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Abril, Haase Secure Poles in Drying Conditions

Vincent Abril and Christopher Haase score Blancpain GT poles at Zandvoort…

Photo: Dirk Bogaerts/SRO

Vincent Abril and Christopher Haase put their AKKA ASP and Sainteloc Racing cars on pole on a drying track for this weekend’s pair of Blancpain GT World Challenge Europe races at Zandvoort.

A late flier at the very end of the session moved Abril onto pole for Saturday afternoon’s Race 1, with the Monegasque driver exactly 0.5 seconds clear of Mirko Bortolotti at the top of the timing screen.

Abril shares the No. 88 AKKA ASP Mercedes-AMG GT3 with Raffaele Marciello who could only manage seventh in his session, setting the grid for Sunday’s Race 2. 

Bortolotti will line up second this afternoon in his Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo, with Andrea Caldarelli’s Orange1 FFF Racing Team Lamborghini third and Luca Stolz fourth in the Black Falcon Mercedes.

The track dried throughout the opening 20-minute qualifying session, allowing some drivers to set their final laps on slick tires, while times improved by around nine seconds for Qualifying 2.

Abril’s pole time was a 1:44.572, compared to Haase’s Race 2 pole-setting lap of 1:35.636.

Sainteloc driver Haase emerged on top after a hectic second session that saw a number of cars go to provisional pole over the course of the 20 minutes of running.

The Audi works driver managed to go 0.156 seconds clear of Dries Vanthoor in second, while Black Falcon’s Maro Engel went one position better than his teammate to qualifying third. 

Haase’s co-driver Simon Gachet will start from 15th in the opening race, meanwhile.

In the Silver Cup, Felipe Fraga and Mattia Drudi will start from class pole in Race 1 and 2, respectively, with the AKKA ASP and Attempto Racing drivers qualifying seventh and fourth overall.

Nyls Stievenart was the best-placed Pro-Am driver in Q1 from 20th overall, while Jim Pla put his No. 87 AKKA ASP Mercedes sixth overall to pick up class pole for Sunday.

Race 1 will get underway at 2:35 p.m. local time (8:35 a.m. EDT).

RESULTS: Qualifying 1
RESULTS: Qualifying 2

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist. He is a graduate of Politics and International Relations.

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