Sandy Mitchell and Ciaran Haggerty claimed their second consecutive British GT4 Championship pole position at Spa-Francorchamps earlier today after comfortably topping both Am and Pro sessions aboard their Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse McLaren 570S.
However, they will face stiff opposition tomorrow from Ginetta whose G55s occupy positions two to five. Alex Reed and Joey Foster secured theirs and Lanan Racing’s best ever British GT qualifying result with second place ahead of Century Motorsport’s Anna Walewska and Nathan Freke, fellow championship protagonists Graham Johnson and Mike Robinson (PMW Expo Racing/Optimum Motorsport), and Aaron Mason and Rob Barrable (RCIB Insurance Racing).
Localised but brief rain prior to the Am session meant sector two was especially wet for the start of GT4 qualifying. Times therefore improved throughout the 12 minutes of running, although Pirelli’s treaded tyres remained the only option.
Mitchell’s impressive pace at the front meant he ended up 0.5s faster than next best British GT driver and namesake (but no relation) Jack Mitchell in the Generation AMR Macmillan Racing Aston Martin, while Reed was another four tenths further back.
Wet weather tyres were still in use at the start of the Pro session before teams switched over to slicks. Haggerty was the first to really exploit the dry rubber’s potential en route to qualifying’s fastest time of 2m43.993s, enough to give he and Mitchell not only class pole but also the fastest British GT and GT4 European Series time of the day.
Foster’s more conservative approach and fifth quickest British GT lap paid off for he and Reed who ended up three seconds adrift of the McLaren but 0.103s ahead of Walewska and Freke’s combined average effort. Indeed, Freke’s late 2m44.948s lap was the second fastest individual time of the day, which helped move the Century Motorsport Ginetta up eight places after the initial Am runs.
Johnson and Robinson were less than three tenths further back thanks to the latter’s third fastest Pro time, while Silverstone race winner Barrable lapped fourth quickest of the British GT contingent to similarly claw back five positions in the drying conditions.
Mitchell and Matty Graham’s Aston Martin slipped from second to sixth in the final reckoning. Elsewhere, Ebor GT’s Maserati MC GranTurismo might have started higher than seventh had Abbie Eaton’s late flying lap not been deleted, although her and co-driver Marcus Hoggarth’s consistency still sees them line up one place ahead of the championship leading Beechdean AMR Aston Martin driven by Jack Bartholomew and Jordan Albert.
A brilliant lap from Scott Malvern in mixed conditions helped the far from GT4-spec Team Parker Racing Porsche Cayman set the sixth fastest British GT Pro session time en route to 10th behind RCIB Insurance Racing and Century’s second Ginetta entries.
Round six of this season’s British GT Championship from Spa-Francorchamps gets underway at 12:35 tomorrow.
Click here for the complete Spa qualifying classification.