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Phoenix Racing Takes Pole for 12H Mugello

Audi factory driver Pierre Kaffer leads pole charge for experienced German outfit…

Photo: 24H Series

Phoenix Racing will start the Hankook 12H Mugello from pole position after the German squad set the fastest time in qualifying on Friday.

After three of the team’s drivers had set their times in the team’s No.18 Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II, it ended up with an average time of 1:48:362, which was enough for pole position.

The German squad was at the head of a 12-car GT3 field, divided into GT3, GT3-Pro/Am and GT3-Am categories.

Pierre Kaffer, who was the last driver to take to the track, sealed pole for the crew by setting a personal best time of 1:47:337. The Audi factory driver shares with Michael Doppelmayr, Elia Erhardt and Swen Herberger.

Kaffer’s flying lap brought down Phoenix’ average time and left the team 0.366 seconds clear of the No.1 ST Racing BMW M4 GT3 of Samantha Tan, Bryson Morris and Nick Wittmer, which posted a 1:48:728.

Third place went to the No.25 Mann-Filter Team Landgraf Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo, which notably features five-time DTM champion Bernd Schneider alongside Alexander Hrachowina and Martin Konrad.

The No.91 Herberth Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 R of Daniel Allemann, Ralf Bohn and Alfred Renauer and Robert Renauer took fourth place, with Kessel Racing’s No. 8 Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 rounding out the top five.

Earl Bamber Motorsport took sixth place with its No. 61 Porsche driven by Adrian D’Silva, Matthew Payne and Reid Harker.

Team co-owner and newly crowned Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring overall winner Earl Bamber is personally on hand in Italy, as the team revealed on social media earlier in the week.

CP Racing’s Mercedes was seventh, ahead of the BoDa by Bas Koeten Racing Bentley Continental GT3 of Dutch duo Bob Herber and Marcel van Berlo.

The GT4 category for Saturday’s twelve-hour event consists of two entries.

The class was headed by the No. 417 Orchid Racing Team Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 of Alexandre Mottet, Stefan Chaligne, Antoine Leclerc and Antonio Garzon.

The Swiss squad’s combined time was some eight tenths faster than the Team ACP-Tangerine Associates by VEIDEC JJ Motosport BMW M4 GT4 driven by Catesby Jones and Wim Spinoy.

The Hankook 12H Mugello kicks off on Saturday at 1pm local time, with the first portion of the race running until 6.30pm before it resumes on Sunday morning.

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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