#63 Pole position (Photo by Marissa Warren)Grasser Racing secured its second successive Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup pole position with the #63 Lamborghini crew of Mirko Bortolotti, Christian Engelhart and Rolf Ineichen.


The Austrian outfit led Q1 thanks to a stellar lap from Bortolotti – who headed the field by a full half-second in the #63 Huracan – and were not seriously troubled thereafter. Bortolotti's effort was crucial, as the Italian banked an early time in a session interrupted by red flags. Engelhart extended the gap in Q2 before Ineichen completed the job.

It continues a strong run of form from the Grasser squad, which also took pole position for the Monza season-opener and led the way during Saturday's pre-qualifying session at Silverstone.

"Setting that lap was crucial for us," confirmed Borolotti afterwards. "From the previous sessions, we noticed that the tyre degradation would be a key factor here. I managed to get a good lap, right on the edge, despite the traffic. I am also thankful to my team and teammates for the job they have done.

"Silverstone is one of my favourite tracks. I was on pole here in 2016 and on the front row in 2017, so it is definitely good to be back."

Second overall belonged to the leading Silver Cup crew, Attempto Racing's #55 Audi R8 LMS of Steijn Schothorst, Pieter Schothorst and Mattia Drudi. They emerged as challengers during Q2 and even closed the gap to the #63 Lamborghini during the final session as Drudi showed his pace aboard the R8 LMS. They were one of four Silver Cup entrants among the overall top-10 in another strong showing by the class leaders.

"The session went really well and we can be proud to end up on the front row," said Schothorst. "Despite the difficult conditions of the first qualifying, I managed to do a good lap. We are happy to take pole in Silver Cup but I am tempted to say that our aim will be the overall win this afternoon!"

The Pro-Am category was topped by the #97 Oman Racing by TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage, which achieved the same qualifying result at Monza thanks to the efforts of Ahmad Al Harthy, Salih Yoluc and Charlie Eastwood. The latter was particularly important to today's result, as the Irishman set the fifth-best time overall during his session to bag Pro-Am pole for the #97 car.

"We all did a great job," said Eastwood. "My lap was good. I did get caught up in some traffic, but it happened at an okay moment. Tyre management was key in the session and our pace throughout the weekend has been pretty good."

The Am Cup class was once again led by Barwell Motorsport. The British squad has won the previous three Endurance Cup races and now has back-to-back pole positions to celebrate as well. The crew of Leo Machitski, Adrian Amstutz and Miguel Ramos delivered another fine qualifying effort to lead their class, setting them up for a strong run on home turf.

"Both of my teammates did a fantastic job and I am really thankful for that," commented Machitski. "I was less fortunate with my lap; I got traffic and didn't set a good time straight out of the pits, which was quite frustrating."

#97 Pro Am Pole (Photo by Marissa Warren) #77 Am Cup Pole (Photo by Marissa Warren) thumb gw140519b4

 

 

 

At the other end of the grid there was considerably more frustration for a number of leading crews after the red flags during Q1 left them unable to set a lap time, consigning some potential winners to the back of the grid. Among those affected were the #4 Black Falcon Mercedes-AMG (37th), both ROWE Racing Porsches (38th and 39th), the #88 AKKA ASP Mercedes-AMG (40th), and the Monza-winning Dinamic Motorsport Porsche (46th). By Melissa Warren 

