Alessandro Pier Guidi set the fastest time during Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup qualifying at Paul Ricard, putting the No. 50 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 into pole position for tonight’s 6-hour race.
The Italian, who shares the Pro Cup entry with Michele Rugolo and Pasin Lathouras, reeled off a lap time of 1:56.343 in the dying minutes of the session.
Olivier Beretta locked out the front row for Ferrari with the No. 53 AF Corse 488 GT3, posting the second time overall (+0.100s), and taking pole in the Pro-Am Cup.
“It was really close,” said Pier Guidi. “The traffic is always the key, I had a bit, but maybe less than other.
“The first two races were difficult with the brand new car. Now we’re starting to find our way, and the 488 is getting really quick.”
M-Sport Bentley held 1-2 until a few minutes to the end, -lthough Maxime Soulet’s No. 8 and Steven Kane’s No. 7 Continental GT3s eventually ended up in third (+0.169s) and fourth (+0.188s).
“Apparently my time was quite good. I was a bit surprised when they told over the radio I held provisional pole,” Soulet said.
Shane Van Gisbergen secured fifth on the gird with a late flyer, +0.214 seconds behind the polesitter, and in front of the No. 34 Scuderia Praha and No. 52 AF Corse Ferraris, which made it four 488 GT3s in the top-seven.
The highest-placed Lamborghini Huracán GT3 was the No. 19 car of Luca Stolz, set to start eighth, while the guest-starting, AMG-supported No. 00 Black Falcon Mercedes-AMG GT3 will be 9th on the grid.
The championship-leading No. 84 HTP Mercedes of Maxi Buhk and Dominik Baumann was only 17th quickest, two positions in front of the No. 1 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi R8 LMS.
The No. 111 Kessel Ferrari of David Perel, Stephen Earle and Bernhard Delhez took pole in the Am Cup, qualifying 30th overall.
The 6-hour Endurance race gets underway at 6 p.m. local time and will run until midnight.