Bentley Team M-Sport will start Saturday evening’s Paul Ricard 1000km from pole position after going quickest in the morning’s qualifying session for the third round of the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup.
Jules Gounon, Steven Kane and Jordan Pepper combined to set an average lap time of 1:53.338 in their No. 107 Bentley Continental GT3.
The three 15-minute qualifying sessions ran surprisingly clean, with no stoppages for the first time this season and minimal off-track excursions amongst the 49-car field.
Black Falcon will start the race from second on the grid with its No. 4 Mercedes-AMG GT3 driven by combined points leaders Maro Engel and Luca Stolz along with Endurance driver Yelmer Buurman.
Attempto Racing picked up the Silver Cup pole from third overall for Mattia Drudi, Pieter Schothorst and Steijn Schothorst, meanwhile.
Endurance Cup championship leaders Marco Mapelli, Andrea Caldarelli and Dennis Lind will start from fourth for Orange 1 FFF Racing Team, while ROWE Racing’s No. 99 Porsche 911 GT3 R is fifth.
R-Motorsport qualified sixth with its No. 62 Aston Martin Vantage GT3, making it six different manufacturers (Bentley, Mercedes, Audi, Lamborghini, Porsche and Aston Martin) in the top six.
Monza winner Dinamic Motorsport qualified seventh with its Porsche but will serve a five-place grid drop after Andrea Rizzoli accumulated three behavior warning points.
AKKA ASP’s lead Mercedes, driven by Raffaele Marciello, Michael Meadows and Vincent Abril, will start from the pit lane due to an engine change on Friday.
Oman Racing with TF Sport secured the Pro-Am pole from 24th overall, while Garage 59 claimed the Am Cup pole position.
The Paul Ricard 1000km gets underway at 6 p.m. local time (12 p.m. EDT) and will last a maximum of six hours.