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MP Motorsport AMG Takes Coppa Florio Pole

The MP Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo (#19, Henk de Jong / Jaap van Lagen / Rik Breukers) has taken a shock pole position at the inaugural COPPA FLORIO 12H Sicily after a storming lap from Jaap van Lagen.

On his final flying lap of the 45-minute GT qualifying session, van Lagen set an incredible 1m 34.815s around the 4.983km Autodromo di Pergusa to take provisional pole position by just 0.035s ahead of the Avelon Formula Wolf GB08 Tornado (#45, Ivan Bellarosa / Guglielmo Belotti). The Dutchman was summarily penalized for exceeding track limits and had the time disallowed, briefly handing provisional pole back to the PX-class prototype. However, post-race analysis has since confirmed the legitimacy of van Lagen’s lap and the time has now been reinstated.

Jaap van Lagen thus becomes the first driver since Carlo Facettii and Martino Finotto in 1981 to secure outright pole position at an official ‘Coppa Florio’, while MP Motorsport is now the fourth different team in five races to secure pole position at a 24H SERIES event in 2020.

“It’s always a fantastic feeling of course to be on pole,” van Lagen explained to CREVENTIC. “It was a bit of a surprise because we expected the [GPX Racing] Porsche to be ahead of us. We had a small vibration during the first few laps, and we saw that the Porsche was one second quicker, so I said to my engineer, ‘I don’t think that’s possible.’ But the boys at MP Motorsport did an amazing job. We changed the setup after the first stint and it was a very good lap, especially because I didn’t know the track before we came here this weekend!”

Avelon Formula, now the 2nd fastest runner, will still start from the front row of the grid just ahead of the returning GPX Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R (#36, Jordan Grogor / Frederic Fatien / Mathieu Jaminet / Robert Renauer). The Emirati team this weekend sports a bespoke Gulf Racing livery paying tribute to Porsche’s accomplishments on the Targa Florio.

A last-minute flying lap inside the final minute of qualifying secured the Car Collection Motorsport Audi R8 LMS (#88, Michael Doppelmayr / Pierre Kaffer / Elia Erhart / Hendrik Still) the GT3-AM class pole and 4th overall on the grid. This was at the expense of the DINAMIC MOTORSPORT Porsche 911 GT3 R (#7, Roberto Pampanini / Mauro Calamia / Matteo Malucelli), which will now start 5th.

The Herberth Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 R (#92, Tim Müller / Jürgen Häring / Taki Konstantinou / Alfred Renauer) will line up 6th overall and 2nd in GT3-AM. The German squad currently leads the way in the Overall GT Teams’ standings having secured wins at both Portimão and Monza, and will start just ahead of the Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo of long-time rival, CP Racing (#85, Charles Putman / Charles Espenlaub / Joe Foster / Shane Lewis).

The first of two DINAMIC MOTORSPORT Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeos (#793, Amedeo Pampanini / Nicolas Sturzinger / Stefano Monaco) will start 8th, while the sister raging bull will line up 14th (#794, Amedeo Pampanini / Nicolas Sturzinger / Mauro Calamia).

The FULGENZI RACING Porsche 911-II Cup (#917, Enrico Fulgenzi / Shintaro Akatsu / Gianluca Spata / Gianfranco Bronzini / Sandra van der Sloot) and the DINAMIC MOTORSPORT Porsche 991-II Cup (#907, Simone Laquinta / Matteo Malucelli / Stefano Monaco / Roberto Pampanini) round out the overall top 10 in GT qualifying, and will also start 1-2 in an all-Italian 991 class. The latter, together with FULGENZI RACING’s second 991-class entrant (#923, Jeroen Bleekemolen / Giosué Rizzuto / Walter Palazzo / Pablo Otero), sandwich the returning MP Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo (#58, Thomas Gostner / Corinna Gostner / David Gostner), which starts its second 24H SERIES event of the year in 11th.

After a frenetic qualifying session, the Las Moras by Equipe Verschuur McLaren 570S GT4 (#409, Luc Braams / Liesette Braams / Maximiliaan Braams) secured GT4 class pole position from the Aston Martin Vantage AMR of current GT4 class championship contender, PROsport Racing (#401, Nico Verdonck / Rodrigue Gillion / Tom Heeren). This marks the third 24H SERIES race in succession that Equipe Verschuur will start from pole, the Dutch team having also secured the outright GT top spot at both Monza and the Hockenheimring. The Team Avia Sorg Rennsport BMW M4 GT4 (#451, Alvaro Fontes / José Manuel de los Milagros / Sergio Paulet / Yannick Guerra Dorribo) rounds out the GT4-class top three in qualifying.