Qualifying results
1 63 Mirko Bortolotti, Christian Engelhart, Rolf Ineichen GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracan GT3 2019 1:59.690 1:59.114 1:59.515 2:00.443
2 55 Silver Cup Steijn Schothorst, Pieter Schothorst, Mattia Drudi Attempto Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3 2019 1:59.887 2:00.516 1:59.643 1:59.502
3 519 Phil Keen, Giovanni Venturini, Franck Perera Orange 1 FFF Racing Team Lamborghini Huracan GT3 2019 1:59.924 1:59.952 2:00.269 1:59.552
4 107 Jordan Pepper, Steven Kane, Jules Gounon Bentley Team M-Sport Bentley Continental GT3 2:00.007 2:00.402 1:59.885 1:59.736
5 563 Andrea Caldarelli, Dennis Lind, Marco Mapelli Orange 1 FFF Racing Team Lamborghini Huracan GT3 2019 2:00.018 2:00.793 1:59.858 1:59.403
6 2 Dries Vanthoor, Ezequiel Perez Companc, Alex Riberas Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi R8 LMS GT3 2019 2:00.141 1:59.668 2:00.698 2:00.058
7 78 Silver Cup James Pull, Jordan Witt, Sandy Mitchell Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan GT3 2019 2:00.274 2:00.130 2:01.235 1:59.457
8 90 Silver Cup Nico Bastian, Timur Boguslavskiy, Felipe Fraga AKKA ASP Team Mercedes-AMG GT3 2:00.303 2:00.060 2:01.039 1:59.812
9 17 Silver Cup Shae Davies, Paul Petit, Alex MacDowall Team WRT Audi R8 LMS GT3 2019 2:00.348 2:00.763 2:00.422 1:59.860
10 72 Miguel Molina, Mikhail Aleshin, Davide Rigon SMP Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 2:00.441 2:00.152 2:01.536 1:59.635
11 25 Simon Gachet, Steven Palette, Christopher Haase Sainteloc Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3 2019 2:00.449 2:00.866 2:00.805 1:59.676
12 108 Alex Buncombe, Andy Soucek, Maxime Soulet Bentley Team M-Sport Bentley Continental GT3 2:00.743 2:01.032 2:00.628 2:00.569
13 19 Silver Cup Arno Santamato, Gerhard Tweraser, Lucas Mauron GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracan GT3 2019 2:00.840 2:01.108 2:00.930 2:00.483
14 27 Silver Cup Fabrizio Crestani, Nicolas Pohler, Kris Richard Daiko Lazarus Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 2:00.871 1:59.799 2:01.049 2:01.767
15 22 Silver Cup Matt McMurry, Philipp Frommenwiler, Struan Moore Jenson Team Rocket RJN Honda Acura NSX GT3 2019 2:00.974 2:01.773 2:00.623 2:00.526
16 5 Silver Cup Ivan Pareras, Kim Luis Schramm, Finlay Hutchison Phoenix Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3 2019 2:01.039 2:01.981 2:00.422 2:00.715
17 12 Silver Cup Denis Dupont, Dean Stoneman, Stefano Gattuso Ombra Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 2019 2:01.092 2:01.609 2:00.767 2:00.902
18 97 Pro-AM Cup Salih Yoluc, Ahmad Al Harthy, Charlie Eastwood Oman Racing with TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT3 2:01.108 2:02.452 2:01.392 1:59.481
19 20 Silver Cup Jordan Grogor, Benjamin Goethe, Stuart Hall GPX Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R 2:01.273 2:00.650 2:02.165 2:01.005
20 555 Silver Cup Diego Menchaca, Taylor Proto, Michele Beretta Orange 1 FFF Racing Team Lamborghini Huracan GT3 2019 2:01.337 2:02.912 2:00.821 2:00.279
21 77 AM Cup Adrian Amstutz, Leo Machitski, Miguel Ramos Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan GT3 2019 2:01.337 2:01.544 2:02.021 2:00.448
22 26 Pro-AM Cup Nyls Stievenart, Fabien Michal, Markus Winkelhock Sainteloc Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3 2019 2:01.417 2:02.022 2:02.442 1:59.787
23 31 Pro-AM Cup Derek Pierce, Rob Smith, Sebastian Morris Team Parker Racing Bentley Continental GT3 2:01.422 2:02.173 2:02.132 1:59.962
