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Sainteloc Form Continues as Haase Tops Pre-Qualifying

Sainteloc Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo leads second session in a row at Paul Ricard…

Photo: Dirk Bogaerts/SRO

Sainteloc Racing continued to lead the way in the build-up to tomorrow’s Paul Ricard 1000km as Christopher Haase put the French Audi squad on top in Pre-Qualifying.

Haase’s time of 1:53.969 behind the wheel of the No. 25 Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo was the first sub-1m 54s effort of the event and also half a second quicker than his co-driver Dorian Boccolacci’s flyer that ensured Sainteloc set the pace during Free Practice.

Second-quickest in the 90-minute Pre-Qualifying practice session was Antonio Fuoco, driving the SMP Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020.

Fuoco, who is making his GTWC Europe debut this weekend, ended up three-tenths down to Audi factory driver Haase.

Team WRT’s two Pro-class Audis emerged third and fourth in the table courtesy of quick lap times set by Mirko Bortolotti and Dries Vanthoor.

The top five cars were separated by less than half a second as Thomas Preining pedaled the No. 40 GPX Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R to fifth place with a time of 1:54.461.

The second-fastest car from Free Practice – Haupt Racing Team’s No. 4 Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo – ended up sixth in the second full-field session of the event.

Maximilian Buhk was ninth in the championship-leading AKKA-ASP Mercedes-AMG while the main rivals of that car’s title contenders Raffaele Marciello and Timur Boguslavskiy could do no better than 33rd.

Sven Mueller was the fastest driver in the No. 54 Dinamic Motorsport Porsche.

Best in Silver Cup was Rik Breukers who breached the overall top seven with a 1:54.529 onboard WRT’s Gulf-liveried Audi, while the Tech 1 Racing Lexus RC F GT3 of Aurelien Panis who topped the class in Free Practice was just 0.011 seconds in arrears.

Tom Onslow-Cole headed up the Pro-Am category with a time of 1:54.964 in Ram Racing’s Mercedes-AMG. 

All 40 cars including the Am Cup-class Sainteloc Audi and the No. 3 K-PAX Racing Bentley Continental GT3 that both crashed in Free Practice turned laps during Pre-Quali.

Three-driver average qualifying to determine the grid for Sunday’s six-hour race starts at 5:20 p.m. CET (11:20 a.m. ET).

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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