The #98 Rowe Racing Porsche 911.2 GT3R of Romain Dumas, Sven Müller and Mathieu Jaminet took a surprise pole position at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya this morning whilst the title favourites, #72 SMP Racing Ferrari 488 GT3, are starting from a lowly P13.
The Porsche squad failed to top any of the three qualifying sessions but consistent fast laps gave them the average fastest time of 1:45.032 to take pole position.
After qualifying Sven Müller was upbeat. “At the beginning we struggled a bit,” said Müller. “But all over the weekend we improved the car and yesterday we had good long-run pace and this morning good qualifying pace, so lets keep fingers crossed that we have a good race.”
Pole was secured with a time of 1:45.032, just 0.054 ahead of the #4 Black Falcon Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Maro Engel, Luca Stolz and Yelmer Buurman.
“It’s really tricky here with so many cars on the track, especially in the really slow last sector,” said Stolz. “You have to manage your gap and after one lap you struggle with the rears, but I think we all managed quite well and in the end the average counts and all of us did a decent lap which is why we are P2.”
P3 went to the #563 Orange1 FFF Racing Huracán GT3 of Andrea Calderelli, Marco Mapelli and Albert Costa who is standing in for the injured Denis Lind.
Both Black Falcon and FFF Racing are going head-to-head in the overall Blancpain GT Series championship, separate by just two points, while SMP Racing needs to finish 8th if Black Falcon, or 9th if FFF Racing wins in order to secure the Blancpain GT Endurance Cup.
Pole in the Silver Cup went to the #90 AKKA ASP Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Nico Bastian, Timur Boguslavskiy, Felipe Fraga. Am Cup drivers Adrian Amstutz, Leo Machitski and Miguel Ramos in the #77 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán GT3 beat the Pro-Am field to pole position. Jim Pla, Mauro Ricci and Jean-Luc Beaubelique brought AKKA ASP another pole by setting the fastest overall time in the Pro-Am Cup with the #87 AKKA ASP Mercedes-AMG GT3.