed on the brakes.
Thankfully the damage sustained wasn’t too heavy, though it did force the team to withdraw the car from the session without setting a time. As it turned out the V12 Vantage GT3 was repairable between Qualifying sessions, but as per the regulations, the team was unable to exchange the oil radiator of the car.
This weekend’s 24 Hours of Spa, the ‘Blue Riband’ event of the Blancpain GT Series calendar, is set to get underway at 16:30 local time tomorrow.
Dr. Florian Kamelger, R-Motorsport Team Principal: “We’ve come a long way with this team, and obviously, the highlight of the season for us is this race. This result is well deserved for the entire team; it was a well executed performance from the whole crew and Maxime (Martin).”
Maxime Martin, Driver #62 Aston Martin V12 Vantage: “This result was perfect. If you consider that it’s the first 24 Hours of Spa for the team, to be on the front row is amazing. To be able to drive in Super Pole and get on first row is great. It’s a long race, but I think with the car we have we can achieve a lot here.”
Source. R Motorsport/Photo. Nick Dungan / Drew Gibson Photography