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GT World Challenge Europe

Gachet Beats Weerts to Race 1 Pole, Rossi Crashes

Audi locks out top three in qualifying for first race at Magny-Cours…

Photo: SRO/Kevin Pecks

Simon Gachet beat Charles Weerts to pole position for the first of two Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Sprint Cup races at Magny-Cours, while Weerts’ Team WRT stablemate Valentino Rossi caused a red flag by crashing out of the session.

Gachet and Weerts led a top-three lockout for Audi, along with Sainteloc Junior Team driver Gilles Magnus, who led the Silver class.

However, it was the Frenchman that led the way in the No. 11 Tresor by Car Collection Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II.

He reeled off a best lap of 1:36.322 in the closing minutes of the session to outqualify Weerts’ No. 32 Team WRT Audi by 0.195 seconds.

Weerts had sat on the top of the timesheets prior to a red flag interruption, which was brought out by a crash for fellow WRT driver Valentino Rossi.

Rossi lost control of his No. 46 Audi at Estoril and spun multiple times before making sideways contact with the barrier.

The Italian walked away from the crash under his own power.

Pierre-Alexandre Jean was fourth in the No. 53  AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020, with the Frenchman’s flying lap knocking the No. 89 Akkodis ASP Team Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo driven by Timur Boguslavskiy off fourth place.

The Russian driver would ultimately end the session outside the top five, as he was demoted to sixth place thanks to a late flyer from Akkodis ASP teammate Thomas Drouet, driving the No. 87 Mercedes.

Aurelien Panis and Nicolas Schoell took seventh and eighth respectively, with the top ten rounded out by Team WRT’s Jean-Baptiste Simmenauer and the No. 88 Mercedes driven by Jim Pla.

Garage 59 took pole position in the Pro-Am class, with Miguel Ramos 19th overall in the No. 188 McLaren 720S GT3.

The first race at Magny-Cours starts at 7:30 p.m. local time.

RESULTS: Qualifying 1

Davey Euwema is a Sportscar365 reporter based in The Netherlands, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, DTM, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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