Filipe Albuquerque took the reins of the #43 RGR Sport by Morand machine to jump start qualifying at the WEC 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps producing a lap time of 2:08.315. Just as Albuquerque came in to pit, the session was stopped with a red flag. Once the session returned to green, team owner Ricardo Gonzalez took to the track and ultimately put down a lap time of 2:09.962. The average of the Portuguese and Mexican drivers lap times resulted in a 2:09.125, putting RGR Sport by Morand’s Ligier JS P2 6th on the grid for tomorrow’s race.
Unlike the frigid, snowy qualifying morning in Silverstone, the conditions in Belgium were stellar with sunny skies and a slight breeze. The LMP2 category continued to prove its high level of competition with a strong field of twelve cars battling on the time sheets throughout the duration of the qualifying session.
*The FIA World Endurance Championship requires one silver rated driver and one platinum or gold rated driver to participate in the qualifying session. The fastest lap is recorded from each driver with the average of those two times serving as the teams official qualifying mark.
Team Owner/Driver – Ricardo Gonzalez
“We finished qualifying in 6th place. We knew that we would not be as strong in qualifying this weekend due to the struggles we had last year here at Spa on the really long straight. This makes everything a little tough, but we will see for the race because at race pace, we are better. It’s just that fast lap we are lacking right now, which will not be as important for the 6 hour race tomorrow.”
Driver – Filipe Albuquerque
“I must say, I had a lot of fun during qualifying since Spa is such a great track. The car was really good with the handling. Somehow we are just losing time on the top speed in the first and last sector. We can’t be on top every time, so it is what it is. Qualifying was hard for us, but tomorrow in the race we will have a better idea of the tire degradation and how our car is working with the tires. Six hours is a long time!
Team Manager – Benoit Morand
“Today we had perfect weather conditions, nothing compared to Silverstone. Nevertheless, since the beginning of the free practice on Thursday, we knew Spa would not be the track where we would feel the most comfortable. We will start from the 6th position on the grid. We could have maybe gotten P5, but to be honest our ranking reflects what we were able to do on this track, speaking for the qualifying.
Now we will prepare for the race, which will be a completely different story. It will last 6 hours and we need to focus on not making any mistakes. Tire wear will be one of the key elements for being strong in the race and if we manage this in the right way, I’m convinced we will have a good result this weekend.”