The #66 Attempto Racing Audi took pole position for the first race of the 2020 GT World Challenge Endurance Cup, at the historic Imola circuit.
Saturday brings with it various challenges ranging from the last practice Session to pre-qualifying, all in the lead up to the big shoot-out at the end of the day. Getting the day started off right was the AKKA ASP Mercedes-AMG of Raffaele Marciello posting a lap of 1.41.655s early on in the 90 minute practice session with Jules Gounon following behind in the K-Pax Racing Bentley making sure the American squad entered qualifying on good form.
With the top 20 cars seperated by 1.1s, anticipation for the shoot-out started reaching fever pitch. Jim Pla continued his run from yesterday and posted the third fastest overall time subsequently meaning he was also top of the Pro-Am standings. Three red flags mired the session with the main incidents being the #44 SPS Automotive Performance Mercedes making significant contact with the Optimum Motorsport Mclaren as well as the #23 Imperiale Racing Lamborghini tugging the CMR Bentley.
Pre-qualifying was up next and Belgian Audi Club Team WRT showed good pace they have had from yesterday by posting the fastest time and leading an Audi 1-2-3. Mirko Bortolotti excelling Once again by taking the top spot with a blistering 1.41.702s to set the pace at Imola. Bortolotti led the #66 Attempto Racing driven by Frederic Vervisch with the #26 Sainteloc Racing of Arthur Rougier rounding out the top 3. Rougier was also the top Pro-Am car.
Tech 1 Racing took the honours in Silver-Cup in Pre-qualifying and the only Am runner, the #108 CMR Bentley brought up the rear of the field.
Then it was time for qualifying with the #66 Attempto Racing Audi set a pole lap of 1:41.799 thanks to the combined efforts of Mattia Druidi, Kim-Luis Schramm and Vervisch. The #51 AF Corse Ferrari took the second spot with the #88 AKKA ASP taking 3rd on the grid.
Obtaining third in Qualifying one meant the Attempto squad well and truly put themselves in the mix and even though the Team WRT Audi took the top qualifying two spot, Vervisch made sure it was Attempto’s Audi that topped the time sheets.
Speaking to the GT World Challenge press, Vervisch said, “What can I say?! All three drivers did a great job today and I am so, so proud of the whole team. Being together was quite a late decision, so I’m extremely happy to be in first place.
“This is my first race of the season and it’s really nice to have the adrenaline kick in and feel your heart beating before an important session. Imola is a great circuit where there’s not much room for error, so it’s a real drivers’ track.
“Tomorrow the plan is to win and we’ve showed that the team and the car have the potential. But we all know that many things can happen in these races, so we need to be error-free.”
The Tech 1 Racing Lexus grabbed the the Silver Cup pole with an impressive time that was just two tenths shy of the top overall time and importantly ten positions clear of their next rival. SKY Tempesta Racing secured pole for the Pro-Am contingent as all three of their drivers were never below the top five in their respective sessions.
Tomorrow sees the main event take place at 1330 CET for what promises to be a three hour barn stormer.