Iron Lynx converted its front-running pace in Pre-Qualifying to pole for Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS’ six hour race at Paul Ricard as the Ferrari crew of Davide Rigon, Daniel Serra and Antonio Fuoco stormed to the top.


From the start of the first session, the Ferrari 488 GT3 was troubling the top of the times, with Serra immediately putting himself in the mix with the #32 Team WRT Audi R8 LMS and the #54 Dinamic Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 R – the latter squad enjoying a significant upturn in form after a relatively quiet race at Imola.

After Q1, it was Dries Vanthoor in the #32 who set the initial pace, but as qualifying moved on to Q2 and Q3, the Iron Lynx crew just kept getting faster with Rigon and Fuoco both setting blistering laps in the 1m53.4s to put themselves well ahead of the rest of the average times that set the grid.

Indeed, their average time of 1m53.693sec was the only one to dip beneath the 1m54sec barrier with the Dinamic trio of Klaus Bachler, Come Ledogar and Matteo Cairoli 0.337sec down despite what was a decent string of running. 

After starting so strong, the #32 is on the second-row as Kelvin van der Linde and Charles Weerts unable to find the same pace that put Vanthoor right on top of the pile at the start of qualifying.

Indeed, they could possibly count themselves fortunate they weren’t knocked down to fourth. After an average Q1, the #88 AMG Team AKKODIS ASP Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Raffaele Marciello, Dani Juncadella and Jules Gounon got stronger as it burned off fuel, Gounon setting a strong lap to ensure the car punched above its weight to start in fourth – only 0.043sec down on the WRT Audi.

Fifth – and the second of four Audis in the top 10 – was the Gulf-liveried #30 of Jean-Baptiste Simmenauer, Benji Goethe and Thomas Neubauer which rose from outside the top 10 to the third row of the grid and pole in the Silver Cup category. 

Just seven-tenths away from pole was the fastest Lamborghini Huracán, the #63 of Emil Frey Racing, was just a whisker ahead of the #46 Team WRT Audi, which started strong with Frederic Vervisch, but Nico Müller and Valentino Rossi just lost out as the pace started to ramp up towards the end of the session.

Pole in the Gold Cup went to the #7 Inception Racing McLaren 720S GT3 of Ollie Millroy, Brendan Iribe and Frederik Schandorff, and it was a McLaren on Pro-Am pole too, with the #188 of Henrique Chaves, Alexander West and Miguel Ramos lining up 29th overall in their Garage 59 entry. 

The 1000k of Paul Ricard gets underway at 6pm CEST, and you can watch it live on GT REPORT.


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