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Mercedes-AMGs sweep Brands Hatch Blancpain GT qualifying

Saturday, May 04 2019

Mercedes-AMG GT3 machinery will start each of tomorrow's Blancpain GT World Challenge Europe races at Brands Hatch from pole position after topping both sections of the split qualifying session this afternoon.

Luca Stolz topped the opening session in the BLACK FALCON run machine he shares with Maro Engel, following a frenetic opening qualifying session, throughout which times improved on a drying track.

Stolz traded blows with the Lamborghini Huracan of Mirko Bortolotti throughout the initial qualifying period, with the latter securing his Italian steed second place on the grid before an off at Stirlings late on which would prevent co-driver Christian Engelhart taking part in the next session - this sets up an intriguing charge through the field for the duo in tomorrow's second race.

The second row mirrors the first after Nico Bastian's Mercedes-AMG qualified third just ahead of the Lamborghini of Andrea Caldarelli. Kelvin van der Linde completed the top-five in his Audi R8 LMS.

It was a dramatic opening qualifying session for Diego Menchaca who caused an early red flag when he inverted his Lamborghini at Paddock Hill Bend, whilst early weekend pace-setter Vincent Abril will start from sixth. 

With darkness looming over the circuit, ahead of the second part of qualifying, there was a mad rush to be the first on track and make the most of the dry circuit conditions. Engel's Mercedes-AMG was the first on track, but it was the simlar machine of Fabian Schiller which benefitted most from the dry conditions to set the fastest time. 

As the first cars compoleted their qualifying laps, raindrops began to fall, rendering any further attempts to challenge for pole position futile. The session was then brought to an abrupt halt following a coming together between the Audis of Stephane Ortelli and Christopher Mies at Clearways. 

By the time the session resumed, conditions were still too slippery to warrant a genuine attempt at pole position, but there was still a battle on for the minor positions amongst those who failed to set a lap time before the earlier interruption.

The first qualifying session determined the grid for the opening Blancpain GT World Challenge Europe race tomorrow at 12:10, whilst the second set the grid for the later contest at 16:35. 

Qualifying 1 Result

1, Luca Stolz, Mercedes-AMG GT3, 1m23.261s
2, Mirko Bortolotti, Lamborghini Huracan GT3, +0.167s
3, Nico Bastian, Mercedes-AMG GT3, +0.222s
4, Andrea Caldarelli, Lamborghini Huracan GT3, +0.331s
5, Kelvin van der Linde, Audi R8 LMS GT3, +0.464s
6, Vincent Abril, Mercedes-AMG GT3, +0.562s
7, Steijn Schothorst, Audi R8 LMS GT3, +0.732s
8, Ezequiel Perez Companc, Audi R8 LMS GT3, +0.894s
9, Ricky Collard, Aston Martin V8 Vantage GT3, +1.065s
10, Simon Gachet, Audi R8 LMS GT3, +1.076s

Qualifying 2 Result

1, Fabian Schiller, Mercedes-AMG GT3, 1m23.604s
2, Nick Foster, Audi R8 LMS GT3, +0.158s
3, Maro Engel, Mercedes-AMG GT3, +0.172s
4, Marvin Kirchhofer, Aston Martin V8 Vantage GT3, +0.175s
5, Thomas Neubauer, Mercedes-AMG GT3, +0.187s
6, Raffaelle Marciello, Mercedes-AMG GT3, +0.323s
7, Clemens Schmid, Audi R8 LMS GT3, +0.779s
8, Mattia Druidi, Audi R8 LMS GT3, +0.916s
9, Tom Gamble, Audi R8 LMS GT3, +1.017s
10, Hugo de Sadeleer, Aston Martin V8 Vantage GT3, +1.230s

For full results, click here.

Tickets for the Blancpain GT World Challenge Europe at Brands Hatch on Sunday 5 May are available on the gate for £29 with FREE entry for under-13s. For more information, please call 0843 453 9000 or click here.