Mirko Bortolotti broke the GT3 lap record at Brands Hatch in the third and final Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup Qualifying session, taking pole for Grasser Racing Team on Saturday afternoon.
With a time of 1:22.891, 0.5 seconds faster than his closest competition, the Italian driver secured pole for he and Christian Engelhart in the No. 63 Lamborghini Huracan GT3.
Bortolotti’s lap time in Q3 was not only five-tenths faster than the pole time from last year’s race, but impressively eight-tenths better than his session-topping time in Q2.
“We managed to get a clear spot on track, which is rare to have in this championship,” Bortolotti said. “The lap was really good, and I took every inch of track that I could take, without exceeding track limits.
“I’m really proud of this because it is one of the best tracks in my opinion. I’ve been on pole here a couple of years ago with the Formula 2 lap record, and it seems like this was the GT3 lap record.”
Christopher Mies and Enzo Ide will start tomorrow’s Qualifying Race from second for Belgian Audi Club Team WRT, meanwhile.
Jesse Krohn took third for ROWE Racing, having topped Free Practice 2 earlier in the day, while the second Grasser Lamborghini will start from fourth.
The first 15-minute Qualifying session was red-flagged for 20 minutes after Loris Hezemans had a heavy shunt on the exit of Stirlings in the No. 44 Strakka Racing McLaren 650S GT3.
This took Hezemans and Jonny Kane out of the day’s action, and puts the British team under immense pressure to repair the car in time for the race.
The Qualifying Race is scheduled for 12 p.m. local time tomorrow and can be streamed live on the GT World YouTube channel.