2017 British GT Championship Spa Francorchamps Qualifying - Craig Robertson

Title contenders Rick Parfitt Jnr and Phil Keen split the GT3 poles at Spa for Team Parker and Barwell Motorsport respectively, Parfitt will start race one on pole while Phil Keen will start race 2 from the front. In GT4, Will Tregurtha and Joe Osborne took pole position in each of the qualifying sessions. Seb Morris will start race 2 in third with Phil Keen starting fourth.

Parfitt set about hunting down the race 1 pole position initially claiming pole by a second from the #39 Kessel Racing Ferrari 488, making a one of appearance in preparation for the Spa 24 Hour. Parfitt Jnr held first until the final four minutes, Jack Mitchell fighting back in the #24 Macmillan Aston Martin, taking two best sector times on his way to provisional pole. A last gasp lap by Parfitt however saw him reclaim pole position. The championship leading Jon Minsaw could only manage fourth.

Barwell fought back in the Pro qualifying session, Phil Keen and Seb Morris fighting it out around the iconic Belgian circuit. The #77 Lamborghini of Patrick Kujala and the #6 of Sam Tordoff provisionally locked out the front row before Adam Christodoulou took top spot. There was a quick flurry of fastest laps exchanged with Jonny Adam, Jon Keen and Callum Macleod, the #7 Bentley driver claiming provisional pole position. Barwell responded, Keen posting a time of 2:18.631. Macleod responded but was unable to knock Keen off the top step, he did however knock Morris onto the second row.

In GT4, Ebor GT failed to make qualifying, the car suffering from “undisclosed problems”. The team will start from the back of the grid in both races. The #72 Track-Club McLaren also failed to make qualifying and will start at the back of the grid. Alex Reed and Will Phillips took up the fight, holding the gap around a second before Will Tregurtha signalled his intent, posting a time of 2:32.907, a second quicker than Alex Reed. With seconds remaining, Phillips elevated his Aston Martin into second, before being beaten to the final front row slot by Sandy Mitchell‘s #100 Black Bull Garage 59 McLaren 570S whilst Tregurtha held onto a comfortable top spot.

The fourth and final qualifying session to determine pole in GT4 for race 2 began in slow fashion, with no drivers setting a competitive lap-time in the opening half of the 10-minute window before David Pittard fired the #51 Lanan Racing Ginetta to provisional pole. Impressive speed in both practice sessions proved no fluke however for the #53 UltraTek Racing Team RJN Nissan 370Z of Martin Plowman, briefly snatching pole before being bumped off the front by the #56 Tolman Motorsport McLaren 570S of Osborne.

A stunning 2:32:191 from Osborne was enough to claim a second pole in three events for Tolman, with Ciaran Haggerty‘s Garage 59 McLaren 570S the closest challenger a further 0.157 tenths behind. A pair of seconds for Garage 59 was matched by a pair of thirds for Macmillan AMR, with Jan Jonck rounding out the top three, whilst debutant Jesse Anttila placed the #29 In2Racing McLaren 570S fourth ahead of Plowman’s Nissan. A disappointing performance from the top three in the GT4 title battle – Middleton, Pittard and Adam Mackay – saw the championship-fighters only muster 6th, 9th and 12th respectively in a topsy-turvy and unpredictable final qualifying session.