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GT World Challenge Europe

Team WRT Sweeps Misano Qualifying

Maxime Martin, Charles Weerts on pole for Sprint Cup races at Misano…

Photo: SRO

Team WRT secured pole position for both of Saturday’s Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Sprint Cup races at Misano, although a track limits breach prevented a qualifying sweep for Dries Vanthoor and Charles Weerts.

The Belgian powerhouse squad’s pair of Pro entries split the pole positions between them, with Maxime Martin topping qualifying 1 before Weerts came out on top in the second session.

However, the No. 32 BMW M4 GT3 initially appeared to have the upper hand when Vanthoor charged to provisional pole with a 1:31.423, only to have his lap taken away after the checkered flag for a track limits infringement.

This promoted Martin, who had slotted into second by posting a 1:31.437, to pole position for his co-driver Valentino Rossi’s home race.

Vanthoor dropped to sixth, while the No. 14 Emil Frey Racing Ferrari 296 GT3 of Ben Green was moved up to second ahead of Mattia Drudi, Marvin Dienst and Calan Williams.

Dienst claimed Bronze Cup pole aboard the No. 54 Dinamic GT Porsche 911 GT3 R, while Williams did the same in Silver Cup for Team WRT.

Behind Vanthoor, Patrick Kujala lined up seventh in the No. 72 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2, with Rutronik Racing’s Sven Mueller eighth.

The overall top ten was completed by the No. 159 Garage 59 McLaren 720S GT3 Evo of Tom Gamble and the No. 88 Tresor Attempto Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II in the hands of Pre-Qualifying pacesetter Christopher Haase.

Gold Cup pole went to the No. 111 CSA Racing Audi of Lucas Leveret in 13th overall.

The Pro-class Mercedes-AMG entries were notably out of position at the conclusion of the opening session, with Jules Gounon 20th for Boutsen VDS and championship leader Maro Engel one place further back aboard the No. 48 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo.

Engel’s co-driver Auer was able to put in a better time during the second qualifying session, but proved unable to stop WRT from completing a qualifying sweep.

The Austrian took second, a mere 0.028 seconds down on Weerts’ best lap of 1:31.558.

The No. 69 Emil Frey Racing Ferrari of Konsta Lappalainen took third, while Simon Gachet secured Gold Cup pole for CSA Racing in fourth overall.

Rossi completed the overall top five in the No. 46 BMW, ahead of Garage 59’s Benjamin Goethe and the No. 96 Rutronik Racing Porsche driven by Patric Niederhauser.

Sainteloc Racing’s Ivan Klymenko captured Silver Cup pole in tenth overall, with Jonathan Hui fastest in Bronze Cup aboard the No. 93 Sky Tempesta Racing Ferrari.

The opening Sprint Cup race of the weekend kicks off Saturday at 2 p.m. CEST (8 a.m. EDT)

Fleming Evaluated for Back Injury After Free Practice Crash

Series organizer SRO Motorsports Group confirmed via a statement issued on Friday evening that Thomas Fleming was transported to a local hospital after suffering a crash during Free Practice earlier on the day.

Fleming’s No. 71 AF Corse Ferrari went off at Turn 4 in the opening phase of practice, with the impact leading to a lengthy red flag for barrier repairs.

“AF Corse driver Thomas Fleming was involved in a single-car accident in this morning’s Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Free Practice session at Misano,” the series stated.

“He was conscious when attended to by the circuit safety team. After being extricated from his car, Fleming was transferred by helicopter to hospital where he is being evaluated for a back injury.”

Fleming was scheduled to team up with Eliseo Donno for both of this weekend’s 60-minute races. The car did not take part in Pre-Qualifying on Friday afternoon and also did not appear during qualifying.

RESULTS: Qualifying 1/Qualifying 2

Davey Euwema is Sportscar365's European Editor. Based in The Netherlands, Euwema covers the FIA World Endurance Championship, European Le Mans Series and Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS, among other series.

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