GRT Grasser Racing Team took its second Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup pole of the year after the Lamborghini team dominated qualifying at Silverstone.
Under sunny skies, a complete contrast to the rain and clouds that were a feature of Saturday, Mirko Bortolotti’s early flying lap in the first of the three 15-minute qualifying segments that make up the hour-long session was enough to storm to pole in the Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo he shares with Christian Engelhart and Rolf Ineichen.
Engelhart’s fourth-fastest lap, and Ineichen’s 27th-best time, was enough to create an average time 0.196s quicker than that of the #55 Attempto Racing Audi R8 LMS of Pieter and Steijn Schothorst and Mattia Drudi. The trio did take pole in the Silver Cup class, though, finishing almost half-a-second clear of their nearest class rival, the #78 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini.
Third went to the #519 FFF Racing Lamborghini with Franck Perera and British GT star Phil Keen both qualifying in the top five of their individual sessions in the Huracán they share with Giovanni Venturini.
Their average of 1m59.924s was the last of the 48-car field to break underneath the two-minute mark, with the #107 Bentley Continental GT3 qualifying fourth – 0.083s behind the Lamborghini.
The Jules Gounon/Jordan Pepper/Steven Kane car split the FFF Racing entries, with the #563 of team principal Andrea Caldarelli securing fifth alongside co-drivers Dennis Lind and Marco Mapelli.
For the second time this season TF Sport swept to Pro-Am Cup pole with Charlie Eastwood counting his blessings that he managed to get his quick lap in on a traffic-impacted lap around the Northamptonshire circuit, but said he could have gone faster if he wasn’t held up behind a slower Audi in the final sector.
The Lamborghini domination carried on in the Am Cup as Barwell Motorsport – runners up in last year’s British GT teams’ championship – qualified more than eight-tenths ahead of their nearest class rival. Leo Machitski, who competes alongside Miguel Ramos and Adrian Amstutz, admitted after the session he was relieved to have set his lap when he did, with the new Silverstone surface increasing the wear on the series’ Pirelli tyres.
Fastest of the individual drivers was R-Motorsport’s Nicki Thiim, the Dane set a blistering 1m58.890s but a slow Q1 time from Marvin Kirchhöfer – who was disrupted by two red flags in that 15-minute session – meant the #76 could only qualify 29th.
Monza winners Dinamic Motorsport were one of a number of teams – including the #4 Black Falcon Mercedes-AMG – which were affected by the repeated stoppages. Andrea Rizzoli failed to set a time in Q1, relegating the Porsche 911 GT3R team to a 46th-place start.
Engel also failed to set a lap, as the session was stopped with two minutes remaining after the second red flag to recover Clemens Schmid’s stricken Attempto Racing Audi. Despite laps almost breaking underneath the 1m59s barrier, Yelmer Buurman and Luca Stolz could only salvage 37th for this afternoon’s race.
Also failing to set a three-driver average was the #333 Rinaldi Racing Ferrari 488 GT3, which was the fastest of the Silver Cup entries in pre-qualifying. The David Perel, Rinat Salikhov and Denis Bulatov-driven car will line up in 44th.
The three-hour race begins at 15:00 UK time, 16:00 CET.
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