SMP Racing Secures Monza Pole, Emil Frey Jaguar Racing on Front Row


Davide Rigon/Mikhail Aleshin/Miguel Molina - SMP Racing
Credit: SRO Motorsports Group

The #72 SMP Racing Ferrari trio of Davide Rigon, Mikhail Aleshin and Miguel Molina will start the opening race of the 2018 Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup from pole position after coming out on top of the fifty-four car Qualifying session on Sunday morning at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza.

A new-style Qualifying is in place for the new season, with each driver within each team having fifteen minutes of track time to set a lap time, with the three laps then averaged out to set the grid.

The SMP Racing’s average of 1:48.311s was enough to take the pole position, while the front row will be completed by the leading Silver Cup class entry, with the #54 Emil Frey Jaguar Racing G3 of Alex Fontana, Adrian Zaugg and Mikael Grenier securing an excellent second place.

The #1 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT trio of Dries Vanthoor, Christopher Mies and Alex Riberas will line-up third on the grid alongside another of the Silver Cup class entries, the #24 Reiter Young Stars Lamborghini trio of Patric Niederhauser, Mads Siljehaug and Lenny Marioneck.

Strakka Racing will line-up fifth with their leading Mercedes-AMG GT3, with the #43 trio of Alvaro Parente, Maximilian Goetz and Maximilian Buhk edging out the #4 Mercedes-AMG Team Black Falcon trio of Luca Stolz, Yelmer Buurman and Maro Engel.

The #76 R-Motorsport Aston Martin, #66 Attempto Racing Audi, #8 Team M-Sport Bentley and the #23 GT Sport MOTUL Team RJN Nissan complete the top ten.

The leading Pro-Am Cup class entry was again the #11 Kessel Racing Ferrari of Alessandro Pier Guidi and Michael Broniszewski in twenty-third, while the leading Am cup class entry was the #89 AKKA ASP Team Mercedes of Philippe Giauque, Eric Debard and Fabien Barthez in forty-fourth.

There is one entry that is unlikely to make the start, with the #49 Ram Racing Mercedes crashing during the second session and suffering heavy damage.  Salih Yulac was able to walk away from the incident, but the car he shares with Euan Hankey will need a lot of repairs to take the start at 3pm local time.

Alex Fontana/Adrian Zaugg/Mikael Grenier - Emil Frey Jaguar Racing
Emil Frey Jaguar Racing will start on the front row – Credit: SRO Motorsports Group