McLaren GT factory drivers Kevin Estre (FR) and Alvaro Parente (PT) have secured two of the top four grid slots at the Total 24 Hours of Spa with the 650S GT3 ahead of its first twice-around-the-clock endurance race. Racing with McLaren GT customer team Von Ryan Racing, the pair will line up on the front two rows of the 57-strong grid following one of the closest pole position battles in the history of the event.
Having secured a combined top 20 position during the opening qualifying sessions around the legendary Spa-Francorchamps circuit, the two Von Ryan Racing-run cars qualified for the Super Pole shootout. Estre in the iconic McLaren orange #58 650S GT3, which he shares with Rob Bell (UK), and Shane Van Gisbergen (AU), led the white #59 650S GT3 of Parente, Bruno Senna (BR) and Adrian Quaife-Hobbs (UK) over the line for the time attack through the picturesque Ardennes Forest. The pair traded fastest sector times, but it was Estre who edged ahead with a 2m18.147s laptime to claim provisional pole, with the teammates separated by only 0.047s. As the grid formed behind the McLaren pair, the time set by Estre was only bettered by one rival, and by the smallest of margins – just 0.017s. At qualifying pace, the gap between the two cars which will form the front of the grid for the race was just 86.2cm.
The 2015 Total 24 Hours of Spa commences at 16:30 local time (15:30BST), Saturday 25 July, and can be watched live at www.blancpain-gt-series.com/live.