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Historic Endurance: Spa 3 Hours - Exciting qualifying bodes well for a high-octane race

It was fifteen minutes to 8pm in Stavelot when the seven dozen Historic Endurance competitors took to the tarmac of the iconic Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps for the qualifying session for the 3 Hours of Spa.

In the late afternoon in the Ardennes, with the temperature cooling down, the "home drivers" Christophe Van Riet/Fred Bouvy in a Shelby Cobra were the fastest of a 40-minute session that had to end slightly early due to bad weather hitting the circuit. Last year's race winners, and fastest among the H-1965 class cars, were just two-tenths faster than the Lotus Elan of Graham Wilson/David Pittard, the duo that won this same race in 2019. Today's qualifying result makes for a lively duel for tomorrow's race.

Tomorrow's race won't be a two-horse race. The race will be a long one and the unpredictable weather conditions could upset the favourites. The second row of the grid will be shared by Lars Rolner/Pierre-Alian Thibaut, whose Porsche 911 3.0 S was fastest in the H-1976 class, and the elegant Jaguar E Type that Germany's Rhea Sauttner shares this weekend with Britain's Andrew Newall.

Further back in the standings there was another fierce fight, this time for pole position in the H-1971 category, with the three fastest cars finishing the session half a second apart. The Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA of German pair Peter Praller/Gilbert Wurth edged out the Alfa Romeo 2000 GTAm of French-speaking duo Grégoire Colinet/Guillaume Colinet by 0.154 seconds. Behind the two Italian cars will be lining up the Ford Mustang 302 Boss of the Belgian trio Emiel de Weerdt/Luc Branckaert/Bjorn Kabergs and another Alfa Romeo 2000 GTAm of the German duo Bjorn Ebsen/Volker Hichert.

The start of the 6th edition of the 3 Hours of Spa is scheduled for tomorrow at 7.50pm local time. As part of the Historic Endurance tradition, the Index of Performance trophy will also be contested with the winner taking home a Swiss Cuervo y Sobrinos watch.


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