Grasser Racing Lamborghini leads the charge to Superpole at centenary CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa

A stellar lap from Jordan Pepper during the dying seconds of this evening’s Qualifying session at Spa-Francorchamps has secured the #163 Grasser Racing Lamborghini the prime running slot for tomorrow’s Superpole showdown.

The South African driver unleashed the full potential of his Huracán GT3 EVO2 to post a 2m14.903s, knocking the #51 AF Corse – Francorchamps Motors Ferrari off top spot in the process. Pepper’s time was the best of the day, narrowly beating the 2m14.938s set by Vincent Abril in the #71 AF Corse – Francorchamps Motors Ferrari. These were the only two drivers to break the 2m15s barrier during tonight’s Qualifying.

The #163 Lamborghini was quick across all three of its sessions. Franck Perera ran first and set the second-best time in his segment, while Marco Mapelli finished 10th in his outing. They combined to set an average time of 2m15.275s, 0.046s faster than the #51 Ferrari. The #48 Mercedes-AMG Team Mann-Filter entry finished third, followed by the #71 Ferrari and the #7 Comtoyou Racing Aston Martin.

The fastest 20 cars from Qualifying will run in reverse order during tomorrow’s Superpole session, which gets underway at 15:45, while starting positions 21 through 66 have been locked in for the centenary race. A trio of class pole-sitters have already been determined, with top spot settled in the Silver Cup, Bronze Cup and Pro-Am. The battle for P1 in the Gold Cup will continue in Superpole, with four cars finishing among today’s top 20.

In one of the most impressive performances of the day, the #188 Garage 59 McLaren comfortably secured a place in Superpole and took a commanding Bronze Cup pole. Its crew of Miguel Ramos, Adam Smalley, Louis Prette and Marvin Kirchhöfer combined to take 12th overall and, as the only car from its class to reach tomorrow’s session, is already assured of P1.

The #57 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG secured top spot in the Silver Cup, qualifying 29th overall with its three-man crew of Tanart Sathienthirakul, Daan Arrow and Colin Caresani. Pro-Am honours also went to a Mercedes-AMG squad as Uno Racing Team with Landgraf led the way. David Pun, Rio, Kevin Tse and Indy Dontje share the #16 machine, which is a one-off entry for the centenary.

In the Gold Cup, top spot will be disputed by four cars. The fastest qualifier was the #25 Saintéloc Racing Audi, which placed an excellent 11th overall. The #77 HRT Mercedes-AMG, #88 Tresor Attempto Racing Audi and #777 AlManar Racing by GetSpeed Mercedes-AMG will also contest Superpole. In total, eight brands will be represented in tomorrow’s session.

As ever, there were a number of high-profile absentees from the top 20. Team WRT missed out with both of its BMW entries, the #46 crew coming within just 0.072s of a Superpole slot. It will start 21st, while the sister #32 qualified two spots further back. There were more significant problems for two hotly tipped Pro cars, with the #992 HubAuto Racing Porsche qualifying 44th overall and the #130 Mercedes-AMG Team GruppeM Racing down in 52nd.

The session was punctuated by two red flags, though it passed without a serious incident. The first stoppage occurred late in Q2 when Kerong Li lost control of the #61 EBM Porsche, leaving the car beached in the gravel. There was a second pause during Q4 when the #159 Garage 59 McLaren stopped on-track, though the Tom Gamble-driven car was able to return to the pits under its own power.

Superpole takes place tomorrow at 15:45 CEST and will see each crew nominate one driver to complete two flying laps of the 7km circuit. They will run in reverse order to their finishing positions in tonight’s session, with the Grasser Racing squad rolling off last in the battle for pole. This will be followed later in the day by a 30-minute Warm-Up, which gets underway at 20:10 and is open to the full field. Live coverage will air in English, French, Dutch, German, Italian, Portuguese and Chinese on the GTWorld YouTube channel.