Michael Benham scored his second pole position of the 2018 Michelin Le Mans Cup season when he set a 2m17.217 lap in the no25 Lanan Racing Norma, 0.5 seconds ahead of the no2 Ecurie Ecosse / Nielsen Ligier of Tony Wells.
The session was declared wet but the track was dry in most parts. As the 15 minute session progressed the times started to tumble with all the fast laps being set on the final few laps just before the chequered flag.
Championship leader Jens Peterson could only manage to set the 8th fastest time of the session in the no3 DKR Engineering Norma while his championship rival Alasdair McCaig will start this afternoons race on the second row.
Slippery Start and Torrential Rain at Spa
The race started on a slippery track but most of the 24 car grid elected to start on slick tyres. The no25 Lanan Racing Norma driven by Michael Benham led the pack into the first corner with the no2 Ecurie Ecosse Nielsen Ligier of Tony Wells alongside when the two cars reached turn 1 the tricky conditions meant the two cars went straight on over the run off area, which allowed the no21 DB Autosport Norma of Jacques Wolff to take the lead.
Several other cars spun at various places on the opening lap including the no3 DKR Engineering Norma of championship leader Jens Petersen. The German driver elected to pit for wet tyres at the end of the lap.
The no24 Cool Racing Ligier of Antonin Borga made its way to the front of the field with the no79 Ecurie Ecosse / Nielsen Ligier of Alasdair McCaig in second.
In the GT3 field the no77 Kessel Racing Ferrari of Claudio Schiavoni overtook pole sitter Sergio Pianezzola in the no8 F488, a lead he held until lap 3 when the championship leader regained the top spot in the class. Schiavoni lost a further place to the no50 Kessel Ferrari of Murod Sultanov before the no77 Ferrari slowed at Turn 1 after a slight contact with an LMP3. The Italian was soon back up to racing speed after losing a lot of ground to his teammates in 1st and 2nd places.
Back at the front Alex Kapadia was slicing his way though the field in the no59 RLR MSport Ligier passing McCaigs no79 Ligier for second place after 20 minutes of racing. Five minutes later heavy rain started to fall on the circuit and the drivers who had elected to start the race on slicks were forced to pit for rain tyres.
1 Ecurie Ecosse / Nielsen 79 Ligier JS P3 - Nissan LMP3
174.9 2 Ecurie Ecosse / Nielsen 2 Ligier JS P3 - Nissan LMP3
3 DKR Engineering 3 Norma M 30 - Nissan LMP3
4 Motorsport98 98 Ligier JS P3 - Nissan LMP3
5 United Autosports 23 Ligier JS P3 - Nissan LMP3
6 Graff 39 Norma M 30 - Nissan LMP3
7 Graff 40 Norma M 30 - Nissan LMP3
8 RLR MSport 14 Ligier JS P3 - Nissan LMP3
9 DB Autosport 20 Norma M 30 - Nissan LMP3
10 Kessel Racing 8 Ferrari 488 GT3 GT3
11 N'Race 99 Ligier JS P3 - Nissan LMP3
12 RLR MSport 59 Ligier JS P3 - Nissan LMP3
13 Lanan Racing 25 Norma M 30 - Nissan LMP3
14 United Autosports 22 Ligier JS P3 - Nissan LMP3
15 Graff 65 Norma M 30 - Nissan LMP3
16 Kessel Racing 50 Ferrari 488 GT3 GT3
17 Kessel Racing 77 Ferrari 488 GT3 GT3
18 Spirit Of Race 51 Ferrari 488 GT3 GT3
19 United Autosports 32 Ligier JS P3 - Nissan LMP3
20 Ebimotors 88 Porsche 911 GT3 R GT3
21 Brookspeed International 4 Ligier JS P3 - Nissan LMP3
22 Cool Racing 24 Ligier JS P3 - Nissan LMP3
23 CD Sport 30 Norma M 30 - Nissan LMP3
24 DB Autosport 21 Norma M 30 - Nissan LMP3
The final round of the 2018 Michelin Le Mans Cup will take place on Sunday 28 October at the Autódromo do Algarve in Portugal.