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Phoenix Audi On Pole for 24H Portimao

German squad narrowly beats WTM Ferrari to Portimao pole…

Photo: Petr Fryba/Creventic

Phoenix Racing will start the Hankook 24H Portimao from pole position after coming out on top in qualifying by narrowly beating WTM Racing.

The German squad’s No. 18 Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II, driven by Michael Doppelmayer, Pierre Kaffer, Elia Erhart and Swen Herberger, posted a combined time of 1:44.076 across the three sessions.

The Audi ultimately only beat out WTM Racing’s No. 22 Ferrari 488 GT3 by 0.024 seconds, with the five-man lineup of Georg Weiss, Leonard Weiss, Jochen Krumbach, Daniel Keilwitz and Indy Dontje set to start Saturday’s race from second place.

Herbert Motorsport’s No. 91 Porsche 911 GT3 R, piloted by Daniel Allemann, Ralf Bohn, Alfred Renauer, Robert Renauer and Juergen Haering completed the top three, 0.429 seconds down on the polesitting Audi.

The GT3 field for the twice-around-the-clock enduro at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve consists of five entries.

Series regulars CP Racing qualified fourth and nearly a second off pole in their No. 85 Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo driven by Charles Putman, Charles Espenlaub, Shane Lewis and Joe Foster.

The top five was completed by Sainteloc Racing’s No. 26 Audi, with a lineup featuring Simon Gachet, Nicolas Baert and Lucas Legeret alongside Christian Kelders and Olivier Esteves.

In GT4, pole position in the three-car class went to Ram Racing’s No. 405 Mercedes-AMG GT4, piloted by Jon Minshaw, Katarina Kyvalova, Ian Loggie and Phil Keen.

The team’s time of 1:53.796 was 2.5 seconds clear of Lionspeed by Car Collection Motorsport’s No. 499 Audi R8 LMS GT4, with Team ACP-Tangerine Associates’ No. 421 BMW M4 GT4 rounding out the class.

Notably, in the GT-X class, the new-f0r-2023 BMW M4 GT4 qualified fourth in class in the hands of Daniel Harper, Max Hesse, Neil Verhagen and Joerg Weidinger.

The Hankook 24H Portimao kicks off at 2 p.m. local time (9 a.m. ET).

RESULTS: Qualifying

Davey Euwema is Sportscar365's European Editor. Based in The Netherlands, Euwema covers the FIA World Endurance Championship, European Le Mans Series and Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS, among other series.

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