Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup

Second 2019 Endurance Cup Pole For GRT / Bortolotti / Engelhart / Ineichen At Silverstone (12.05.19)

Mirko Bortolotti, Christian Engelhart and Rolf Ineichen, piloting the #63 GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracán GT3, lapped the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit in an average time of 1:59.690 to take pole position for Round Two of the 2019 Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup. Joining the #63 car on the front row of the grid will be the #55 Attempto Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3 Silver Cup entry with the driver line-up of Mattia Drudi, Steijn Schothorst and Pieter Schothorst who set an average lap time of 1:59.887.

Completing the top three on the overall grid for May 12’s three-hour race will be the #519 Orange 1 FFF Racing Team Lamborghini which set an average lap time of 1:59.924 in the hands of Phil Keen, Giovanni Venturini and Franck Perera.

Starting from pole in the Pro-Am Cup class will be the #97 Oman Racing with TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT3 with the driver line-up of Salih Yoluc, Ahmad Al Harthy and Charlie Eastwood which lapped in an average time of 2:01.108. Am class honours went to the #77 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini of Miguel Ramos, Adrian Amstutz and Leo Matchiski.

Qualifying began under clear, blue skies with no threat of the rain which had blighted proceedings over the previous two days.

The first 15-minute session was halted with a red flag with a little over six minutes remaining after Ricardo Sanchez, at the wheel of the #10 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi R8 LMS GT3, spun into the gravel at T5.

The session was neutralised for the second time when Clemens Schmid, driving the #66 Attempto Racing Lamborghini he shares with Kelvin van der Linde and Nick Foster spun at Becketts Corner. The race director quickly announced that the session would not resume, resulting in a number of teams having not set a competitive time. Particularly affected were #4 BLACK FLACON Mercedes-AMG GT3 being driven in Q1 by Maro Engel, the Monza-winning #54 Dinamic Motorsport Porsche 11 GT3 R in the hands of Andre Rizzoli and the #88 Mercedes-MG Team Akka ASP Mercedes, being driven by 2018 drivers champions Raffaele Marciello, all of which were unable to set a time in the first session

Bortolotti set the quickest time in Q1 with a 1:59.114, which set the #63 car up for an ultimately successful qualifying session.

Q2 ran uninterrupted with Luca Stolz, at the wheel of the #4 BLACK FALCON Mercedes setting the quickest time of the weekend to that point for the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup grid with a 1:59.083 on his second lap of three. After the disastrous first session for the #4 car, Stolz returned to the garage after three laps, realising that there was little point pushing in what would ultimately be a disappointing qualifying.

As Q2 drew to a close, it was the #63 GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini that headed the time sheets with an average lap time of 1:59.314, a little over three quarters ahead of the #55 Attempto Racing Audi.

Q3 saw Philipp Eng driving the #9 Boutsen Ginion BMW M6 GT3, taking the place of an unwell Philippe Steveny, Eng setting a 2:00.368 to finish 26th overall in the session.

Nicki Thiim, at the wheel of the #76 R-Motorsport Aston Martin, set the quickest time across the three sessions with a 1:58.890 on his second lap of thee.

The grid for the second round of the 2019 Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup will see a number of favourites starting from well back in the field, due to the challenges in Q1. The #4 BLACK FALCON Mercedes, piloted by Stolz, Buurman and Engel, will start from 37th while the #54 Dinamic Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 R, driven by Rizzoli, Bachler and Ashkanani, winners at Round One from Monza, will start from 46th.

The lights go out for the three-hour race at 15:00 local time.