Bortolotti Storms his way to Pole at Brands


Mirko Bortolotti set a stunning time to grab pole for the Qualifying Race at the second round of the Blancpain Sprint Series at Brands Hatch.

The #63 Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Hurracan GT3, was half a second faster than anyone else to secure pole position for the first of tomorrow’s two races.

The Italian set a time of 1 minute 22.891 seconds to go 0.5 seconds faster than the WRT Audi of last year’s Brands Hatch winner Christopher Mies.

The scale of his scintillating run was demonstrated by the closeness of the rest of the field, as the 16 other entries in Q3 were covered by 0.6 seconds.

Third place was taken by the ROWE Racing BMW M6 of all-Finish pairing Jesse Krohn and Markus Palttala who shared the second row with the #19 GRT Lamborghini.

However there was disappointment for British racing fans as both M-Sport Bentleys failed to make it into Q3, with the #7 of Steven Kane and Vincent Abril starting 19th and it’s team-mate #8 in 23rd spot.

There was disappointment for Bentley and British racing fans as both M-Sport Bentleys were eliminated in Q2. Credit: Olivier Beroud/Vision Sport Agency

This performance was despite Andy Soucek in the #8 setting the fastest time in Q1.

Rob Bell was also a disappointing absentee as the #59 McLaren which had been running high up in Q1 under team-mate Andrew Watson, qualified in 22nd place.

To make matters worse for McLaren the #44 car of  Loris Hezemans crashed on the exit of Stirlings, causing a 20 minute stoppage to Q1.

While the accident didn’t affect the results of the session, it is unlikely that the McLaren will take part, having sustained huge front end damage.

Daniel Juncadella very nearly went the same way as the McLaren, but pulled off the save of the afternoon as he fishtailed the #88 AKKA ASP Mercedes to sixth place and the best of the three-pointed star cars in sixth place.

He was four positions above Championship leaders Maximilian Buhk and Franck Perera who were 10th on a circuit which Mercedes believe themselves to be disadvantaged.

The quickest Pro-Am runner was the #87 AKKA ASP Mercedes of Jules Gounon and Jean-Luc Beaubelique just 0.072 seconds in front of the #333 Rinaldi Ferrari.