Augusto Farfus has scored a surprise pole for Sunday’s Suzuka 10 Hours, with BMW taking the first and third starting positions for the Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli round.
The Brazilian reeled off a record-breaking 2:00.455 in his No. 42 Team Schnitzer BMW M6 GT3 to edge out the No. 25 Team WRT Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo of Dries Vanthoor by 0.076 seconds.
Nicky Catsburg qualified the No. 34 Walkenhorst BMW third in the Pole Shootout.
Farfus will share his pole-sitting BMW with Martin Tomczyk and Nick Yelloly in tomorrow’s penultimate round of the IGTC season.
WRT’s Audi, in the hands of Kelvin van der Linde, set the pace in the single-driver qualifying sessions, but struggled to match the one-lap pace of the BMWs in the early evening shootout, run in cooler conditions.
The No. 777 Carguy Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 of Miguel Molina qualified fourth, ahead of Jules Gounon in the best-placed Team M-Sport Bentley Continental GT3 in fifth.
Toyota LMP1 star Kamui Kobayashi was the quickest Mercedes-AMG GT3 in sixth for Goodsmile Racing, edging out the No. 125 Absolute Racing Audi of Christopher Haase.
The pair of Mercedes from Craft-Bamboo and GruppeM Racing, driven by Max Goetz and Maro Engel, were eighth and ninth, with Andy Soucek completing the top-ten in the No. 108 Bentley.
Dirk Werner, meanwhile, qualified 11th as the only Porsche to make the Pole Shootout.
The Suzuka 10 Hours gets underway Sunday at 10 a.m. local time (Saturday 9 p.m. ET).
RESULTS: Pole Shootout