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Bortolotti Guides Iron Lynx to Paul Ricard Pole

Q3 flyer from Mirko Bortolotti gives Iron Lynx first Endurance Cup pole with Lamborghini…

Photo: JEP/SRO

Iron Lynx will start the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Endurance Cup season opener from pole position after topping qualifying on Sunday morning.

The No. 63 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2, driven by Andrea Caldarelli, Matteo Cairoli and Mirko Bortolotti, recorded a combined time of 1:53.027 to beat the No. 22 Schumacher CLRT Porsche 911 GT3 R by 0.187 seconds.

The pole was sealed by Bortolotti in the third and final 15-minute session, steering the car to a session-topping 1:52.775, with only Fabian Schiller’s Q2 effort of 1:52.752 quicker across all three segments of qualifying.

In the process, the Italian driver secured his tenth pole in Endurance Cup competition, while also ensuring Iron Lynx will start from pole position in Fanatec GT Europe for the first time since it switched to Lamborghini.

Its last led Endurance Cup qualifying during the 2022 Barcelona season finale as part of its final season running Ferrari machinery.

Bortolotti’s time allowed Iron Lynx to move ahead of fellow Lamborghini squad GRT Grasser Racing Team, which had led Q1 and Q2 thanks to the efforts of Franck Perera and Marco Mapelli.

However, the lack of a competitive time for Christian Engelhart meant the No. 163 Lamborghini will start this afternoon’s race from fourth overall, behind Gounon, Fabian Schiller and Luca Stolz aboard the No. 2 Mercedes-AMG Team GetSpeed Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo.

The fifth-placed trio Augusto Farfus, Max Hesse and Dan Harper led a string of BMWs aboard their No. 998 ROWE Racing machine, outpacing both the No. 46 and No. 32 Team WRT entries.

Garage 59 secured Bronze Cup pole position as James Cottingham, Adam Smalley and Louis Prette put the No. 188 McLaren 720s GT3 Evo eighth on the grid, one place ahead of the British squad’s Pro entry of Benjamin Goethe, Tom Gamble and Dean MacDonald.

ROWE Racing’s second BMW rounded out the overall top ten with Marco Wittmann, Nick Yelloly and Philipp Eng at the wheel, with the No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari 296 GT3 and No. 34 Walkenhorst Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage GT3 Evo eleventh and twelfth, respectively.

Gold Cup pole position was secured by the No. 777 Al Manar Racing by GetSpeed Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo of Al Faisal Al Zubair, Mikael Grenier and Dominik Baumann.

The two-driver crew of Ezequiel Perez Companc and Patrick Assenheimer will start from Silver Cup pole aboard the No. 90 Madpanda Motorsport Mercedes-AMG, having qualified 22nd overall.

The three-hour race at Paul Ricard kicks off at 3 p.m. CEST (9 a.m. EDT) with live coverage on the GT World YouTube channel.

RESULTS: Qualifying

 

Davey Euwema is Sportscar365's European Editor. Based in The Netherlands, Euwema covers the FIA World Endurance Championship, European Le Mans Series and Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS, among other series.

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