All good things come in threes: third pole in a row for Van Merksteijn Motorsport

All good things come in threes: third pole in a row for Van Merksteijn Motorsport

11.05.2008: All good things come in threes: third pole in a row for Van Merksteijn Motorsport

For the third time this season, the purple and white Porsche RS Spyder run by Van Merksteijn Motorsport by Equipe Verschuur will be starting from pole position in the LMP2 category in a round of the Le Mans Series. At the 7.004 kilometres long circuit of Spa-Francorchamps, Jos Verstappen set a fastest lap time of 2.05.841 minutes, which put the team on pole position in class for tomorrow’s race and eighth overall on the starting grid. Like at Monza a fortnight ago, the team managed to outpace five cars from the more powerful LMP1 category.

Qualifying made it clear once again that the undulating circuit of Spa-Francorchamps is quite a challenging track for the drivers. The twenty minutes’ session was interrupted with red flags on two occasions after drivers had gone off the track at high speed. After the first interruption, with 15 minutes and 23 seconds remaining, Jos Verstappen went out for his attempt to set a quick lap time, after he had had to abort his earlier run when the red flag came out.

His lap time of 2.05.841 minutes put him on top of the leaderboard and he remained there for the rest of the session, securing his and the team’s third pole position in as many events. However, this time it was a close call, as Andrea Bellichi with the Lola-Judd coupe came within four hundredths of a second from the Dutchman.

"Obviously, I already had a lap on my tyres as I had to come in when the red flag was out. On top of that, we had massive oversteer and we don’t know the reason yet. In free practice this morning, the car was perfect and we left it was it was for qualifying, but all of a sudden, the balance was gone. This means that we will have to do some work to do tonight in order to prepare for the race, but I am confident that we will get it done", Verstappen commented.

Team owner, Peter van Merksteijn reported: "So far, we have been fastest in all sessions here at Spa, which makes us optimistic for the race, but as we have seen in qualifying, a lot of things can happen at a challenging track like this."

The 143 lap race with a maximum duration of six hours will start tomorrow at 12.50 pm. Eurosport will be reporting from 12.45 till 13.15 h. A review will be broadcast from 22.45 pm by the pan-European sports channel. Motors TV will be showing the race live from 12.45 till 14.00 and from 15.00 till 19.00 h.


Spa, qualifying Le Mans Series, LMP2

Verstappen-Van Merksteijn (Ned), Porsche RS Spyder, 2.05.841

Belicchi-Zacchia-Pompidou (Ita-Sui-Fra), Lola B08/80 Coupé-Judd, 2.05.880

Vergers-Rees (Ned-Bra), Zytek 07S-Zytek, 2.06.349


- René de Boer -

photos on under PHOTOS - LE MANS SERIES


11.05.2008 / MaP

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