It will be Augusto Farfus who’ll start at the front of the grid for the FIA GT World Cup tomorrow after winning the qualifying race around the Guia Circuit by 3.812 seconds.
The race was won at the start for the Team Schnitzer driver as he out-dragged polesitter Raffaele Marciello, making use of the inside line into Hotel Mandarin Oriental, ensuring he had the position by the first braking point.
After a safety car pause, Farfus broke away on the restart, pulling a few lengths to Marciello in the opening laps. The Italian responded in the closing stages, but the BMW M6 GT3 had built enough of a gap to ensure it only damaged his tyres, with the Brazilian taking a comfortable win.
Marciello himself had faced more competition from his teammates behind, with the Mercedes-AMG Team GruppeM Racing trio completing the top four. With Farfus running a sole entry, he may be vulnerable at the for tomorrows final.
The start had been characterised by a crash for the #911 Laurens Vanthoor, who after getting the run of Eduardo Mortara in the first phase of the start, was knocked by the Mercedes-AMG into Hotel Mandarin as Mortara attempted the avoid the other Manthey Racing Porsche of Earl Bamber on his outside.
The knock spun Vanthoor around into the barrier, resulting in a brief safety car period. Mortara had held the position as a result, again coming under attack from Bamber on the restart. Mortara though recovered to challenge Maro Engel for third. He failed to get past on the narrow circuit and would maintain fourth over the line, with Bamber rounding out the top five.
Robin Frijns took sixth, but after dropping eight seconds to Bamber in front it’s clear the Dutchman does not have the pace to challenge this weekend. He faced race-long pressure from Christopher Hasse as Dries Vanthoor rounded out the top eight.