Edoardo Mortara has won the shortened FIA GT World Cup qualifying race following a huge crash on the first lap that suspended the running and prevented over half the field from taking the restart.
The Mercedes-AMG Team Driving Academy driver led the entire race after the restart with just eight cars able to compete in the shortened 25-minute sprint which began behind the safety car.
Mortara and the No. 48 Mercedes-AMG GT3 finished two seconds clear of Augusto Farfus’ BMW M6 GT3 with Raffaele Marciello completing the podium in his GruppeM Mercedes-AMG.
Robin Frijns finished fourth after a crash on Friday prevented the Audi driver from setting a fast qualifying time, leaving him to start the qualifying race from near the back of the field.
The first attempt at running the race was red-flagged on the first lap after a multi-car pile-up at Police corner.
It was triggered by Daniel Juncadella’s hitting the barrier and initially collecting Laurens Vanthoor.
Several other cars were caught up in the incident with only four drivers making it straight back to the pits.
Maro Engel had led the race prior to the incident, having taken the lead from polesitter Mortara at the start.
However, a problem for Engel kept him in the pit lane for the first couple of laps after the restart, giving the lead back to Mortara as the race went green again.
“I got extremely lucky today,” said Mortara. “I lost the start, for whatever reason, and I was second behind Maro, so I expected to finish there.
“Then, unfortunately, Maro couldn’t start and I suddenly found myself in the lead. I knew that when I was in front, I could dictate my pace here.
“There was a lot of oil and some filler to bind the oil, there was some rain, it was very difficult, but I am very glad with this result.”
While only eight cars were able to make the restart, it is expected that more drivers will be able to take part in Sunday’s main race with repairs carried out overnight.
The race will get underway at 12:10 p.m. local time tomorrow with Mortara leading the field.
RESULTS: Qualifying Race