Blancpain GT Series Misano – qualifying
It was a busy day at the Misano track in Italy where the Blancpain GT Series race is being held this weekend. After yesterday’s practice session and Audi’s domination, today was a qualifying day with three short qualifying sessions during the day and an hour-long qualifying race in the evening which takes place in the dark.
During the practice sessions on Friday, the rainy weather did not allow drivers to achieve high times but on Saturday, the weather was good and some very fast times were achieved. The Austrian driver Norbert Siedler in the green Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 won pole position for the qualifying race with a very fast time of 1:32.774 which was only slightly slower than than the pole time of the Misano MotoGP, set a couple of weeks ago. This just shows how quick GT3 cars are on this fast track.
In second place is Craig Dolby in Nissan GT-R GT3, third place is occupied by Audi of Stéphane Richelmi and Bentley Continental GT3 is fourth. Series leaders Robin Frijns and Laurens Vanthoor had a difficult and disappointing time since they didn’t manage to get into third qualifying session and will have to start the qualifying race from the twelfth position which could affect their points in overall standings.
The start of the qualifying race was very interesting with Ferrari under pressure from Nissan and Bentley. Ferrari started perfectly and managed to keep its position in front of Nissan and Bentley whoich managed to get to the third place. Lambroghini Hurracan GT3 which had a Sprint Series debut was very active and managed to climb four places to fourth in just two laps from the start. Lamborghini driver Mirko Bortolotti was very close to the Bentley on third. With 13 minutes into the race, championship leader Laurens Vanthoor had a big accident and hit the wall very hard after driving on patch of wet grass which caused him to spin. Fortunately, he wasn’t hurt but he climbed out of his destroyed Audi with a limp implicating that he hurt his left ankle.
After the pit stops in the middle of the race, race standings were slightly changed with Ferrari still on first but Hurracan GT3 on second and Bentley on third. The standings were unchanged till the race end and Rinaldi Ferrari Racing Team managed to score the first win of the season in an interesting and dynamic night race in Misano. Click HERE for full results and stay tuned for tomorrow’s main race.