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Barcelona 24 Hours: Qualifying Report, Malucelli On Pole For Scuderia Praha

Matteo Malucelli had one of the better moments of his, until now, rather tarnished 2014 season after putting the Scuderia Praha Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 (#4, Písarík/Jirík/Malucelli/Kox) on pole position for this weekend’s Barcelona 24H.

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The Italian managed a lap in 1:50.031, 0.587 seconds faster than Kenneth Heyer in the #1 Hofor Racing Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 (#1, M. Kroll/Eggimann/Heyer/Frankenhout/C. Kroll).

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The Kessel Racing Ferrari (#32, Sicart/Cadei/Piccini/Delpit/Enjalbert) and the Leipert Motorsport Lamborghini Gallardo FL2 (#6, Talbot/Perrin/Barth/Eskelinen) will start the race from the second row as they were classified third and fourth in qualifying.

Matteo Malucelli was the first driver to top the time sheets in the 45 minutes of qualifying and remained on top throughout the session, improving his own fastest time over and over. “Of course, it is fantastic to make a comeback like this after my accident and my long recovery,” Malucelli commented. “I could have gone even faster. On my fastest lap, I overtook two cars. You never get a clear lap with 70 cars on track. A lap time of 1:49 would have been possible. The car is very well balanced in fast corners, but not ideal in the slow corners. Anyway, I am looking forward to the race. I hope it will be hot, because our car has the best handling in hot conditions.”

The fastest driver in the 997 class was Lukas Schreier in the ZaWotec Porsche (#8, Uckermann/Daim/Schreier/Klein) with a time of 1:53,405 minutes.

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The SP2 class saw the best battle for a class pole with the duel between Max Braams in the Las Moras Racing Team Renault Mégane Trophy (#14, L. Braams/M. Braams/Huisman/Nooren) and Sébastien Dussolliet in the GC Automobile Factory GC Automobile GC 10 V8 (#12, Bonjean/Brochier/Courtois/Dussolliet).

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They alternated on top of their class several times, but a last-gasp attack by Dussolliet saw the Frenchman claim pole position in class with a time of 1:54.037 minutes. Dutch stalwart Cor Euser put his own Cor Euser Racing Lotus Evora GT4 (#18, Rice/Prewitt/Lewis/Euser) on pole in the SP3 class with a time of 1:58.183 minutes while German Michael Tischner drove his Tischner Motorsport BMW E46 (#30, M. Tischner/White/Nohring/M. Tischner/Trautwein) to class pole in A5 with a time of 1:59.201 minutes.

A lap time of 1:59.987 minutes allowed local hero Francesc Gutiérrez to claim pole in the A3T category with the Monlau Competición SEAT Leon Cup car (#25, Sanz/Gutiérrez) that he plans to drive in the race with multiple motorcycle trial world champion Laia Sanz as his only team-mate. Carlos Antunes was the fastest driver in the A3 class with the Nicolas Milan Compétition Peugeot RCZ (#44, Gibaud/Dauger/Maudet/Antunes), setting a time of 2:06.393 minutes. Pole position in the A2 class went to the Team Altran Peugeot 208 GTi (#58, Radermecker/Latinne/de Andrés/Roman) with a time of 2:01.494 minutes, set by Radermecker. The fastest of the BMW M235i Racing Cup cars was the Walkenhorst Motorsport entry (#35, Schrey/Akata/Krohn/Hughes) with a time of 2:02.398 minutes. The Saxon Motorsport BMW 135D GTR (#61, N. Barrow/T. Barrow/Allpass/Morrow) came out on top in the D2 diesel class with a time of 2:05.897 minutes while the Red Camel Racing SEAT Leon 2.0 TDI (#63, Kresnik/R. Breukers/Stanbridge/I. Breukers) ended up as the best-placed car in the D1 class with 2:07.024 minutes set by Ivo Breukers.