Fran Rueda has taken pole position for this afternoon’s International GT Open closer, putting he and teammate Andrés Saravia back into contention for the overall championship victory in their #47 Teo Martin BMW M6 GT3.
In the early stages of the 30-minute session, the bar was continually lowered, as the 30 drivers on-track began to explore the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona’s limits on this morning.
With 12 minutes complete, Alessandro Pier Guidi (#51 Luzich Ferrari) cemented a benchmark for the competition, crossing the line for a 1:43.780. Moments later, Giovanni Venturini broke the timing beam to go second on a 1:43.964.
It would be just a few moments at the top for Pier Guidi, as Fran Rueda responded with a 1:43.527.
With 13 minutes left to run, outgoing champion Venturini crossed the line to set a 1:43.627, moving the #63 Imperiale Lamborghini back to second, and pushing Pier Guidi down to the second row.
With five minutes to go, the lap times began to tumble. Raffaele Giammaria went top in the #19 Imperiale Lamborghini on a 1:43.498. He was followed to the sharp end by the sister #25 car of Riccardo Agostini, but both were promptly trumped by Pier Guidi on a 1:43.425. Lucas Auer (#36 Drivex Mercedes) then made his presence known, improving to a 1:43.427 to go second.
A few moments later, Rueda would improve once more, setting a 1:43.118, this would be enough to secure pole. Giovanni Venturini improved to a 1:43.205 to go second, while Teo Martin’s AM entry, the #7 BMW M6 GT3 driven by Guilherme Salas, put in a huge improvement to go third on a 1:43.276.
Pier Guidi’s time would ultimately be good enough for fourth, ahead of Auer, the first of the PRO-AM entries and Thomas Jäger in the #72 Lechner Racing Mercedes.
The PRO-AM title looks set to be decided somewhat lower down the order, with Valentin Pierburg (#20 SPS Mercedes) and title leader Miguel Ramos (#27 Daiko Lazarus Lamborghini) qualifying 23rd and 25th respectively.
This afternoon’s International GT Open title decider begins at 14:15 local time.