Ricardo Feller delivered Emil Frey Racing’s third consecutive Zandvoort pole in Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Sprint Cup competition as the Swiss driver hit the front after a red flag in qualifying for Race 1.
AKKA-ASP Mercedes-AMG driver Jim Pla held the provisional pole spot for Saturday’s contest when the 20-minute session was stopped after nine minutes due to Benjamin Goethe crashing his No. 30 Team WRT Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo at the Turn 7 right-hander.
The interruption put proceedings on hold for around six minutes, but with the clock still ticking down.
Green flags were flown after Goethe’s Audi was extracted from the gravel and sent back to the pits, leaving three seconds for anyone to improve on Pla’s 1:34.190 banker.
The first driver to beat the Frenchman was fellow Silver Cup competitor Ulysse de Pauw who registered a 1:34.090 in the No. 107 CMR Bentley Continental GT3.
De Pauw’s teammate Nelson Panciatici also performed well in the sister No. 108 Bentley, shaving three-tenths off his original time that had initially put him second overall.
A string of better laps from other drivers changed the landscape at the top of the leaderboard, most notably when Feller flew to a 1:33.586 to go half a second clear at the top.
Feller, who is teamed with Alex Fontana in Silver Cup, added to the poles taken by Emil Frey Lamborghini drivers Mikael Grenier and Norbert Siedler last year.
The Swiss will share the front row of the grid for today’s 60-minute race with de Pauw, who settled for second.
Juuso Puhakka climbed to third in the No. 7 Toksport WRT Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo, making it three Silver Cup cars in the top-three.
Feller’s Emil Frey teammate Sielder ranked fourth and best among the Pro car drivers, just 0.001 seconds behind Puhakka.
Pla completed the top five using his original benchmark time. The AKKA-ASP driver set a purple second sector on his last flying lap, but skidded into the gravel in the final sector and bailed on his attempt.
Pla will start alongside Panciatici’s CMR Bentley, and two places in front of Timur Boguslavskiy who qualified AKKA-ASP’s No. 88 Pro Mercedes-AMG.
Frank Bird was eighth for Team WRT, ahead of Toksport’s Luca Stolz and Tuomas Tujula in the Garage 59 team’s Silver-class Aston Martin Vantage GT3.
Defending Sprint Cup champion and current point leader Charles Weertts could only manage 15th in his WRT Audi that he shares with Dries Vanthoor.
Miguel Ramos earned the Pro-Am class pole with a time of 1:36.600 in the Lamborghini run by Barwell Motorsport, meaning Lamborghinis lead every category in Q1.
RESULTS: Qualifying 1