McLaren claim Nurburgring Blancpain Sprint pole


Alvaro Parente scored pole position for the qualifying race of the third round of the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup at the Nurburgring. The second Garage 59 McLaren 650S of Come Ledogar qualified second on the road, but got disqualified for overboosting after Q3.

With the disqualification for the #59 McLaren, the #33 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi R8 LMS of Enzo Ide and Chris Mies – which finished just o.003 behind in third place at the end of Q3 – has been promoted to the front row.

Indeed a sign of just how tight this Blancpain GT Series field is, could be seen in Q2 with the top 30 cars separated by just one second – with the two McLarens using newer Pirelli tyres to put themselves at the head of the field in the middle session of an overcast Nurburgring qualifying.

Come the final part of qualifying, things were close but probably not that close at the top as Maxi Buhk parked the HTP Motorsport Mercedes AMG GT3 in fourth place, one tenth behind but with Laurens Vanthoor only eight thousandths of a second away from stealing fourth in the #1 Team WRT Audi.

That mattered not to Parente though, who had a tenth over Mies and Ledogar at the sharp end. He said: “When we put a new set of Pirelli tyres on, the car immediately felt very well balanced. In free practice we knew we had the speed, but it isn’t until you try the new rubbers that you are absolutely certain to be on the pace.”

A bit off the pace was the fastest Lamborghini Huracan GT3 – that of Mirko Bortolotti and GRT Grasser Racing Team – in ninth place but only 0.347s off the pole position time.

Also having a rough time of it, compared to their speed last weekend at Paul Ricard, is Bentley Team M-Sport with their fastest Bentley Continental GT3 down in 17th place.

They were one place behind the fastest in Pro-Am, the Kessel Racing Ferrari 458 Italia of Giacomo Piccini but one place ahead of the Silver Cup pole sitter Luca Stolz in the second of the GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghinis.