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GPX Leads Porsche Front-Row Lockout for 6H Nürburgring

GPX on pole for 6H Nürburgring as Porsches go 1-2, but ROWE crash ends qualifying early…

Photo: Patrick Hecq/SRO

Porsche teams locked out the front row of the grid for the 6 Hours of the Nürburgring as GPX Racing took its maiden pole in GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS.

Romain Dumas, Dennis Olsen and Thomas Preining combined for an average time of 1:54.603 across the three 15-minute qualifying sessions, setting their Porsche 911 GT3 R at the head of the Endurance Cup field.

The GPX trio beat Dinamic Motorsport’s Porsche crew of Matteo Cairoli, Christian Engelhart and Sven Mueller to pole by 0.105s, after Preining produced the best lap of the weekend so far in the final qualifying run.

The Austrian driver’s 1:54.001 ensured that GPX overtook Dinamic for the top spot, while the No. 163 Emil Frey Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo qualified third.

Franck Perera, Giacomo Altoe and Albert Costa produced a 1:54.800 average for the Swiss Lamborghini squad, beating the Attempto Racing Audi trio of Frederic Vervisch, Kim-Luis Schramm and Mattia Drudi.

The two factory-backed Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020s from AF Corse and SMP Racing finished fifth and sixth, respectively.

Team WRT had the upper hand initially as Dries Vanthoor, who also led Pre-Qualifying practice, set the pace in the opening session from Cairoli in the Dinamic Porsche.

But as the sessions shook out the 911s came to the fore, with Engelhart’s session two gain on Christopher Mies putting Dinamic on top provisionally and sending the No. 32 WRT Audi to second.

The GPX Porsche was the only car to land in the top five on each occasion, with Dumas going fifth in Q1, Olsen third in Q2 and Preining to the top in Q3.

WRT’s No. 32 car ultimately fell to 11th, while the Belgian squad’s No. 31 championship-leading Audi qualified 22nd in a run that included a spin for Rolf Ineichen.

Silver Cup pole went to the No. 78 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini of Frederik Schandorff, Patrick Kujala and Alex MacDowall who put a Pro-class Bentley between them and the second car in class, which was Tech 1 Racing’s Lexus RC F GT3.

AKKA-ASP scored the pole in Pro-Am courtesy of Jim Pla, Fabien Barthez and Thomas Drouet.

While Porsche teams qualified first and second, another Pro-class Porsche was responsible for a red flag that ended the final session with two minutes to go. 

Dirk Werner had a big accident in the No. 99 ROWE Racing Porsche at Turn 10, with the German driver’s car impacting the left-side tire barrier at speed.

The session was not restarted, handing GPX the pole for tomorrow’s six-hour race.

RESULTS: Qualifying

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

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