Marco Mapelli in the No. 66 Attempto Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3 grabbed pole in an ultra competitive qualifying session for the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup opener at Misano.
The Italian reeled off a 1:32.319 lap time in the car he shares with Giovanni Venturini, beating last year’s pole by almost a second.
A late flyer put Maxi Buhk’s No. 84 HTP Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3 up into second, only +0.075s short for pole.
“It’s great to be on pole at our home race, so close to the factory,” said Mapelli.
“The Mercedes-AMG is very strong on race pace so I hope we can hold them off tonight. With this wide track it’s a matter of finding the right line.”
Mercedes also claimed the second row on the grid, with Raffaele Marciello third fastest in the No. 90 AKKA ASP Mercedes-AMG GT3 (+0.085s) and Dominik Baumann making it two HTP Mercedes in the top four.
Strakka Racing got off to a good start in the Blancpain GT Series with a fifth time for Rob Bell in the No. 59 McLaren 650S GT3, followed by Lewis Williamson’s No. 42 entry in P7 (Silver Cup pole).
All 17 cars taking part in Q3 were separated by less than a second.
Amongst the cars that didn’t make the top-17 Q3 shoot-out was the No. 1 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi of reigning champion Enzo Ide, while both ROWE Racing BMW M6 GT3s also struggled for pace.
Following a fire in the engine bay yesterday, the No. 3 WRT Audi was halted again from any running by what appeared to be a similar issue.
The only noticeable incident was when Kevin Ceccon beached his No. 74 ISR Audi in the gravel trap right before the end of Q2, which ended the session early with a red flag.
Tonight’s Qualifying Race is set for 8:40 p.m. local time (CET).