Photo: Blancpain GT Series
Charles Weerts, driving the #2 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi R8 LMS GT3 he shares with Dries Vanthoor, took pole position for Race One at Misano, lapping the 4.23 kms circuit situated next to Misano Adriatico in 1:34.227, .120 seconds quicker than Ricky Collard in the #76 R-Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT3, who will join Weerts on the front row of the grid after lapping in 1:34.347.
Completing the top three for Saturday June 29’s one-hour race will be the #563 Orange 1 FFF Racing Lamborghini Huracán in which Team Principal Andrea Calderelli put in a 1:34.379.
The second qualifying session saw Raffaele Marciello topping the time sheets in the #88 AKKA ASP team Mercedes-AMG GT3 he shares with Vincent Abril. Second quickest was the #2 Audi driven by Dries Vanthoor who lapped in 1:33.740.
The first qualification session took place under very hot conditions with track temperatures in the early 40s. As a result, tyre management was the key to setting quick and consistent lap times.
With pole position in the second session in 2018 being set at 1:33.212 by the #88 AKKA ASP team Mercedes-AMG GT3, Andrea Calderelli, at the wheel of the #563 Orange 1 FFF Racing Team Lamborghini he shares with Marco Mapelli, set the early provisional pole time at 1:34.782.
The session was red-flagged with 12:05 remaining after Taylor Proto spun the #555 Orange 1 FFF Racing team Lamborghini into the gravel at Turn 14. Qualifying resumed after five minutes after an adjustment to the timing screen, which had briefly seen Ricky Collard in the #76 R-Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT3 put in the quickest lap of the session.
Collard was quickly back on the pace as the session resumed and set provisional pole with a 1:34.455 on his sixth lap but Calderelli immediately responded with a 1:34.347.
However it was the young Charles Weerts in the #2 Belgian Audi Club team WRT entry who set the quickest time on his sixth lap with a 1:34.227.
There was a huge off-track moment at Turn 13 when Simon Gachet spun the #25 Sainteloc Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3. The French driver got the #25 car back on the circuit but deposited a large amount of gravel on the circuit, impeding following drivers from pushing for quick time.
Quickest of the Silver Cup entries in the first session was the #89 Akka ASP team Mercedes of Nico Bastian who set a 1:34.779 with the Pro-Am Cup pole position being taken by Niels Stievenart in the #24 Sainteloc Racing Audi with a 1:35.234.
Pole position in the Am Cup class for Race One was taken by Florian Scholze in the #444 HB Racing Ferrari F488 GT3 he shares with Wolfgang Triller.
After work on the circuit to clear the gravel scattered by Simon Gachet, the second qualifying session got underway with track temperature increased to 47.3C.
Finlay Hutchison had a spin at Turn 4 in the #11 Phoenix Racing Audi in the opening minutes of the session with Marco Mapelli setting the early provisional pole time with a 1:34.122 on his second lap in the #563 Lamborghini.
Raffaele Marciello immediately responded with a 1:34.050 on his third lap in the #88 AKKA ASP Team Mercedes. The Italian driver continued to push, however, and improved to 1:33.595 on his seventh lap.
When the session concluded, Marciello sat on pole position with Dries Vanthoor in the #2 Belgian Audi Club team WRT Audi joining the #88 car on the front row after lapping in 1:33.740. Christopher Haase in the #25 Sainteloc Racing Audi completed the top three with a 1:33.958.
Raffaele Marciello was delighted at his pole position.
“It was a normal qualifying session finally without a red flag or a problem,” said Marciello. “We did our job. The car has always been quick. We have a really good starting position for Race One and P1 for the race tomorrow. It’s a long weekend but for sure we can do well.”
Fabian Schiller took pole position in the Silver Cup class with a 1:34.050 on his eighth lap in the #90 Mercedes and Jim Pla was quickest in the Pro-Am Cup class with a 1:34.350 in the #87 AKKA ASP Team Mercedes.
HB Racing enjoyed its second class pole position of the day when the Am Cup class pole was taken by Wolfgang Triller in the team’s #444 Ferrari.
Race One gets underway at 19:45 local time on Saturday June 29.