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Siedler Grabs Pole for Qualifying Race at Misano

Norbert Siedler grabs first Blancpain Sprint pole for Rinaldi Racing…

Photo: Vincent Wouters

Photo: Vincent Wouters

Norbert Siedler stormed to pole for the Blancpain Sprint Series Qualifying Race at Misano tonight, leaving the Always Evolving Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 of Craig Dolby 0.306 seconds behind him.

The green Rinaldi Racing Ferrari 458 Italia waited until the very last moment to launch its ultimate lap, which was considerably faster than what the top-5 had managed until then and the only lap bellow the 1.33 mark.

Stéphane Richelmi’s No. 3 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi R8 LMS ultra ended up in third, only 0.032s behind the Nissan running under the American flag.

Title contenders Maxi Buhk and Vincent Abril recovered remarkably well after failing to deliver a competitive laptime in damp conditions on Friday, their No. 84 Benltey Team HTP Continental GT3 will start fourth tonight (+0.342s).

Both Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracan GT3s made it into Q3, but only managed eighth and ninth while being out qualified by the Reiter Engineering Lamborghini Gallardo R-EX of Nick Catsburg in sixth.

Qualifying gave the competitors their first dry running of the weekend in warmer temperatures, resulting in a drop in times of more than 12 seconds.

While the No. 1 WRT Audi of Robin Frijns and Laurens Vanthoor was one of the pacesetters in practice on Friday and the Bentley seemed to struggle, things changed dramatically on Saturday, with Vanthoor failing to qualify for the top-9 Q3 shoot-out.

The Belgian-Dutch duo will start the Qualifying Race in P12 and can already secure the title this weekend by adding eight points to their current gap.

The Q1 segment of Qualifying was red flagged after a contact between the Phoenix and WRT Audis of Niki Mayr-Melnhof and James Nash, leaving the latter stranded out on track.

Several drivers saw their lap times deleted for not respecting track limits.

RESULTS: Qualifying

Vincent Wouters (@VinceWouters) is a Belgium-based sports car racing reporter, providing coverage primarily of the Blancpain GT Series.

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