GRT Grasser Racing Team will start from the pole in this evening’s Blancpain Endurance Series 1000, following a blistering lap set by Mirko Bortolotti in this morning’s qualifying session at Paul Ricard.
The Italian driver pedaled his No. 63 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 to a best time of 1:56.638 in Qualifying 3, outpacing the No. 23 Nissan GT Academy Team RJN Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 of Katsumasa Chiyo by 0.189 seconds.
It marked the first pole in the Blancpain Endurance Series for the new Huracan GT3, following a hard-fought qualifying session, where traffic played a key role.
“It’s crucial to have a clear lap, which is not easy when there are 61 cars on track,” Bortolotti said. “Once you think you can have a go at a good time, you have to take it with both hands, because you will probably not get a second opportunity.”
Bortolotti will share the wheel of the pole-sitting Lamborghini with Giovanni Venturini and Adrian Zaugg.
Chiyo qualified his Nissan second, followed by the No. 84 Bentley Team HTP Bentley Continental GT3 of Vincent Abril in third, while Norbert Siedler made it four different manufacturers in the top-four in his Rinaldi Racing Ferrari 458 Italia GT3.
Mark Shulzhitskiy took the No. 22 Nissan to the pole in Pro-Am Cup, qualifying an impressive sixth overall, while the No. 25 Glorax Racing Ferrari of Rino Mastronardi will start from the top spot in Am Cup.
The top 22 cars in qualifying were separated by less than one second.
The Blancpain Endurance Series 1000 gets underway this evening at 5 p.m. local (11 a.m. ET)