Albert Costa will start the #54 Emil Frey Lexus RC F GT3 from pole position in Race 1 after a close qualifying at Catalunya.
With 30 points to score over the weekend, a good qualifying position was key for Emil Frey’s Costa and Philipp Frommenwiler, who are third in the championship on 83 points, 14 points back from series leader Giovanni Venturini (97 points).
Costa’s pole time – a 1:44.348 – was set relatively early in the session, laying down the challenge for the other drivers.
While no one was able to best the Lexus, both Christian Engelhart (#23 Imperiale Lamborghini) and Marco Mapelli (in the sister #63) came within a tenth of a second of the pole time. Engelhart’s best time was a 1:44.369, while Mapelli stopped the clock at 1:44.406. With Mapelli taking the third fastest time, his co-driver Giovanni Venturini’s title hopes have a taken another positive step forward.
Two tenths further back, Dominik Farnbacher (#55 Farnbacher Lexus) and PRO-AM polesitter Tom Onslow-Cole (#20 SPS Mercedes) rounded out the overall top five, while Victor Bouveng did enough for sixth on the grid ahead of an important day for he and teammate Fran Rueda, who are just five points behind Giovanni Venturini heading into this afternoon’s race.
In the AM class, the visiting #333 Rinaldi Motorsport outfit took class pole with Rinat Salikhov at the wheel of the Ferrari 488 GT3.
The first race of the weekend for the International GT Open begins at 16:00 CET.
Photos courtesy of GT Open