The Teo Martin BMW outfit will start this afternoon’s International GT Open championship decider with both cars on the front row, headed by António Félix da Costa in the #51 M6 GT3.
In the early going, drivers including Allam Khodair (#16 Drivex Mercedes) and Andrea Caldarelli (#5 SF Racing Ferrari) set about lowering the bar, before da Costa smashed the 1:45 barrier with a time of 1:44.547.
With just over 10 minutes to go, Andrea Caldarelli found more time in the PRO-AM class Ferrari 488 GT3, setting a 1:44.440 for provisional pole.
However, in the final five minutes, both Teo Martin BMWs embarked on another set of flying laps. Da Costa was the first over the timing beam in the #51, and promptly took half a second out of Caldarelli’s time in the first two sectors. Fractions were lost in the final corners of the circuit, but the Portuguese BMW factory driver still crossed the line over four tenths clear with a 1:43.988.
20 seconds later, championship hopeful Fran Rueda crossed the line in the #65, completing a Teo Martin front row lockout with a time of 1:44.264.
Caldarelli’s time was eventually good enough for third in the order, ahead of Allam Khodair in the #16 Drivex Mercedes (1:44.614). Mikkel Mac qualified fifth in the #488 Spirit of Race Ferrari, while Philipp Frommenwiler rounded out the third row in the Emil Frey Lexus.
Championship leader Giovanni Venturini (#63 Imperiale Lamborghini) will start seventh, following one of the more difficult sessions for the Italian since he and reigning champion Thomas Biagi were split by the team ahead of the Silverstone round.
If Rueda and Victor Bouveng take victory this afternoon, seventh is the lowest position Venturini can finish, taking the title by a single point. If he and Marco Mapelli finish eighth as the #65 outfit takes victory, there will be a tie on points – however, it would be the third win of the year for Bouveng and Rueda, which would be enough for them to secure the title on countback.
If Bouveng and Rueda finish second, Venturini will only lose the title if he and Mapelli finish outside the top ten. Anything below the second step of the podium for the Teo Martin pairing will hand Venturini the championship by default.
The International GT Open championship decider begins at 14:15 local time.