Audi continued its top form at the Nürburgring in qualification for the Blancpain GT World Challenge Europe. With the fastest lap of the weekend so far Dries Vanthoor qualified his #1 WRT Audi R8 LMS GT3 on pole position for race 2, with two more Audis following in his trail. #63 Grasser Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3 pilot Mirko Bortolotti secured pole for Saturday’s race 1.
PRACTICE REPORT | RACE 1 REPORT | INTERVIEW ANDREA CALDARELLI | RACE 2 REPORT | GALLERY | INTERVIEW JACK HAWKSWORTH
QUALIFICATION RACE 1
Starting the first race from pole position is the #63 Grasser Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3 of Mirko Bortolotti and Christian Engelhart after the Italian set a time of 1:54.926. The Austro-Italian team is far behind in the championship fight — 72 points behind leaders Maro Engel and Luca Stolz in the #4 Black Falcon Mercedes-AMG GT3 — but starting from pole and the added bonus points gives the team a glimmer of hope.
Looking to extend their lead in the championship are Maro Engel and Luca Stolz who have lined up their Mercedes-AMG GT3 alongside the Lamborghini on the grid, courtesy of a 1:55.087 set by local hero Stolz. Simon Gachet was first out in the #25 Saintéloc Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3 he shares with Audi ace Christopher Haase, continuing his form from Zandvoort by lapping a 1:55.446 that put him third on the grid.
QUALIFICATION RACE 2
The second session saw the return of Audi’s dominance. Newly crowned Suzuka 10 Hours winner and this year’s Nürburgring 24 Hours winner Dries Vanthoor grabbed the front spot for Sunday’s second race on Sunday afternoon with a lap of 1:54.439 — the fastest lap of the weekend so far — after already setting the second quickest lap of the session in the opening minutes. Vanthoor shares his #1 WRT Audi R8 LMS GT3 with Ezequiel Pérez Companc, who qualified the Audi on P10 for the first race.
Christopher Haase did teammate Gachet one better by qualifying the Saintéloc Audi on the front row with a lap of 1:54.659, while the #2 WRT Audi of Charles Weerts and Nürburgring expert Christopher Mies (1:54.682) starts third. Maro Engel was best of the non-Audis, placing the Black Falcon Mercedes-AMG GT3 alongside Mies on the second row with a lap of 1:54.778.
Race 1 starts on Saturday afternoon at 14:30 CET. The second race on Sunday also starts at 14:30 CET.
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