Jules Gounon’s fastest time of the session swept the #107 Bentley Team M-Sport Continental GT3 to the manufacturer’s first Blancpain GT Series pole at the third round of the Endurance Cup at Paul Ricard.
With the grid decided by the average of times from all three sessions, it was Dinamic Motorsport — winners at Monza — who led on the averages after the first two runs, but Gounon’s 1m52.671 in the #107 Bentley Continental GT3 snatched the top spot away from the Porsche team — which will start in seventh.
The #107, which Gounon shares with Steven Kane and Jordan Pepper, will share the front-row with the #4 Black Falcon Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Yelmer Buurman, Luca Stolz and Maro Engel. The trio finished half-a-tenth behind the Bentley crew despite failing to break into the 1m52s.
Securing third — and Silver Cup pole — was the #55 Attempto Racing Audi R8 LMS of Mattia Drudi and Steijn & Pieter Schothorst with the crew clocking an average time just 0.133s off overall pole. Setting the exact same time as the Attempto team was yesterday’s Pre-Qualifying pace-setter Orange1 FFF Racing. The #563 of team boss Andrea Caldarelli, Marco Mapelli and Dennis Lind also logged a 1m53.471 to qualify in fourth.
Fifth, and fastest of the Porsche 911 GT3 Rs, was the works-supported #99 ROWE Racing entry with Dirk Werner, Matt Campbell and Dennis Olsen finishing just 0.004s behind the third and fourth-placed cars ahead of them.
Highlighting how small the margins have been in qualifying around the French circuit, R Motorsport will start sixth with its Aston Martin Vantage GT3 — only 0.002s behind the German team.
Aston Martin entries claimed pole for both the Pro-Am and Am classes as Oman Racing with TF Sport took its third pole in as many races in Pro-Am — Charlie Eastwood, Ahmad Al-Harthy and Salih Yoluc piloting that Vantage — while Garage 59 stormed to pole in the Am Cup as TopGear presenter Chris Harris, Chris Goodwin and Alexander West finished almost three-tenths ahead of their nearest competition in the class.
The six-hour race gets underway at 18:00 CET (17:00 UK) and you can watch the whole race live on GT REPORT.