Connect with us

GT World Challenge Europe

De Pauw, Marciello Claim Poles for Brands Hatch Sunday Races

Ulysse de Pauw takes Race 1 pole in Silver Cup Ferrari as Marciello leads Q2 at Brands…

Photo: Patrick Hecq/SRO

Ulysse de Pauw took a surprise overall pole for Race 1 of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Sprint Cup season-opener at Brands Hatch while Raffaele Marciello set the pace in qualifying for Race 2.

De Pauw was the surprise package in the first 20-minute session, putting the Silver-class No. 53 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 on top of the overall leaderboard.

The 20-year-old Belgian resisted the best efforts of Mercedes-AMG factory driver Jules Gounon, who ended up just 0.034 seconds second short of pole for Sunday’s opening 60-minute race.

The  No. 89 Akkodis ASP Team Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo will start Race 2 from first after Marciello beat Patric Niederhauser by a 0.073-second margin.

In Qualifying 1, former de Pauw initially hit the top with a 1:21.854, putting his Ferrari three-tenths ahead of Tresor by Car Collection Audi driver Mattia Drudi.

Gounon, driving the No. 88 Akkodis ASP Mercedes-AMG, slotted into second with a 1:21.925 but was met by an immediate improvement from ex-CMR Bentley pilot de Pauw, who produced the 1:21.770 number that would be enough to top the session.

After a series of tire changes midway through the session, Gounon wound up for a new attempt at pole but his 1:21.804 attempt fell just out of reach.

De Pauw, meanwhile, went into the 1m 21.4s territory but had that lap time deleted for overstepping track limits at Graham Hill Bend.

Drudi ended up third for the No. 12 Tresor by Car Collection crew, ahead of Timur Boguslavskiy in the No. 89 Akkodis ASP Mercedes-AMG that Marciello would take over for the next session.

Defending Sprint Cup champion Charles Weerts was fifth for Team WRT, while Aurelien Panis took sixth in front of his Sainteloc Audi teammate Gilles Magnus who caused a red flag with one minute remaining when he spun exiting Surtees and into the gravel.

The second session began with a rapid exchange of fast lap times between the likes of factory aces Marciello, Dries Vanthoor and Christopher Haase.

Marciello had an eventful stint, with the Swiss driver almost clattering the left-side barrier on the run to Druids after running into the gravel at Paddock Hill Bend.

Reigning champion Dries Vanthoor held the provisional pole for WRT when the mid-session tire changes took place, but the Belgian dropped to third courtesy of improvements from Niederhauser and Marciello.

Niederhauser went quickest with a 1:21.443 in the No. 25 Sainteloc Racing Audi with three minutes to go, but moments later Marciello came through to secure pole for Akkodis ASP Team on a blistering 1:21.370.

Vanthoor settled for third, ahead of Christopher Haase aboard the No. 11 Tresor by Car Collection Audi and Jim Pla driving the No. 88 Akkodis ASP Mercedes that Gounon put on the front row for Race 1.

Ben Barker climbed to sixth overall and took a clear Pro-Am pole for Race 2 in the Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo, which missed Q1 due to Bronze-rated driver Alex Malykhin feeling unwell.

Pro-Am pole for the opening race went to AF Corse Ferrari driver Louis Machiels.

After de Pauw’s Q1 heroics, Pierre-Alexandre Jean qualified the No. 53 AF Corse Ferrari in seventh for the second race of the weekend, as the Silver class pole-sitter.

A red flag also ended the second session after Attempto Racing Audi driver Dennis Marschall ended up in the tire barriers at Hawthorn.

RESULTS: Qualifying 1 / Qualifying 2

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.

Click to comment

More in GT World Challenge Europe