Attempto Racing’s Mattia Drudi, Kim Luis Schramm and Frederic Vervisch claimed pole position for tomorrow’s GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Endurance Cup season-opener at Imola in their Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo.
The trio combined across the three quickfire qualifying sessions to register an average time of 1:41.799 that put them 0.144 seconds ahead of the second-placed AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo of James Calado, Alessandro Pier Guidi and Nicklas Nielsen.
Attempto chalked up its first Endurance Cup overall pole with Drudi going third in Q1, followed by Schramm placing 15th in the second session and Vervisch topping Q3.
Felipe Fraga, Timur Boguslavskiy and Raffaele Marciello – who topped Free Practice on Saturday morning – qualified third in their AKKA-ASP Mercedes AMG-GT3 Evo.
Their car is set to share the second row of the 46-car grid with GPX Racing’s No. 12 Porsche 911 GT3 R driven by Patrick Pilet, Mathieu Jaminet and Matt Campbell.
Team WRT’s No. 31 Audi that forged the way in pre-qualifying came through in fifth with a run that included the fastest lap in the second session from Mirko Bortolotti.
WRT’s other Pro-class R8 Evo led the way in session one courtesy of Dries Vanthoor, but its three-driver average set it back to 15th in the final classification.
New Mercedes-AMG outfit Haupt Racing Team qualified sixth for its GTWC Europe debut, while Tech 1 Racing’s Silver Cup class Lexus RC F GT3 will start from seventh overall after a strong qualifying performance from Aurelien Panis, Thomas Neubauer and Timothe Buret.
Tech 1 established a 10-car buffer to the next Silver entry in the field, which was the Garage 59 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 of Andrew Watson and Valentin Hasse-Clot.
Bentley also featured in the top ten after K-PAX Racing’s Jules Gounon, Maxime Soulet and Rodrigo Baptista earned an eighth-place grid spot for the American team.
Fine margins decided the positions in qualifying, as the top 16 cars all fell within half a second and the top 26 came to within a second of the Attempto Audi’s pole average.
Pole in the Pro-Am category went to Ferrari outfit Sky Tempesta Racing with its lineup of Chris Froggatt, Jonathan Hui and Eddie Cheever III who will start from 32nd overall.
Second in class was the No. 77 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo, ahead of the No. 87 AKKA-ASP Mercedes-AMG.
Reigning drivers’ champions Andrea Caldarelli, Dennis Lind and Marco Mapelli will launch their title defense from 19th position with their Orange 1 FFF Racing Team Lamborghini.
Sunday’s three-hour race is scheduled to get underway at 1:30 p.m. CEST (7:30 a.m. EST) while live coverage will be available on the GT World YouTube channel.
RESULTS: Qualifying (combined)