Fittingly, perhaps, the practice and qualifying sessions for the 24 Hours of Spa began with rain and lots of it. Thursday practice sessions were held in classically changeable weather conditions, mostly alternating between light and heavy rain that kept the track wet until after dark. The United Autosport team, meanwhile, began its assault on the event with its star "guest drivers" eclipsed by the team co-owner in qualifying.
Briton Richard Dean, who co-owns the team with American Zak Brown, set a personal quickest time of 2m 25.745s in the No. 68 Audi R8 LMS around the magnificent 4.35-mile Belgian venue, while Stefan Johansson was quickest at the wheel of the "sister" No. 67 Audi, posting a 2m 27.220s. The American-owned team will starts its first twice-around-the-clock endurance race on Saturday from 10th and 13th positions in the GT3 category. That works out to the eighth and 11th rows of the 40-car grid, which includes GT2 and National-specification cars.
The team's epic driver lineup has been bolstered correspondingly by additional backing for the squad, with season-long sponsors Remington, Cerruti and LG Electronics joined by Roger Dubuis Watches, FXDD, Road & Track, Legends of Motorsports and the Singapore Exchange for the Belgian race. The Spa 24 Hours gets underway Saturday afternoon.