“As you can see as I come out of the Bus Stop to start my first proper lap, there are a couple of Alfas heading into La Source. I managed to dispense with them pretty easily and was then pretty lucky with where the traffic popped up. It’s always a concern about catching cars in the wrong place.
“The only heart-in-mouth moment came exiting Stavelot and heading towards the kinks before Blanchimont: watch the chap dicing with the Mustang who moves over on me as I charge between them! And I gave the move on the glorious – and ultra-valuable – Ferrari SWB at Blanchimont a bit of extra thought, too!”
The lap put the #16 machine on an early provisional pole, where, to Meaden’s surprise, it stayed.
“We’d done a good time in testing, so I knew the car was there or thereabouts, but I was surprised to have set the pace so early on and not be bumped down the order as the clocked ticked down.
“I didn’t feel that I had my eye in at that point. It felt OK but not super-quick. I’d focused on not making mistakes. What do they say? ‘Drive better, not faster’. It’s easy to get too sideways or outbrake yourself – especially at the Bus Stop at the end of the lap. The gearbox, which does have synchro, needs to be treated with care, too, so there’s a lot going on. On the narrower tyres we have to run at Spa, the GT40 feels more like a road car. There’s not much grip but at least it’s fairly progressive. As with all GT40s, It’s tricky to extract the maximum from them without breaking them.”