24 93 Pro-AM Cup Chris Buncombe, Jonathan Hui, Chris Froggatt Tempesta Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 2:01.484 2:01.985 2:01.547 2:00.920
25 23 AM Cup Fabien Barthez, Bernard Delhez Tech 1 Racing Lexus RCF GT3 2:02.111 2:02.203 2:01.291 2:02.839
26 52 Pro-AM Cup Niek Hommerson, Louis Machiels, Andrea Bertolini AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 2:02.188 2:03.943 2:01.842 2:00.781
27 29 AM Cup Stefano Costantini, Antonio Forne Tomas, Christoph Lenz Raton Racing by Target Lamborghini Huracan GT3 2019 2:02.204 2:01.532 2:01.984 2:03.097
28 74 Pro-AM Cup Remon Vos, Tom Onslow-Cole Ram Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 2:02.229 2:03.700 2:02.920 2:00.067
29 76 Marvin Kirchhöfer, Jake Dennis, Nicki Thiim R-Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT3 2:02.448 2:09.108 1:59.346 1:58.890
30 87 Pro-AM Cup Jim Pla, Mauro Ricci, Jean-Luc Beaubelique AKKA ASP Team Mercedes-AMG GT3 2:02.614 2:00.313 2:04.449 2:03.081
31 188 AM Cup Alexander West, Chris Harris, Chris Goodwin Garage 59 Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT3 2:02.828 2:04.142 2:02.581 2:01.761
32 488 AM Cup Pierre Ehret, Martin Berry, Jose Manuel Balbiani Rinaldi Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 2:03.036 2:03.554 2:03.261 2:02.294
33 33 AM Cup Steve Parrow, Christian Hook, Manuel Lauck Rinaldi Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 2:03.216 2:04.659 2:03.575 2:01.416
34 9 Pro-AM Cup Marc Rostan, Karim Ojjeh, Philipp Eng Boutsen Ginion BMW M6 GT3 2:03.394 2:05.493 2:04.321 2:00.368
35 62 Matthieu Vaxiviere, Matt Parry, Maxime Martin R-Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT3 2:04.329 2:13.885 1:59.177 1:59.926
36 15 AM Cup Pierre Feligioni, Claude-Yves Gosselin, Renaud Kuppens Boutsen Ginion Lamborghini Huracan GT3 2019 2:05.642 2:07.736 2:07.270 2:01.921
37 4 Maro Engel, Luca Stolz, Yelmer Buurman BLACK FALCON Mercedes-AMG GT3 1:59.118 1:59.083 1:59.154
38 99 Matt Campbell, Dennis Olsen, Dirk Werner Rowe Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R 1:59.696 1:59.642 1:59.751
39 98 Romain Dumas, Sven Müller, Mathieu Jaminet Rowe Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R 1:59.909 2:00.032 1:59.786
40 88 Raffaele Marciello, Michael Meadows, Vincent Abril Mercedes-AMG Team Akka ASP Mercedes-AMG GT3 1:59.935 2:00.055 1:59.816
41 43 Jack Hawksworth, Dev Gore, Lewis Williamson Strakka Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 1:59.987 2:00.317 1:59.657
42 59 Come Ledogar, Andrew Watson, Jonny Adam Garage 59 Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT3 2:00.505 2:00.443 2:00.567
43 6 Silver Cup Hubert Haupt, Patrick Assenheimer, Gabriele Piana BLACK FALCON Mercedes-AMG GT3 2:00.528 2:00.562 2:00.495
44 66 Clemens Schmid, Nick Foster, Kelvin van der Linde Attempto Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3 2019 2:00.667 2:01.359 1:59.976
45 54 Andrea Rizzoli, Zaid Ashkanani, Klaus Bachler Dinamic Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 R 2:01.118 2:02.142 2:00.095
46 444 AM Cup Jens Liebhauser, Andrzej Lewandowski, Florian Scholze HB Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 2:02.884 2:03.305 2:02.464
47 10 Silver Cup Ricardo Sanchez, Charles Weerts, Rik Breukers Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi R8 LMS GT3 2019 2:04.735 2:05.959 2:03.511
48 333 Silver Cup Rinat Salikhov, Denis Bulatov, David Perel Rinaldi Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 2:00.073 2:00.073

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