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Costa, Marciello Take Final Two Poles of Sprint Season

Marciello puts title-contending AKKA-ASP Merc on front row for final two races of 2020…

Photo: Patrick Hecq/SRO

Albert Costa and Raffaele Marciello took the final two pole positions of the GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Sprint Cup season in qualifying for today’s pair of races at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

Emil Frey Racing Lamborghini driver Costa prevailed in qualifying for Race 2 of the triple-header season finale, while Marciello put AKKA-ASP’s No. 88 Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo on top of the pile in the 20-minute session to decide the grid for Race 3.

Marciello, whose co-driver Timur Boguslavskiy is a title contender, earned two front-row grid starts as he finished second to Costa in a narrow first session.

Costa shot to the top of the order right at the end, displacing Marciello by just 0.062 seconds.

Attempto Racing Audi drivers Frederic Vervisch and Mattia Drudi qualified third and fourth, ahead of Maro Engel in the Haupt Racing Team Mercedes-AMG.

Team WRT’s Audis ended up sixth and seventh with Kelvin van der Linde edging out his teammate and Sprint Cup overall points co-leader Dries Vanthoor.

Despite missing out on pole by a tiny margin in the first session, Marciello hit back in Q3 with the fastest lap of the weekend so far.

This gave Boguslavskiy an additional point, bringing the Russian up to six points behind leaders Vanthoor and Charles Weerts, and one point behind HRT’s Engel and Luca Stolz.

Marciello had already posted the best time when he stopped the clock at an even better 1:43.296, which put the Italian almost seven-tenths clear of van der Linde in second.

WRT improved in Q3 as Vanthoor secured a second-row grid start for himself and Weerts, while Costa was fourth in his and Giacomo Altoe’s Race 1-winning Lamborghini.

Silver Cup pole-sitter Ezequiel Companc, whose Madpanda Motorsport team is based at the Barcelona track, qualified his Mercedes-AMG fifth overall for the final race of 2020.

The fastest Silver-class driver in Q2 was Toksport WRT’s Oscar Tunjo who wound up eighth in the outright classification.

Both Pro-Am poles for Sunday’s 60-minute races went to Sky-Tempesta Racing’s Eddie Cheever III, who added two extra scores to his and Chris Froggatt’s now-23 point lead over Andrea Bertolini and Louis Machiels in the standings.

Race 2 is set to get underway at 12:25 p.m. CEST (6:25 a.m. EST).

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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