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GT World Challenge Europe

Iron Lynx Ferrari Secures Paul Ricard Pole

Serra, Rigon, Fuoco combine to claim pole for Iron Lynx at the Paul Ricard 1000km…

Photo: Patrick Hecq/SRO

The No. 71 Iron Lynx Ferrari entry led two out of three qualifying sessions to set the best average time and secure pole position for this evening’s Paul Ricard 1000km.

Daniel Serra, Davide Rigon and Antonio Fuoco combined for a final time of 1:53.693 across three 15-minute qualifying runs, giving Ferrari its first Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Endurance Cup pole since the same event in 2020.

It also marked the first pole for Iron Lynx in the long-distance SRO Motorsports Group series.

Serra placed third in Q1 behind Team WRT driver Dries Vanthoor and Dinamic Motorsport’s Matteo Cairoli, but Rigon and Fuoco brought the yellow-liveried Iron Lynx Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 to the head of the leaderboard by going quickest in Q2 and Q3.

Rigon’s middle session effort was crucial, as the Italian went three-quarters of a second clear to give Iron Lynx a one-quarter of a second edge over WRT on average.

Fuoco then increased the margin by topping the final session by 0.333 seconds, while the WRT Audi slipped to third outright behind the No. 54 Dinamic Porsche 911 GT3 R.

Dinamic’s Klaus Bachler, Come Ledogar and Matteo Cairoli posted an average time of 1:54.030 to join Iron Lynx on the front row of the grid for the six-hour race into darkness.

After a strong start from Vanthoor, WRT lost ground in qualifying as Kelvin van der Linde positioned fifth in Q2 and Charles Weerts ranked down in 17th during Q3.

The average time for the No. 32 WRT Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II was half a second off the pole effort set by the No. 71 Ferrari crew.

Raffaele Marciello, Daniel Juncadella and Jules Gounon ended up fourth in the No. 88 Akkodis ASP Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo, while Silver Cup pole-sitters Jean-Baptiste Simmenauer, Benjamin Goethe and Thomas Neubauer took fifth overall for WRT.

The best Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo was the No. 63 Emil Frey Racing example in sixth, one place ahead of WRT’s Frederic Vervisch, Nico Mueller and Valentino Rossi.

The overall top 10 was completed by Tresor by Car Collection’s No. 12 Audi, Iron Lynx’s No. 51 Ferrari and the Pro-class Aston Martin Vantage GT3 from Beechdean AMR.

The No. 51 Ferrari had a close moment at the end of Q2 when Nicklas Nielsen got caught up behind a slowing Attempto Racing Audi at Signes, causing the Danish driver to lose a potential lap time improvement.

Nielsen was then seen remonstrating with Marius Zug in the pit lane afterward.

There was early drama for the Boutsen Ginion Audi which experienced a right-rear puncture during Q1 and did not return for the remaining sessions.

Additionally, the CMR Bentley Continental GT3 is a withdrawal from the Paul Ricard 1000km after the French squad encountered an engine failure on Friday.

McLaren teams scooped the category poles in Gold Cup and Pro-Am, as Inception Racing topped the Gold order in 18th overall and Garage 59 led Pro-Am in 29th.

The second round of the GTWC Europe Endurance Cup season starts at 6 p.m. CEST (12 p.m. ET).

RESULTS: Qualifying

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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