Perera secures centenary CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa Superpole for Grasser Racing Lamborghini  

Perera secures centenary CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa Superpole for Grasser Racing Lamborghini   
  • Austrian squad books its spot at the front in gripping Superpole
  • Perera breaks 16-year-old qualifying record to become fastest man of GT era
  • Provisional Result: Superpole

The #163 Grasser Racing Lamborghini will start the centenary CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa from the best seat in the house after Franck Perera topped a thrilling Superpole shootout at Spa-Francorchamps.

Watched by an excellent Friday crowd both in the grandstands and around the 7km venue, one driver representing each of the fastest 20 cars from yesterday's Qualifying session ran in reverse order to decide the grid for this weekend's race. But while the favourites were scheduled to run late, there was an early contender for glory.

Rolling off second, Lorenzo Patrese (#88 Tresor Attempto Racing Audi) posted a stellar time of 2m14.006 to establish a significant advantage at the top of the classification. Still a month shy of his 19th birthday, the young Italian remained out front while a succession of the world's fastest GT drivers tried in vain to better his lap.

The breakthrough finally came when the #48 Mercedes-AMG Team Mann-Filter entry of Lucas Auer hooked up all three sectors to set a 2m13.754s, throwing down a gauntlet that appeared difficult to beat. The penultimate contender was Alessio Rovera aboard the #51 AF Corse – Francorchamps Motors Ferrari, but while he bettered Patrese the Italian could not match Auer on his first lap.

Perera was now on-track too, getting within 0.060s of Auer's benchmark. Neither the #48 Mercedes-AMG nor the #51 Ferrari were able to improve on their second laps; the Lamborghini was going to need to buck this trend to secure top spot.

Among the most experienced drivers on the grid, Perera dug deep for one final shot. The result was a spectacularly quick time of 2m13.718s, the fastest qualifying time set since the CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa became a GT race in 2001. Beating Auer by just 0.036s, Perera clinched a very special pole position.  

The #48 Mercedes-AMG will start second tomorrow, followed by the #51 Ferrari and the #88 Audi. Though he ultimately slipped back to fourth, Patrese can take great pride in his star performance, as well as class pole in the Gold Cup. Jules Gounon completed the top-five aboard the #2 Mercedes-AMG Team GetSpeed entry.

The Bronze Cup pole-sitter also qualified among the overall top 10. Having clinched top spot in its class yesterday, the #188 Garage 59 McLaren continued its fine form as Marvin Kirchhöfer took ninth spot. Porsche was also represented among the top 10, while the best Aston Martin will start 12th and the quickest BMW secured 15th on the grid. Ford was the only brand absent from Superpole, with its lone entry qualifying 31st.

A 30-minute full-field Warm-Up session will run tonight at 20:25, airing live on the GTWorld YouTube channel. The centenary CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa gets underway at 16:30 on Saturday 29 June, concluding at the same time on Sunday. Live coverage will air in English, French, Dutch, German, Italian, Portuguese and Chinese on GT World.