High Class Racing and PK Carsport by Heinz claimed a pole position apiece in Pro-Am during qualifying for the Fanatec GT2 European Series at Hockenheim as their title battle looks set to move up another gear in Baden-Württemberg.
After topping both practice sessions earlier in the day, the #33 pairing of Mark Patterson and Anders Fjordbach went into qualifying as the favourites, having bested fellow Audi R8 LMS GT2 challengers Peter Guelinckx and Bert Longin in the #81 on both occasions.
Guelinckx, however, proved to be on top form, clocking a best time of 1:42.908 around the high-speed, 4.5km German circuit to take top spot in Pro-Am, with Patterson fourth behind Christoph Ulrich – fastest in Am for Sportec Motorsport in the #7 and Sehdi Sarmini in the #16 True Racing KTM.
Despite a slow start to the second session, Fjordbach responded for High Class, lowering the benchmark time to a 1:40.888, the fastest time of the day, to secure a second pole position in as many meetings for the team.
With Longin starting alongside on the front row, however, the scene is set for a blockbuster pair of 50-minute races on Saturday (15 May).
Q1: Guelinckx throws down the gauntlet between Audi rivals
High Class Racing were undoubtedly among the favourites heading into the session after their form earlier in the day, but it would be Guelinckx who took the headlines.
Ulrich’s KTM initially led the way, before Guelinckx edged a tenth of a second ahead, before posting a 1:42.908 on his penultimate lap of the session to put almost half a second between the pair on the timing screens.
A red flag with 90 seconds to go for the stranded Toro Verde GT Lamborghini Huracan ensured the session would end there, giving first blood to PK Carsport.
Sarmini was third-fastest in the True Racing #16 KTM, four tenths behind Ulrich but four ahead in turn of Patterson in the High Class Racing Audi.
Kris Rosenberger was the next of the Am runners and fifth overall for Reiter Engineering in the #24 KTM, with series debutante Oliver Freymuth sixth in the AKF Motorsport-run Lamborghi.
Q2: Fjordbach responds to lower benchmark further
Throughout the first half of the second qualifying session, the #33 Audi remained fairly anonymous, seemingly unable to recreate it’s blistering pace from practice.
At half-distance, Fjordbach sat ninth as Longin and Michael Vergers in the #5 Speed Factory Racing-run Porsche traded provisional pole.
A blistering lap from the Danish driver then elevated him to the head of the pack, and he went even quicker on his penultimate flying lap, lowering the benchmark even further to 1:40.888, nearly four tenths faster than Longin.
Vergers was third-quickest, just 0.009 seconds shy of the Audi pair, with Peter Kox fourth in the #23 KTM for Reiter Engineering.
Stefan Rosina completed a solid afternoon’s work for the True Racing #16 KTM, whilst Luca Pirri put LP Racing’s #88 Audi into the top sixth behind.
Sportec Motorsport made it a brace of pole positions in the Am category, with seventh overall enough for Christoph Lenz to celebrate a perfect return from the two sessions.
The stage is set for a thrilling Saturday of racing
Two action-packed races will mark the next stage in the 2021 Fanatec GT2 European Series title fight on Saturday (15 May), with both races available to stream live and free on SRO’s GT World YouTube channel.
Source. SRO Motorsports Group