Teams and drivers arrived at a cold, damp and drizzly Circuit Zandvoort for the second race day of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS after temperatures dropped to 13 degrees Celsius overnight. But for Raffaele Marciello it seemed like the perfect conditions to bounce back after a tough Saturday to take pole position aboard the #89 Akkodis ASP Team Mercedes-AMG GT3.


Despite the damp track, the racing line was dry so slicks it was for the cars to go out on.

Jim Pla was the first to set a competitive lap time 5 minutes into the session, taking the top position with a lap time of 1m33.842s. His time was soon topped by Christian Engelhart, Christian Klien and Patric Niederhauser, but he managed to put the #88 Akkodis ASP Team Mercedes-AMG GT3 back in top position the next time around.

It was Raffaele Marciello in the #89 Akkodis ASP Team Mercedes-AMG GT3 who with absolute best times in all three sectors clocked a 1m32.093s which would eventually secure him pole position. His rival and race 1 winner Dries Vanthoor in the #32 Team WRT Audi R8 LMS GT3 went second fastest with a 1m32.776s.

Half of the field was in the pits with 5 minutes left on the clock. Despite the slight drizzle, the track got immediately going busy again for a final go. That’s when Vincent Abril shot to second place in the #112 JP Motorsport McLaren 720S GT3 with a 1m32.660s.

Just under 3 minutes remained when Ethan Simioni who went off the track in turn 9 and stopped the #159 Garage 59 McLaren 720S GT3 in the gravel, halting the session momentarily to recover the car.

While the majority of the field lined up at pit exit, Marciello leaned back and let the traffic go. He missed to go on another flying lap before the clock ticked down to zero, but the advantage of half a second secured pole position for the #89 Akkodis ASP Team Mercedes-AMG GT3 in the second race this weekend. Abril held on to a remarkable front-row start for the JP Motorsport team, while the #66 Attempto Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3 of Dennis Marschall and #32 Team WRT Audi R8 LMS GT3 of Vanthoor line up on the second row of the grid.

It was a successful morning for the JP Motorsport team altogether as their Pro-Am Cup #111 McLaren will start from sixth place, alongside Pro-Am Cup competitors Garage 59 with the #188 McLaren 720S GT3.

Race 2 of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS at Zandvoort will start at 14:00 CEST and can be watched live on GT REPORT.


Please consider making a donation so we can keep bringing you our best content from the racetrack.