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Perera Puts ISR Audi on Pole at Brands Hatch

Franck Perera grabs first pole for ISR at Brands Hatch…

Photo: Vincent Wouters

Photo: Vincent Wouters

Franck Perera’s No. 74 ISR Audi R8 LMS grabbed pole in an ultra competitive qualifying session for the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup round at Brands Hatch.

Perera reeled off a lap time of 1:23.260 halfway through the ten-minute Q3 shoot-out in which 19 cars took part, giving ISR its first ever Blancpain GT pole.

“I have no real experience on this track,” commented Perera. “We’ve worked a lot within the team, even though we had only a few test days during the winter.

“Pole is crucial here as it’s difficult to overtake on this track. The car is especially good on the long runs, so I think we have the pace to win.”

Perera already claimed a Blancpain GT pole back in 2014, driving an Almeras Porsche 911 GT3-R in the Silverstone Endurance Series round.

HTP Motorsport just came up short and had to settle for second and third on the grid for tomorrow’s Qualifying Race.

Jules Szymkowiak was the first driver to put in a fast a lap in the No. 86 Mercedes-AMG GT3 he shares with Bernd Schneider, and improved later on to edge out the sister No. 85 car of Jazeman Jafaar by just 0.005 seconds.

Christopher Mies, who drove the fastest time in practice, ended up in fourth (+0.184s) in the No. 33 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi, while Felix Rosenqvist made it three Mercedes in the top-five with the No. 88 AKKA ASP entry.

Alvaro Parente continued to show the pace of the McLaren 650S GT3 by qualifying the No. 58 Garage 59 car in sixth, followed by the Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracán GT3 of Mirko Bortolotti and the No. 99 BMW M6 GT3 of Alexander Sims.

The championship leading No. 1 WRT Audi of Laurens Vanthoor and Frédéric Vervisch posted the ninth time, while overall points’ leaders Maxi Buhk and Dominik Baumann will start from P11 on the grid.

Vanthoor put in a last minute effort but had to abort his ultimate lap after running wide and a subsequent visit to the gravel trap.

18 out of the 19 cars that took part in Q3 were within 1 second of Perera’s time.

The Qualifying Race gets underway at 12:05 p.m. tomorrow.

RESULTS: Qualifying

Vincent Wouters (@VinceWouters) is a Belgium-based sports car racing reporter, providing coverage primarily of the Blancpain GT Series.

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