Two weeks after R-Motorsport took the Blancpain GT Series by surprise with pole position and victory in Silverstone, the Aston Martin Vantage GT3 squad is back in front as they begin the 1000km race at Paul Ricard from the front-end of the field. Three quick laps by Matthieu Vaxivière, Jake Dennis and Nicki Thiim brought the Swiss team the pole in this morning’s qualification session. Next to them on the front-row are the 2016 winners: the Garage 59 McLaren 650S GT3 of Ben Barnicoat, Andrew Watson and Côme Ledogar. 

None of the front-row starters will be the sole top candidates for the win, however, as the ever-quick AF Corse-run SMP Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 of Miguel Molina, Davide Rigon and Mikhail Aleshin qualified third quickest, flanked by Monza race winners Christopher Mies, Dries Vanthoor and Alex Riberas in the WRT Audi R8 LMS GT3 on the second row, while Grasser Racing’s champion’s squad of Mirko Bortolotti, Christian Engelhart and Andrea Caldarelli have positioned the Lamborghini Huracán GT3 sixth on the grid. Meanwhile, Mercedes-AMG’s Black Falcon and AKKA ASP aren’t far away either, starting from places nine and ten. Both of Emil Frey Racing’s Lexus RC-F GT3s also made it into the top 10, looking to improve on their podium finish in Silverstone and bring home the team’s very first overall victory. 

With just 6 tenths separating the top 12 in qualification, there’s no telling yet who will come out on top after 1000km or 6 hours of racing. 

The race starts at 17:45 CET.

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