Marco Mapelli has claimed pole position for the first round of the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup after a storming lap in his Attempto Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3.
In what was a very competitive session – typical for the Sprint Cup – Mapelli, in the car he shares with Giovanni Venturini, claimed top spot by less than one-tenth of a second with a 1:32.319 to beat Maxi Buhk into second, who himself set a late flyer in an effort to start this evening’s qualifying race on pole.
It wasn’t just the front row that was close as the 17 cars that made up the final part of qualifying were seperated by less than one second, with Andy Soucek – who qualified the #8 Bentley Team M-Sport Bentley Continental GT3 – finishing with a 1:33.141.
At the sharp-end of the field, it was a Mercedes-AMG lock-out on the second row as Raffaele Marciello in his AKKA ASP machine beat Dominik Baumann’s HTP Motorsport entry by only 0.015s.
Fifth plac, on its Blancpain GT Series debut, was Strakka Racing as Rob Bell took the McLaren 650S GT3 to the third row of the grid, and within a whisker of breaking the Mercedes domination on the second row as he finished 0.02s behind.
The team’s day would get even better with Lewis Williamson claiming seventh, and pole position in the Silver Cup.
If it was a good session for Strakka, it was a bad one for Team WRT. With only two of their cars in the final shootout, and not the championship winners last year, Will Stevens would finish a high of 11th. Admittedly he was only 0.398s behind pole, but starting on the sixth row is not what he would have wanted.
Indeed sharing the sixth row with Stevens is the second WRT in Q3 in the shape of Dries Vanthoor who was less than a tenth behind.
In 16th place would be the only Ferrari in Q3, the Pro-Am entry of Giacomo Paccini in the car he shares with Michael Broniszewski which finished second in class.
The Qualifying Race at Misano takes place at 7.40pm UK time.