- Henry Hassid and Anthony Beltoise claim both Pro-Am pole positions in Spain
- Mantas Janavicius takes maiden Am class pole for Ebimotors Porsche
- 1.003 seconds covers entire Pro-Am field in closest ever Q2
- Jan Krabec takes third Am pole for RTR Projects KTM
LP Racing’s Henry Hassid and Anthony Beltoise stamped their authority on qualifying at Circuit Ricardo Tormo, Valencia, this afternoon, claiming pole positions for both of the 50-minute races which make up the penultimate round of the season in Spain this weekend.
Although delayed by 90-minutes due to essential barrier repairs following an incident in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo session this morning, once finally underway the Fanatec GT2 qualifying sessions turned out to be some of the closest in the series’ short history.
Played out under the glorious Spanish sunshine, the two 20-minute sessions gave the field their first real chance to gain dry running time around the Valencia circuit following Friday's torrential downpours.
True Racing’s Nicolas Saelens was the first to set the bar in Pro-Am, initially posting a time of 1:35.938, before Jean Luc Beaubelique pipped that time by 0.016s in the #87 Akkodis ASP Mercedes-AMG.
But last year’s Am class Champion, Henry Hassid was saving the best to last and punched in a blistering 1:34.380 to claim the top spot. The race was then on for P2, PK Carsport’s Peter Guelinckx heading that battle with a 1:34.697 to come within 0.3s of Hassid with just three minutes remaining.
Beaubelique hung on to third for a stellar first Pro-Am qualifying effort, followed by Saelens in fourth, the second Akkodis ASP Mercedes-AMG in fifth and Martin Koch in the new MZR KTM sixth.
In the Am class, it was the Ebimotors Porsche that dominated earning Mantas Janavicius his first ever Fanatec GT2 class pole position with a 1:35.220. Lying just 0.2s adrift, Klaus Angerhgofer brought the #16 True Racing KTM home second fastest in class, while current class leader Jan Krabec completed the top three.
Closest ever second qualifying session in Spain
Q2, to set the grid for race two on Sunday, immediately followed. With the Pro drivers taking to the track, an incredibly close battle played out for the second pole position of the weekend.
Stefan Rosina in the #15 KTM, PK Carsport’s Stienes Longin and Anthony Beltoise – now in the #67 LP Racing Audi – all took turns at the top of the timing screens, each one displacing the former by the smallest of margins.
In the end, it was Beltoise that made his flying lap count to earn another all-important championship point and place the #67 crew just five points ahead of Saelens and Rosina.
Partnering Koch in the MZR KTM, Reinhard Kofler came through with a late charge to second to come within 0.018s of pole, while Longin clocked in just 0.040s slower to secure third.
An even smaller gap of 0.013s separated Longin and Rosina in fourth, ahead of Ludovic Badey in fifth. Mattia di Giusto pushed his LP Racing Audi to clock in a mere 0.1 adrift of the #87 Akkodis ASP entry.
MotoGP legend Dani Pedrosa delivered a solid inaugural Fanatec GT2 qualifying effort to secure a fourth-row start on Sunday.
Krabec was back on form to take a dominant Am class pole – his third in the RTR Projects KTM this year, ahead of True Racing’s Sehdi Sarmini and the Ebimotors Porsche of Leonardo Gorini.
The Fanatec GT2 field goes green for the first of two 50-minute races at Circuit Ricardo Tormo at 17:00 this afternoon, streamed live via GT World on YouTube.