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Marciello and Mies On Pole at Sunny Brands for GTWCE Sprint Cup

Raffaele Marciello put the ##88 AKKODIS ASP Mercedes-AMG GT3 he shares with Timur Boguslavskiy on pole for the first of two one-hour contests on the Brands Hatch GP circuit for the GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS Sprint Cup. Marciello lapped the 3,91 km Kent circuit in 1:22.258, .0307 seconds quicker than Albert Costa in the #69 Emily Frey Racing Ferrari.

Completing the top three in the first 20-minute qualifying session was the second Emil Frey Racing entry, the #14 Ferrari 296 GT3 in which Konsta Lappalainen lapped in 1:22.625.

Christopher Mies took pole for Race Two with a 1:21.716 in the #27 Sainteloc Junior Team Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO II with Christopher Haase making it a front-row lock-out for the Ingolstadt manufacturer. The #11 pilot was only the second driver to go below 1:22 with a 1:21.970.

The top three for Race Two was completed by Giacomo Altoe in the #14 Emil Frey Racing Ferrari 296 GT3.

Qualifying 1 got underway under sunny skies at the Brands Hatch GP circuit as Raffaele Marciello in the #88 Mercedes set a 1:22.844 on his third lap, four-tenths quicker than the rest of the field before Konsta Lappalainen set a 1:23.015 in the #14 Ferrari.

Times started to tumble as the tyres reached optimum temperature with Lappalainen setting a 1:22.756 on his sixth tour.

Marciello’s #88 Mercedes returned to the pits with just over 10 minutes remaining in the session with the team deciding whether to send the Swiss-Italian driver out on fresh rubber.

Lappalainen continued to push, despite being on provisional pole, setting personal best times in sectors one and two and continuing on to improve his pole-position time to a 1:22.625.

The 20-minute session was red-flagged with over three minutes remaining after Christian Engelhart put the #54 Dinamic GT Huber Porsche 911 GT3 R into the gravel at Stirling’s. The car was undamaged but required recovery before Engelhart could make his way back to the pits.

The fast lane was opened after five minutes and green flag running got underway with three minutes remaining on the clock and the track temperature rising.

Marciello got to the front of the field for his first flying lap following the restart and the #88 driver set a purple time on Sector 1 and a PB on Sector 2 to a set a provisional pole time of 1:22.325, some three-tenths quicker than Lappalainen in the #14 Ferrari.

#88 AKKODIS ASP Mercedes-AMG GT3 driven by Raffaele Marciello – Brands Hatch (Photo: GT World Challenge)

Albert Costa then set personal best times in the #69 Emil Frey Racing Ferrari to go second quickest with a 1:22.565 to provisionally start from the front row alongside Marciello.

The second qualifying session, to set the grid for Race Two on Sunday May 14, got underway at 4.32pm. Christopher Mies in the #27 Sainteloc Junior Team Audi was the first to lap in the 1:22s with a 1:22.826 on his third lap. The times were reducing quickly however as Mies improved to a 1:22.392, just .145 seconds quicker the Gilles Magnus in the #21 Comtoyou Racing Audi.

The #99 Tresor Attempto Racing Audi with Lorenzo Patrese at the wheel went off after Paddock Hill Bend which brought out a red flag with half the session remaining.

When the session resumed, most of the field was reluctant to immediately leave the pit lane, realising that the session was likely to come down to a two-lap shoot-out in the final minutes.

Niklas Krütten in the #30 Team WRT BMW set a 1:22.449 to go third quickest immediately prior to Thierry Vermuelen taking provision pole before the #69 Ferrari driver’s time was cancelled because of track limit offences.

With less then four minutes remaining, Giacomo Altoe in the #14 Emil Frey Ferrari sat at the top of the timing screens with a 1:22.028 followed by Christopher Mies in the #Sainteloc Junior Team Audi.

Christopher Mies (Photo: GT World Challenge)

With two and half minutes remaining, Mies broke into the 1:21s with a 1:21.716, quickly followed by Christopher Haase in  the #11 Comtoyou Tracing Audi who lapped in 1:21.970.

When the chequered flag went was shown, Mies was on pole for Race Two with Haase making it two Audis in the front row. Altoe in the #14 Emil Frey Racing Ferrari completed the top three.